Posts Tagged ‘Rangers’
Twenty years is a long time. It didn’t hit me until this weekend that’s how long it’s been since the Rangers went to the Stanley Cup Finals. I was 10 years old when that happened and although I was somewhat pulling for Vancouver (I liked their logo, and we all did dumb things when we were younger), I remember being happy for New Yorkers when the Rangers won. The celebration was massive. ESPN — ESPN! — showed the victory parade. I’ve only rarely seen a city so grateful to win a title.
That 1994 squad was led by center Mark Messier, defenseman Brian Leetch and goalie Mike Richter and its top-to-bottom depth was impressive. New York ended up winning the President’s Trophy that season and set a team record for points in a season. After easily dismissing the Islanders and Capitals, the Rangers had to gut out a memorable seven-game series against the Devils. Once the Finals rolled around, New York was in control before teasing the Canucks with the possibility of a Game 7 upset at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers won the game 3-2 and the series 4-3.
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Asked directly, general manager Glen Sather told reporters on a conference call: “It wasn’t one thing, and I’m not going to speculate or start to criticize what happened with Torts and give you a lot of reasons why we decided to do this.”
Let’s try this from another angle.
In the first round, we predicted six of the eight series correctly. The two we were most unsure about were the two incorrect picks – no surprise at all that New York or Los Angeles won.
Now that the second round is here, the picture becomes a little more clear. Only one of the four series will go the full seven games. Which will it be, and who will move on?
The playoffs have been interesting so far. Some teams have surprised me. Others haven’t at all.
The biggest surprise was the play of the New York Islanders. I thought Pittsburgh would wipe the floor with the Isles and that they should feel lucky if they pick up one game in the series. New York ended up staying with the Penguins in almost every game, and lost two heartbreakers at home in overtime. I never thought I’d say this, but the Islanders look as if they are finally turning things around. (Just in time for their move to Brooklyn!)
Another surprise was the performance of the Minnesota Wild. I’m not surprised that they lost to Chicago, but because they got bounced in only five games. Losing their top goaltender didn’t help, but Minnesota’s offense was stagnant the whole series. The Wild also looked terrible in Game 4 as they got shut out at home and handed the Blackhawks all the momentum in the series. Nevertheless, Minnesota looks stable and if they can add another scorer and fix their inconsistency in the net, they should be a force next season.
Speaking of net consistency, here’s Vancouver. The Canucks’ first-round sweep didn’t surprise me at all. They looked flat-out awful against the Sharks. Roberto Luongo started the first two games in net and didn’t look that bad, but then he was pulled for Cory Schneider, who wasn’t an improvement. Vancouver needs to fix its goaltending problem next season, or else they can kiss their fading Stanley Cup hopes goodbye.
Anyway, we’ve said goodbye to eight teams and are now off to the Conference Semifinals. Here are my predictions for the second round.
The “Hockey Sock Rock” features then-New York Rangers players Phil Esposito (on lead vocals), Ron Duguay, Dave Maloney and John Davidson. Since this “music video” was shot in 1979 as a fundraiser for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, all four have enjoyed varying degrees of visibility — Esposito as a GM and TV personality in Tampa, Davidson as president of the St. Louis Blues (a position he’s leaving this week), Maloney as the New York Rangers’ color commentator and Duguay as a Rangers TV analyst on the MSG Network.
My favorite comment among those left on YouTube: “if you put it in hd, you can actually hear their dignity being torn in half.”
It just melts the lockout blues away …
Looking at the matchups in the NHL conference finals, I felt like I had traveled back to the mid-1990s.
The “N” word is a very powerful word. It creates a lot of hurt and brings our society down as a whole every time it is used.
I thought perhaps that our society passed the point of using this type of offensive language. Guess I was a little naïve.
One of the National Hockey League’s worst-kept secrets is the teams and location for the next Winter Classic (A faceoff between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor). However, no set plans have been reported for the 2014 showdown and beyond.
Therefore, I decided to put together a list of potential games I would like to see that make the most sense for the league, both in terms of local interest and television revenue.
All good things must come to an end and unfortunately, that statement applies to every season of HBO’s “24/7: Road to the Winter Classic.” Just like last year, the series ends with a great hockey game and leaves you actually looking forward to the end of the season – so you can tune in to the next Winter Classic.
The final episode begins with some foreshadowing. Read the rest of this entry »
The last two weeks of “24/7” have been lots of fun to watch. A cast of interesting characters and great on-ice action makes you eager to tune in the following week.
This week’s episode provided as much, while offering a close look at the replay booth in Toronto – something many hockey fans have always wondered about.