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3 Islanders teams among 20 finalists in Greatest NHL Teams poll

Clark Gillies holds up the Stanley Cup at

Clark Gillies holds up the Stanley Cup at Nassau Colisuem on May 30, 1983, as the Islanders won their fourth straight Stanley Cup. Credit: Newsday / Paul Bereswill

Sports teams are like musical groups, in that whatever you admired as a teenager tends to stick for life.

Hence, it says here that the 1976-77 Canadiens are the best team in NHL history, with due respect to various Islanders and Oilers squads of the early to mid-1980s.

But to each his or her own, so feel free to vote however you wish - based perhaps on when you were a teenager - in the “Greatest NHL Teams” poll on that is part of the league’s centennial celebration.

The league on Thursday announced the 20 finalists, after two rounds of voting that originally included all 96 of the NHL’s Stanley Cup winners.

Voting started Thursday – and ends next Thursday – for the final round at, with the top 10 to be revealed during the Stanley Cup Final and No. 1 to be unveiled during Game 4.

The interactive program follows a head-to-head voting format based on randomly chosen “showdowns” between teams.

The top 20 reveals an understandable recency bias, in that there are few Internet-savvy voters who fondly recall, say, the 1935 Montreal Maroons.

The longest-ago team remaining is the 1969-70 Bruins. Fourteen of the 19 seasons from 1975-76 to 1993-94 are represented, including three of the Islanders’ four Cup winners and the 1994 Rangers.

Here is the complete list, in reverse chronological order:

2015-16 Pittsburgh Penguins

2009-10 Chicago Blackhawks

2001-02 Detroit Red Wings

2000-01 Colorado Avalanche

1997-98 Detroit Red Wings

1993-94 New York Rangers

1991-92 Pittsburgh Penguins

1990-91 Pittsburgh Penguins

1988-89 Calgary Flames

1987-88 Edmonton Oilers

1986-87 Edmonton Oilers

1984-85 Edmonton Oilers

1983-84 Edmonton Oilers

1982-83 New York Islanders

1981-82 New York Islanders

1979-80 New York Islanders

1977-78 Montreal Canadiens

1976-77 Montreal Canadiens

1975-76 Montreal Canadiens

1969-1970 Boston Bruins

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