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What a year 1980 was for Morrow

New York Islanders Ken Morrow hoists the Stanley

New York Islanders Ken Morrow hoists the Stanley Cup. (May 24, 1980) Credit: Newsday File Photo

New York never has seen a year in hockey like 1980, nor has anywhere else. The United States won the Olympic gold medal at Lake Placid in February; the Islanders won the Stanley Cup on Long Island in May.

What the two events had in common, aside from the state, was Ken Morrow, who was in a state of exhaustion.

Morrow's season actually had started the previous June with the U.S. Olympic camp. It kept right on going through the pre-Olympic tour, then the Miracle on Ice.

"I did go home for two days after the gold medal," he said. "Then on the third day, I was on Long Island for the next part of my really long year - and great year."

During the playoffs, the Islanders had pregame skates in the morning at Coliseum and games at night, which meant twice going up and down two flights to the locker room. "The second time,'' Morrow said, "you'd have to hang on to the rail because your legs were so tired."

That was the same for an Olympian and for veterans who had played 82 games. "You look at pictures and it seems like everyone had lost 10 or 15 pounds,'' he said. "I call the playoffs 'Survival of the Fittest.' "

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