68 VS 99 (Who Was The Better Ranger?)
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04-27-2012, 06:20 PM
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Charlotte, NC
Originally Posted by
LaFontaine wasn't even there in 99. Gretzky helped Graves to a 38-goal season in 99. That 99 team was GOD AWFUL. Sundstrom, Cloutier, and Savard were gone by the deadline. Matt Johnson had pretty much ended Beukeboom's career in LA in December of 98 with that god awful sucker punch. The team was decimated. Kevin Hatcher and Kevin Stevens were past prime... Stevens was having his fun with drugs and prostitutes... Richter got hurt. Gretzky, Leetch, and Graves couldn't carry that team by themselves.
Whiffing on Sakic in 97 really cost that club for the next 8-9 years.
That was the best playoff performance we had seen anyone put up since Leetch and Messier in 94.
Gretzky never dominated? The 97 playoffs would say otherwise.
Point 1 - Which is why Neil Smith did more to destroy the Rangers than Sather ever did.
Point 2 - That playoff performance by Gretzky in '97 led most fans to believe that there was more in the tank than there actually was. A case can be made though, if Messier didn't leave in 1997, or if Sakic was signed, Gretzky may have had another year or two at an elite level, and it would have been doubtful that the Rangers ever got as bad as they did.
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