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05-01-2011, 01:59 PM
  #174
Sturminator
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Some information on Boucher's 1928 playoffs:

The first article is a repost of something I posted earlier, which I include here as context for new information. It is a summary of the 1928 playoffs up to the finals, and a preview of the Maroons/Rangers clash for the Cup. From the Pittsburgh Post Gazette - April 5, 1928:

Quote:
Out of the welter of preliminary rounds in the National Hockey League battle for the historic Stanley Cup, the world series of the ice world, Frank Boucher, diminutive center ice star of the New York Rangers, has come to stamp himself as one of the greatest players in the game.

Boucher will lead the Rangers on the ice of the Montreal Maroons in the Canadian metropolis tomorrow night for the first of the final five-game series for the professional hockey title...

The brilliance of Boucher stands out above all others in a composite score of the preliminary efforts of the two teams fighting tomorrow night in the championship. Boucher tallied three goals, assisted in the scoring of three others, and spent no time in the penalty box...

Boucher, recipient of the Lady Byng trophy for combining effectiveness with sportsmanship, played through the four games without once incurring the displeasure of the referees. In addition to leading all scorers, Boucher was a tower of strength on the defense, his sweeping poke-check smashed dozens of attacks of Pittsburgh and Boston forwards.
This report is impressive enough on its own merits, but it is what Frank Boucher would do in the Cup Finals of that year that would truly define his legend. Unfortunately, I cannot find game reports for game 1 (a 2-0 Maroons victory) or the legendary game 2 in which Lester Patrick replaced Chabot in goal. I do have something of a band-aid for game 2, however. The report is from a blog called Third String Goalie:

Quote:
Game Two provided one of the most unusual events in NHL history, when Nels Stewart of the Maroons fired a hard shot that struck Rangers goalie Chabot in the eye, knocking him out of the game. Maroons coach Eddie Gerard refused to let the Rangers use either Ottawa Senators goalie Alex Connell or minor leaguer Hugh McCormick, both of whom were in attendance watching the contest, forcing the Rangers coach Patrick to put the pads on and take over in goal after a 40 minute delay - at age 44.

He told his squad, "Boys, don't let an old man down" and proceeded to hold the Maroons to a single goal as the Rangers came through for their boss, checking the Maroons like mad, doing everything in their power to keep them as far away from their goaltender as possible. Bill Cook put the Rangers up 1-0 just 30 seconds into the third period before Stewart tied it with a goal for Montreal with a long shot that made in between Patrick's pads with less than six minutes remaining. Boucher then scored the game winning goal in overtime to give New York a 2-1 win to even the series at a game apiece as the Rangers carried a tearful Patrick off the ice on their shoulders in celebration. Patrick's appearance set a record for the oldest person to play in the Stanley Cup Finals at 44 years, 3 months and 10 days, a record which still stands today.
Again we see Frank Boucher scoring an overtime goal at a crucial moment for his team in the playoffs. The Rangers would lose game three, again by a score of 2-0, and went into game 4 with their backs against the wall. The game report is from the Calgary Daily Herald - April 14, 1928:

Quote:
The lone goal of the rugged contest was scored by Frankie Boucher, centre player of the visitors. The scoring play was started by Ching Johnson, who carried as far as the blue line. He then passed over to Bill Cook on the right wing, the latter was forced behind the Maroons net and apparently out of danger, but he still managed to control possession of the puck. He quickly snapped a pass out in front. Four men, two Maroons and two Rangers, then struggled for the puck. A Ranger got it, but Benedict stopped the shot. As the puck bounded out in front again, Benedict fell. Boucher quickly snapped up the rubber and shot it over the prostrate goalie's body into the net.
And the report from game 5 from The Calgary Daily Herald - April 16, 1928:

Quote:
The Rangers finally got a break. Boucher broke from centre following a sustained Montreal attack. He slipped right through the local defense and then cleverly fooled Benedict for the first goal of the game...

The Rangers practically sewed up the series when Boucher broke away with only Munro to pass. He skidded past the lone defenseman and then went in to beat Bendict again. It put the Rangers two goals up with less than five minutes remaining.
The Maroons would manage to score a goal in the final minutes, leaving the score of game five as 2 to 1 for New York, with Boucher scoring both goals largely with individual efforts. In the final series overall, the Rangers scored five total goals, with Frank Boucher accounting for four of them, including all three game winners in three one-goal wins. In the playoffs overall, Boucher led all scorers with 7-3-10, with Bill Cook in second place at 2-3-5. I consider Frank Boucher's playoff performance in 1928 quite possibly the single greatest performance of all time by any player.

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