Every year as the Stanley Cup Finals approach, we are forced to relive the so-called “magic” of the New York Rangers’ road to the Stanley Cup in 1994. We get it; it was the franchise’s first cup in 54 years, thanks to two series comebacks and a guaranteed win in Game 6 by Mark Messier. I will admit, that Rangers team and their playoff run had it all.
It was brilliant. It was memorable. It was one of the best the NHL has ever seen.
IT WAS ALSO 18 YEARS AGO!
But it certainly doesn’t seem that long ago, due to the fact that the national media and New York fans alike are always looking for any reason during the beginning of June to shove that ’94 team down our throats. If I have to see the clip of Messier nodding his head while being handed the Stanley Cup one more time, well I’m not going to do anything but piss and moan like a little girl, to be honest.
That team had the perfect balance of luck, talent and douchebagery.
Mike Richter was phenomenal in between the pipes for the Rangers, finishing the playoffs with a 2.07 goals-against average. Messier – as previously mentioned – did his best Joe Namath impersonation, while defenseman Brian Leetch proved why he was a Hall of Famer in the making.
But then you have other guys, like Adam Graves. Graves became a folk hero in the eyes of Rangers fans for his 10 goals and 7 assists that postseason. He rode out the rest of his career – a career where he finished with just 616 points in 1152 games – forever beloved at Madison Square Garden. His legend pales in comparison to that of Stephane Matteau, who scored the Game 7 double-overtime game winning goal that sent the Rangers to the Finals. It was a wrap-around goal that was as lucky as they come; a goal Devils fans and goaltender Martin Brodeur probably still want back, even to this day – despite winning three cups since then.
This year the propaganda is even worse. With the Rangers currently down 3-2 to the New Jersey Devils, the Rangers fans have taken to Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr – hell, they’d even send smoke signals if the opportunity arose – to remind everyone of 1994. In case you aren’t familiar, the Rangers were in the same situation 18 years ago, trailing the Devils 3-2 in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Like, oh my God, what a coincidence, they’re in the same predicament again. There’s nothing else worth comparing about the two coincidences.
As I have been watching the NBC Sports Network this postseason, I have noticed that when Doc Emerick isn’t screaming in his nasally voice, he seems to be sure to reference his partner Eddie Olczyk’s Stanley Cup victory with the Rangers, as though he was an integral part. Olczyk played in one, just one, playoff game during that memorable run due to an injury he was battling. In fact there was a big controversy over whether or not his name should have even been etched on Lord Stanley’s Cup.
So stop bringing it up, he wasn’t an important piece! Just stick to talking about the game, in which you are paid to ruin with your terrible analysis – I’m looking at you Pierre McGuire.
This is the time of year when legends are made and history is written. It’s a time to look back on the great moments that have occurred and the potential of what lies ahead. But for the love of God, pick a new moment to force me watch each and every year because I feel like I’m trapped in an episode of the Twilight Zone!