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They’re calling tonight ‘the most important hockey game in New York in 20 years’

May 29, 2014, 3:37 PM EST

Montreal Canadiens v New York Rangers - Game Three Getty Images

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.

  1. hockey412 - May 29, 2014 at 3:50 PM

    You know, in retrospect, that Lundqvist guy was probably worth that 7th round pick.

    Should be a great game. Rooting for the Habs just so I have more hockey to watch on Saturday :)

    • 7mantel - May 29, 2014 at 4:14 PM

      Hope you have to watch the Pirates saturday !

  2. canucks30 - May 29, 2014 at 3:55 PM

    What about Game 6 vs New Jersey in 2012?

    They had the chance to force a Game 7 at home in the ECF and play LA for the Stanley Cup.

    • Jason Brough - May 29, 2014 at 4:15 PM

      Was it in New York?
      It was not.

      • caspermilktoast - May 29, 2014 at 4:18 PM

        It was on the corner of “Stabme and Run” in the ghetto heartland of NJ – Newark. Another waistland area for the NHL. I think the Devils give out free bottles of Colt-45 with every ticket purchased…

      • 950003cups - May 29, 2014 at 4:31 PM

        caspermilktoast

        Have you ever been near the 30’s between 8th and 10th Avenues after midnight? Didn’t think so. It’s a drug infested rape haven for anyone who has no address.

      • 950003cups - May 29, 2014 at 4:36 PM

        The Prudential Center is exactly 8 miles from the Holland Tunnel. Not a long stretch from NYC itself. Also it takes about 10 mins to travel from 33rd St NYC to the Pru Center via NY/NJ PATH.
        I’d say it’s more NY than the Jets and Giants. So, that was the most important game in NY in 18 years.

      • canucks30 - May 29, 2014 at 4:37 PM

        1. As I mentioned, if they had beat the Devils in Game 6 in 2012 they would have played at Game 7 at MSG.

        2. That was an elimination game whereas they still have a mulligan should they lose tonight.

        3. The Devils are a bigger rival to NYR than the Habs.

        4. The 2012 Kings do not seem as formidable as this years LA Kings or Chicago Blackhawks so you can make the argument their chances of winning a Stanley Cup where slightly greater then.

        5. You mad Brough?

      • 7mantel - May 29, 2014 at 4:45 PM

        You do know it’s the NY POST ?

      • Jason Brough - May 29, 2014 at 4:58 PM

        @canucks30 Not mad. Why would I be? I just don’t understand your point. Game 6 of the 2012 ECF was a big game — perhaps bigger than tonight’s, given the rivalry — but per the headline, it was not “in New York.” It was in Newark.
        You see?

      • canucks30 - May 29, 2014 at 5:28 PM

        We’re discussing semantics. Let’s just enjoy tonight’s game.

        Also, I don’t want to get into an argument with a fellow Canucks fan…

      • imleftcoast - May 29, 2014 at 6:31 PM

        The Post isn’t a source. I’m tired of tsn commentators saying this is Game 7, and the Rangers can’t win in Montreal. That is such hackneyed over-emotion. It is a big game, but you can’t count out a team in the quarterfinals.

  3. jkay1818 - May 29, 2014 at 4:01 PM

    that was a great video “road to glory” A younger AL Trautwig.
    It was insanely hot the day of the parade that year. I remember taking the train downtown with my dad to celebrate like it was yesterday.

    Let’s go blue shirts!

  4. djshnooks - May 29, 2014 at 4:05 PM

    They always choke, hope it happens again.

    They don’t deserve to win, they are dirty.

    • barkar942 - May 29, 2014 at 4:15 PM

      Yes, you are correct. The Canadiens don’t deserve to win , and they are dirty!

  5. caspermilktoast - May 29, 2014 at 4:22 PM

    ” 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.”
    ————
    Yep – 1 cup in 74 years – what a PROUD tradition to be a part of. And Rangers fans like to shove 1975 in our faces…REALLY? What have the Rangers done since 1975? One cup and nothing else – and that was 20 years ago – BEFORE OJ ends up in jail. 1 in 74 – be proud New Yorkers – be proud. Devils have 3 since 95. Islanders have 4 since 81. Yep – a fine tradition that has been kicked out of MSG by city counsel. 9 years to moving day. LOVE IT as a Flyers fan!!!!!!!!!!!

    • 950003cups - May 29, 2014 at 4:38 PM

      LOL

    • jkay1818 - May 29, 2014 at 4:41 PM

      how many championships does your entire city have since 94? The phillies? and then the next yr the yankees waxed them.

    • c1md6 - May 29, 2014 at 4:44 PM

      And the Flyers have 0 since ’76 so what’s your point? There’s been a triple crown winner since the Flyers have won a cup, that’s pathetic. You guys had a chance this year, what was that team that eliminated them, I forgot…

  6. joey4id - May 29, 2014 at 4:28 PM

    The question for me tonight is how each team is planning to start the game. Are we going to see either team activate the d-men early in the o zone? Are we going to see some very safe and conservative play? One thing for sure having a good start is huge as is scoring the first goal. Don’t give the opponent a PP within the first few minutes like NY and LA did their last games.

    Most of the teams I selected to win a series were chosen because they had the better goalie, and for that reason I’m selecting the Rangers to close out the series tonight. (before Price’s injury I had the Habs in 7) Not only does Lundqvist have to bounce back with a good performance, he has to outright be the best player for the Rangers. Habs are obviously in a do or die situation, and Rangers DON’T want to go back to Montreal for a 7th game. NY has to throw rubber at Tokarski like there is no tomorrow.

    • 7mantel - May 29, 2014 at 4:43 PM

      I don’t know joe ,I went all the way back to “joes key to the game” and no where do I see you pick the Habs . In fact it seems you were noncommittal intensionally .

      • joey4id - May 29, 2014 at 4:59 PM

        7mantel, why would you even question my integrity? ;-)

        Keep it rule.

        joey4id – May 19, 2014 at 8:05 PM
        EC – Habs 7 games
        Goalie – Smallest of margins to Price – won 5 elimination games this year giving up 2 goals
        Coach – AV/Therrien are even – both have done a tremendous job regular season & playoffs
        Def – slightest of margins to Habs the differentiator is PK
        Off – slightest of margins to Habs
        Rangers
        GP 252 G 34 A 69 Pts 93
        Habs
        GP 198 G 36 A 60 Pts 96

    • imleftcoast - May 29, 2014 at 6:38 PM

      Vigneault’s warts are out. I can’t believe he insulted Lunqvist by pulling him, and then putting him back in. I expect he’ll be conservative. Montreal should expect that, and take advantage. Feels like a toss-up. I think it’ll be OT, and who knows who will get lucky?

  7. 950003cups - May 29, 2014 at 4:57 PM

    All I know is, NBC is rooting for the Habs to win tonight. They just love Game 7s

    • joey4id - May 29, 2014 at 5:18 PM

      me too! Go Habs!

  8. nicknyhc - May 29, 2014 at 5:57 PM

    Are we going to have a respectable crew of refs and linesmen officiating this game, or are 18,000 French Canadians going to drive down to NYC and call the game? That seems to be the standard in this series.

    • joey4id - May 29, 2014 at 6:23 PM

      And you dare write;
      “Seriously….this guy might be the only person I’ve ever interacted with socially that is literately wrong about EVERYTHING. Haha.”

      Tell us what is right about your comment. Enlighten us oh brilliant one.

    • 950003cups - May 29, 2014 at 6:31 PM

      If they did drive down, at least the garden would be loud. Accountants and advertising geeks don’t really know whats happening. DiNero and all the other fraudulent fans won’t help either.

      When your coach begs for “unconditional support” this deep in the playoffs, there’s a problem with the fanbase.

      • nicknyhc - May 29, 2014 at 7:17 PM

        What’s your coach begging for? A job? Ha!

        How far into the playoffs did the Devils get?

      • nicknyhc - May 29, 2014 at 7:19 PM

  9. nicknyhc - May 29, 2014 at 6:01 PM

    Also, has Joey4id ever said anything that was right?

    Seriously….this guy might be the only person I’ve ever interacted with socially that is literately wrong about EVERYTHING. Haha.

    • joey4id - May 29, 2014 at 6:19 PM

      EVERYTHING. Haha.

  10. billiam55 - May 29, 2014 at 6:39 PM

    20 freakin years. thats how long ive been waiting. finish it off tonight fellas. MSG will be buzzing.

    • canucks30 - May 29, 2014 at 6:53 PM

      20 years isn’t a long wait.

      Signed Sabres, Blues, Canucks, Capitals, Senators, Panthers, and Sharks fans.

  11. bleedrangerblue - May 29, 2014 at 6:47 PM

    Left coast putting him back in? Hanks the king. Insulted!? Stay on the left coast. Mind boggling what I read here. Go Rangers!!!!

  12. bleedrangerblue - May 29, 2014 at 6:50 PM

    Billiam. We both have been waiting. All of us need the Rangers to win. LGR!!!

  13. amehta256 - May 29, 2014 at 7:13 PM

    Pressure is all on the Habs tonight… This is not a must win for rangers given their recent game 7 success… Go Habs!

  14. sabatimus - May 29, 2014 at 10:41 PM

    Bye bye Habs.

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