Alan Quine’s Moment in the Sun for the Islanders Four Years Ago Remembered

Alan Quine, New York Islanders

For a franchise like the New York Islanders who is riddled with a rich playoff history, one signature moment can embed you into the hearts of the fans forever.

That was Alan Quine in the playoffs back in 2016.

Quine, 27, who played five years in the Isles organization, scored one of the most important goals in the last two-plus decades just four years ago tonight.

It was a game five of the Islanders’ first round series against the Florida Panthers. The two teams had split the first four games of the series, each winning one time on both home ice and on the road. Game five was pivotal as to who would have the momentum in the series heading into game six back in Brooklyn two nights later.

As for Quine, he had already been noticeable in the series thus far. He had assisted — on what would turn out to be — Ryan Strome’s game-winning goal in game one, a 5-4 Islander win. He also was making the most of his limited ice time and was rewarded a shot on special teams by the coaching staff.

Leading up to that memorable goal, Quine had worked his way up the depth chart of the organization.

Re-drafted by the Islanders with the 166th pick in the 2013 draft — the Red Wings originally selected him 85th overall back in 2011 — Quine immediately made waves upon his arrival for the Isles’ AHL affiliate, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. In his first season as a pro, Quine notched 27 points in 61 games, fourth best on the team. The following two seasons, he finished first and second in points on the team. The latter showing earned the Belleville, ON native his call-up to the NHL the second to last game of the Isles’ season.

Quine would actually score his first NHL goal in his first NHL game against the Buffalo Sabres in a 4-3 overtime loss. He would play the next night in the season finale versus Philadelphia before being sent back down to the minors.

But just two days before the Islanders were set to begin the postseason, Quine was surprisingly recalled.

“Yeah, definitely a bit surprised when Tommer (Bridgeport coach Brent Thompson) called me yesterday to tell me to pack my stuff back up and head here,” Quine said to Newsday that day. “It feels great to know they wanted me back so soon.”

Quine was in the lineup for game one, and eventually, survived to make it to game five despite receiving only 10:56 of ice time in the Islanders’ losing effort in game four.

Game five started out well for Quine and the Isles; Frans Nielsen scored the game’s opening goal past the midway point of the first period. They would hold the lead until Florida’s Aleksander Barkov scored 1:59 into the third period to tie the game at one. From there, the teams traded chances but neither team could find the winner. It was on to overtime, where early on Isles goalie Thomas Greiss made the save of the series, stopping Barkov on a penalty shot. 

Late in the second overtime, the Islanders were awarded a power play. After the first unit couldn’t find pay dirt in the first-minute man-up, Isles head coach Jack Capuano sent out Quine and the second unit. After gaining the zone, Quine nearly had a chance to win the game before he did seconds later when he fanned on a rebound off a Nikolay Kulemin shot. Once Josh Bailey won a puck battle on the boards and it found its way to d-man Thomas Hickey, Quine had set himself up at just above the top of the right circle. Hickey and Marek Zidlicky played catch with the puck before Zidlicky spotted Quine. He fed him a one-timer which Quine ripped towards the goal. Quine’s shot flew off his stick and past a sliding Roberto Luongo’s glove and into the back of the net.

The Islanders were victorious and Quine was the hero.

“It’s a feeling I never had before,” he said post game that night. “There was a lot of happiness when it went in, then seeing the guys come over.”

Capuano and Nieslen also had a ton of praise to say on that evening about Quine.

“You watch video and see his habits,” Capuano said to reporters after the game. “You see his speed and the tenacity he brings.”

“Great,” the veteran said about the newest name in the Isles’ history books. “You don’t know what to expect from guys who just get called up, but he has come in, he’s playing confidently, making plays. He was playing with Johnny and Okie tonight and he was not afraid. It’s not always easy to play with two guys like that. You kind of feel you have to give them the puck all the time and stuff like that, but he’s playing his game. He’s a really good player.”

Quine would once again come up huge in the clinching game six two nights later, assisting on John Tavares’ series winner in double overtime.

The Islanders would move on to the second round and be defeated by the Tampa Bay Lightning in five games with Quine tallying two points in the series.

Things didn’t go that well following that eventful night for Quine or the Islanders. The Isles missed the playoffs the following two seasons while Quine only played in 82 games both those years as a result of injuries. Quine wasn’t resigned by the Isles after the 2017-18 season, leading him to sign with the Calgary Flames where he spent the last two years.

Although he is no longer associated with the Isles organization, Quine’s moment in game five four years ago still resonates with the fans today. His goal was the lead-up to the franchise finally slaying the dragon of winning their first playoff series in 23 years.

It was his moment in the sun, one which will never be forgotten.