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1979- Would the NY Rangers have matched up better with the Boston Bruins?

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04-21-2017, 03:25 AM
  #1
ChrisK97
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1979- Would the NY Rangers have matched up better with the Boston Bruins?

Let's say there is no Too Many Men on the ice and the Bruins had escaped the Montreal Forum in game 7 of that celebrated '79 playoff series.

How would a potential Boston-NYR SCF have potentially gone?

These teams were VERY different from the 1972 versions- Bruins no longer had Orr/Espo, but still a nice cast of characters, Rangers had almost a completely different team compared with '72 but were on a real roll after the Islander playoff shocker.

Considering Boston had made the previous 2 SCF, they had an experience factor over the Rangers- but not quite to the degree of the Habs.

And had they beaten Montreal, which could have been their THEY SLAYED THE DRAGON moment- but how might they have fared with more pressure on them potentially?

And the Rangers might have felt that if they could beat a monster Islanders team, why not Boston? I mean, they had some fine players, but worth noting they didn't exactly have a game-breaker ala Bossy/Trottier/Potvin

And goaltending- John Davidson was playing spectacuarly, while I don't know if Gilles Gilbert might have matched up well- unless Cherry went back to Cheevers given his playoff pedigree.

And of course, the storyline of the trade of a few years prior- Espo/Park/Ratelle on opposite sides!

All in all, what comes of this had the Habs not pulled out their great escape?


(Sidenote- Feel free to also chime in on a hypothetical Rangers/Bruins Cup Final in '74 had the NYR gotten out of the Spectrum with a win in game 7 or that series)


Last edited by ChrisK97: 04-21-2017 at 03:34 AM.
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04-21-2017, 04:28 PM
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reckoning
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I honestly think the series would've gone the same way the Mtl/NYR series went. Rangers would win Game 1 over a fatigued team coming off a draining emotional series, but then they'd get overconfident and Boston would take over. Davidson was playing better than Gilbert or Cheevers, but Boston had a clear advantage at everything else.

Rick Middleton probably wins the Conn Smythe, which would likely be enough to put him in the HHOF.

Don Cherry doesn't get fired for at least another year or two. If the Colorado job isn't open then, maybe he ends up coaching the Leafs, delaying his TV career for a few years.

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04-21-2017, 05:03 PM
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I know Phil Esposito - who would have been driven to beat Boston - thought the Rangers would have won. I also know Don Cherry thought the Bruins would have beaten the Rangers because they were a "piece of cake, we could ALWAYS beat them." I thought I'd check that out to see if it were true, and in kind of was.

Bruins record vs. the Rangers
1979 - 3-2
1978 - 4-1
1977 - 4-0-1

So in recent years up until 1979, yeah, the Bruins seemed to handle the Rangers rather well. I know the 1979 Rangers were better than years prior but I just don't see the depth on that team to beat Boston. The Bruins wouldn't have squandered the chance to win the Cup after slaying the champion Habs.

I also agree that a Cup gets Rick Middleton in the HHOF. He is that close I think. Conn Smythe or not, the image of Middleton raising the Cup over his head would be remembered. After the Montreal series Ratelle had 13 points and Middleton 12, so the Conn Smythe is between either of them.

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04-22-2017, 05:32 AM
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Rangers had the habs number in the late 70's. habs had some stinkers against them, so imo if the rangers couldn't beat a fatigued habs team they wouldn't beat the bruins, who had the rangers number.

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04-24-2017, 11:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisK97 View Post


(Sidenote- Feel free to also chime in on a hypothetical Rangers/Bruins Cup Final in '74 had the NYR gotten out of the Spectrum with a win in game 7 or that series)
I'm mostly in agreement about 79, Boston was better, but 74 is where it gets interesting, I think they do knock off the Bruins in 74 they have another shot at a team that beat them 2 years prior I think the RANGERS take every advantage they can that year

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04-25-2017, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by reckoning View Post
I honestly think the series would've gone the same way the Mtl/NYR series went. Rangers would win Game 1 over a fatigued team coming off a draining emotional series, but then they'd get overconfident and Boston would take over. Davidson was playing better than Gilbert or Cheevers, but Boston had a clear advantage at everything else.

Rick Middleton probably wins the Conn Smythe, which would likely be enough to put him in the HHOF.

Don Cherry doesn't get fired for at least another year or two. If the Colorado job isn't open then, maybe he ends up coaching the Leafs, delaying his TV career for a few years.
Just curious, why Middleton? I guess his performance against Montreal in game 7, but his linemates had monster games in that one as well and to that point Ratelle had had the better playoff.
Just speculating, but what about Gilbert for the Conn Smythe if the Bruins had won (and he'd played well in the Final)? Bruins turned that series against Montreal around after he'd replaced Cheevers.

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04-25-2017, 01:15 PM
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Moose Head
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Just curious, why Middleton? I guess his performance against Montreal in game 7, but his linemates had monster games in that one as well and to that point Ratelle had had the better playoff.
Just speculating, but what about Gilbert for the Conn Smythe if the Bruins had won (and he'd played well in the Final)? Bruins turned that series against Montreal around after he'd replaced Cheevers.
I'm guessing Cherry goes back to Cheevers in the final. He owned the Rangers. I also get the feeling Cherry never liked Gilbert. Only went with him because of the French Canadian goalie against the Habs thing.

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04-25-2017, 01:54 PM
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Doctor No
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I also get the feeling Cherry never liked Gilbert.
That's my understanding. From the Toronto Star (12/30/1984):

"According to Cherry, "And I used to give it to Gilbert pretty good, too. When we had shooting practice, I'd send all the goofy guys, the ones who fired high shots, up to Gilbert's end of the rink. The same guys, the ones who kept the shots low, went to Cheevers' end of the rink.""

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04-25-2017, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Moose Head View Post
I'm guessing Cherry goes back to Cheevers in the final. He owned the Rangers. I also get the feeling Cherry never liked Gilbert. Only went with him because of the French Canadian goalie against the Habs thing.
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Originally Posted by Doctor No View Post
That's my understanding. From the Toronto Star (12/30/1984):

"According to Cherry, "And I used to give it to Gilbert pretty good, too. When we had shooting practice, I'd send all the goofy guys, the ones who fired high shots, up to Gilbert's end of the rink. The same guys, the ones who kept the shots low, went to Cheevers' end of the rink.""
Yea, that's my understanding as well. Any idea what the beef between Cherry and Gilbert was? I've always thought Gilbert, minus the gm.3 meltdown against Chicago in '75, was a decent enough goaltender.
Don't think Cherry went w/ Gilbert against Montreal because of the French-Canadian thing tho'. I'd say Cheevers .800 Sv% thru the first two games of the series had a lot more to do w/ it.

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