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NYI TOP 10: Individual Seasons

by Staff Writer / New York Islanders

By John Hill

In this edition of NYI Top 10 the greatest individual efforts over a season are honored. With 35 seasons in the books there were many to choose from. Here are 6-10, with no players repeated.

Zigmund Palffy
10. Zigmund Palffy (1996-97) - The 1996-97 season for the Islanders was a disappointing stretch. The team struggled mightily to find its groove, and ended up in last place in the Atlantic Division. However, a bright-spot for the team was found in the play of Zigmund Palffy. The fourth year right wing finished in the top ten in the league in scoring, setting career highs in goals (48) and points (90). Palffy's 48 goals placed him fifth in the league. Amazingly, Palffy posted a +21, despite the team's poor performance. 

John Tonelli
9. John Tonelli (1984-85) - There has only been five 100 point seasons recorded in Islanders history by a player whose last name isn't Bossy or Trottier. In 1984-85, John Tonelli became one of those five players to reach that esteemed plateau. It was the first and only time that Tonelli would reach 100 points in his career with the Islanders, and it was a year in which Tonelli would establish career highs in goals (42) assists (58) and points (100). Tonelli set the Islanders team record for goals, assists and points by a left wing. He was also selected to the All-Star Game.

Brent Sutter
8. Brent Sutter (1984-85) - Along with John Tonelli and Mike Bossy, Brent Sutter was one of three Islanders to break the century mark in points in the 1984-1985 season. Sutter tied for tenth in the league in points that year, with a career best 102, and set other career highs in goals (42), assists (60) and plus-minus (+42). Sutter led the team in assists in the 84-85 season, and was just six goals off Bossy’s team leading 48 scores – leaving Sutter tied for second with Tonelli in scores. The season for Sutter was the only time in his career in which he scored more than 68 points, making his total of 102 even more impressive. His 60 assists surpassed his prior career high of 22 by 38; truly highlighting how special the season was for Sutter.

Rick DiPietro
7. Rick DiPietro (2006-07) - The Islanders’ most recent outstanding season is arguably net-minder Rick DiPietro’s in 2006-07. The 1st overall selection in the 2000 Draft, and current Islanders goalie had a remarkable 06-07 season. DiPietro finished the campaign with a 32-19-9 record, and helped the team return to the playoffs after failing to qualify a season earlier. DiPietro posted his second lowest career goals against average, with 2.58, but even more impressive was his career high .919 save percentage, a mark that was also good enough for sixth in the league. In addition, DiPietro posted the second highest number of shutouts in a season in Islanders history, with five, which ranked ninth in the league. He became the first Islanders netminder in history to record back-to-back years of at least 30 wins, having picked up 30 wins in 2005-06. His most magical performance of the season came in a 2-1 shootout loss to the Rangers on March 5, when he recorded a franchise record 56 saves.

Pat LaFontaine
6. Pat LaFontaine (1989-90) - Pat Lafontaine’s 1989-1990 season is one of the most impressive following the Dynasty years. The 2003 inductee into the Hockey Hall of Fame was one of the select few Islanders to who have reached the 100 point mark. In 89-90, LaFontaine scored 54 goals and added 51 assists over the 74 game season, totaling him with 105 points. The 54 goals was a team high for that year and a career high for LaFontaine. His 41 assists and 105 points both were the highest totals LaFontaine had in his stay on Long Island. Also notable about this particular season for LaFontaine was his 11-game goal scoring streak, which is still an Islanders team record.

Check back later this week for the Top 5

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