May 29, 2014, 3:37 PM EST
From the New York Post:
It has been 20 years since the Rangers had a chance at home to clinch a spot in the Stanley Cup Final, 20 years since Stephane Matteau ended Game 7 of that epochal Battle of the Hudson in 1994.
And so there is something different about Thursday night’s match at the Garden that could accurately be defined as the most important hockey game to be played in New York City in two decades.
The Rangers, of course, went on to win the Stanley Cup in 1994, hoisting the trophy for the first time since 1940, setting off a city-wide celebration, capped off by a memorable ticker-tape parade.
But the Rangers, despite their financial heft, haven’t been back to the final since. In fact, they missed the playoffs in eight of the 15 seasons following their 1994 triumph, including a stretch of seven straight misses from 1997 to 2004.
Prior to this year, only twice since 1994 had the Blueshirts advanced to the conference finals; they lost in five to Philadelphia in 1997, and they were eliminated in six by the Devils two years ago.
So yeah, big game tonight.
- Trading baggage: Blue Jackets grab Clarkson, send Horton’s contract to Leafs 57
- Panthers acquire Jagr from Devils 28
- Trotz doesn’t see a ‘big, sexy, difference-maker guy’ on the market 16
- What’s up with the reports of problems in the Blackhawks’ room? 40
- Petrovic: Chicago will ‘probably seek revenge’ for Kane injury tonight 80
- Lombardi happy to get ‘one of the better defenseman on the market’ in Sekera 3
- NHL on NBCSN: Wild need two points from NHL-leading Preds 21
- Video: Potential No. 1 overall pick Connor McDavid goes end-to-end, top shelf 9
- Video: Penguins hold on to beat Capitals for first time this season 29
- Video: Fight erupts between Penguins and Capitals inside Pittsburgh’s bench 40
- Leafs’ Rielly apologizes for insensitive remarks (86)
- Petrovic: Chicago will ‘probably seek revenge’ for Kane injury tonight (80)
- Chiarelli understands scrutiny on GM and coach, but says, ‘It’s unfortunate that we’re under review for one year’ (69)
- ‘I don’t know why we’re so comfortable,’ says Toews after loss to Avalanche (69)
- Report: Alex Petrovic avoids discipline after injuring Patrick Kane (65)