Tied Rocket's Record
During the 1980-81 season, Bossy tied a longstanding record in the NHL. In the 1944-45 season, Maurice "Rocket" Richard scored fifty goals in fifty games. Richard had been a hero of Bossy's from childhood, and Richard had watched Bossy play as a kid in Montreal. Though he was a team player, this was a goal of Bossy's that he announced publicly, putting much pressure on himself. Greatly targeted by opponents, especially by the end, Bossy tied the record by getting two goals in his fiftieth game at home against the Quebec Nordiques.
Though the team goal of winning remained Bossy's focus, he enjoyed scoring and had a number of skills that contributed to his success. He had the ability to get open and shot the puck when he got it. He was also a better skater than most people realized, with good passing and stickhandling skills. As his coach explained to E. M. Swift of Sports Illustrated, "Boss is not overpowering. Boss'll get the odd goal from far out, but his main strength is that he's exceptionally quick and accurate. He's the quickest I've ever seen at getting a shot off."
In 1981, when the Islanders won their second Stanley Cup, Bossy had a record in the playoffs with nine power play goals, proving his scoring touch. One of Bossy's best seasons was in 1981-82, when he scored sixty-four goals and eighty-three assists. During the playoffs, he had a bad leg injury which affected his ability to play the way that he wanted to. Yet in the playoffs, he scored seven goals in a four-game sweep over the Vancouver Canucks. Bossy won the Conn Smythe Trophy as most valuable player.
Bossy had sixty goals and fifty-eight assists in the 1982-83 season, the last of the Islanders' four cups. In the early rounds of the playoffs, Bossy struggled, putting up a minus in his plus/minus rating, but the team went on to win. Bossy contributed in another way, however, and was rewarded. In 1983, Bossy won the first of his three Lady Byng Trophies, given for most gentle-manly play. Bossy had been a vocal proponent of clean hockey. He publicly stated he would never drop the gloves to fight.