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NYI TOP 10: Penalty Killers 1-5

by Staff Writer / New York Islanders
By John Hill

Playing on the penalty kill unit can be a thankless job. But these ten Islanders forwards proved that it can be rewarding. In this edition of NYI Top 10, we take a look back at the team’s greatest forward penalty killers. Below are the Top 5.

Bryan Trottier
5. Bryan Trottier

Trots is the Islanders all time leader in points, and his offensive prowess did wonders for a unit usually characterized by defense. Trottier’s capacity for both scoring and creating scoring opportunities led to his 17 career shorthanded goals, a total that puts him fourth all-time among Islanders. Additionally, his ability as a clutch player, particularly his four shorthanded playoff goals, shows an added element to what Trottier brought to the ice.  While he is certainly most recognized for his proficient scoring, Trottier did also contain the intangibles like solid checking and defensive awarenes. As Al Arbour once said of Trottier, “Defensively, he's outstanding. And he's physically tough. He comes up with his 100 points a year, automatically, along with everything else!"

Claude Lapointe
4. Claude Lapointe

Lapointe was a player with an endless motor. A three-time Bob Nystrom award winner, Lapointe’s aggressive play was one of the most important things he brought to the penalty kill. That, paired with his excellent face-off ability, made him among the best penalty killers in team history. Lapointe was also a physical player, while still bringing some offensive fire power to the penalty kill. He was a well-rounded forward who could play defense when needed, but his 11 career shorthanded goals are a testament to his ability to capitalize on scoring opportunities, even when down a man. He is eighth all-time among Islanders in shorthanded goals.

Butch Goring
3. Butch Goring

Goring was one of the key elements on the Islanders’ four Stanley Cup teams in the eighties. After being acquired in 1980, his impact was felt immediately on the penalty kill as he scored two vital shorties in the playoffs en route to the team’s first Cup. Over the following three years, Goring would score five short handed goals in each season to lead the team. Goring spent four full seasons with the team, but in that short period was able to amass 18 total shorthanded goals, enough to tie him for second all-time.

Lorne Henning
2. Lorne Henning

Another career Islander, Henning is tied for second all-time among Islanders for shorthanded goals with 18. Perhaps even more impressive than his high career totals is the fact that, Henning’s total came in under a decade of play. Henning’s 18 goals make up approximately a quarter of his career goal total. Henning led the team in shorthanded goals four times in his career. Henning always had a talent for locating the goal on the penalty kill.

Anders Kallur
1. Anders Kallur

Kallur broke into the NHL at the age of 27 with the Islanders, and spent his entire career with the team. In each of his six seasons on the Island, Kallur scored at least one short handed goal. Kallur’s four shorthanded goals in 1979, his rookie season, was a team best that year, and would set the trend for his career. Despite playing in only six seasons in the NHL, he is still the Islanders all time leader for shorthanded goals, with 19. Kallur’s offensive-minded approach, even on the penalty kill was the key to his success, and was an important part of the Islanders four Stanley Cups.

Click here to see NYI TOP 10: Penalty Killers 6-10

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