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A 1994 Cup Run What-If

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Old
03-21-2012, 04:49 AM
  #1
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A 1994 Cup Run What-If

It isn't one of the obvious ones, but something of interest I thought about:

As great as the East Finals with New Jersey was, it almost didn't happen- Boston actually had a 2-0 lead on them before choking it.

Suppose instead of the Devils, it was the Bruins going into MSG for the 1994 conference finals.

Would have been interesting- an all-Original Six showdown, but high potential for no Messier guarantee or Matteau heroics.

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03-21-2012, 04:59 AM
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I'm not sure, but wasn't that the season Neely hit 50g in 49GP? If it was, he also didn't play in the playoffs that season. Also the Bruins goalie was Casey that year, who was having an awfully rough playoff run.

I don't think a Messier guarantee or Matteau heroics would've been necessary. The NYR were far better than both the NJD and BOS that season. Brodeur played out of his mind in that series, and that's what pushed the NYR to the brink. I just don't see Boston doing the same if that's the year Neely missed the playoffs.

The Pens were the team I was worried about that play off run. Mario, Jagr, Mullen, Straka, Francis, Stevens, Naslund… yeeesh. Thankfully Barrasso struggled and they got booted by the Caps.


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03-21-2012, 09:06 AM
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Jersey was a better team than Boston. Much better team. You can play the what if game every year. The Rangers don't blow the Pitt series in 92,the Rangers win the Cup. Messier loved playing in Boston Garden and Chicago Stadium.

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03-21-2012, 09:31 AM
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I wouldn,t say Boston choked rather they ran out of gas. New Jersey was much better and Casey was on fumes. As a Ranger fan it worked out great. 1992 was a disapointment but if the Rangers didn,t win in 1994 it would have been a shock.

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03-21-2012, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by SlingshotVv View Post
I'm not sure, but wasn't that the season Neely hit 50g in 49GP? If it was, he also didn't play in the playoffs that season. Also the Bruins goalie was Casey that year, who was having an awfully rough playoff run.

I don't think a Messier guarantee or Matteau heroics would've been necessary. The NYR were far better than both the NJD and BOS that season. Brodeur played out of his mind in that series, and that's what pushed the NYR to the brink. I just don't see Boston doing the same if that's the year Neely missed the playoffs.

The Pens were the team I was worried about that play off run. Mario, Jagr, Mullen, Straka, Francis, Stevens, Naslund… yeeesh. Thankfully Barrasso struggled and they got booted by the Caps.
I always thought Barrasso was super overrated. I never liked him as a goalie. That team could have won 3-4 cups if they had had a good goalie in net.

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03-21-2012, 11:39 AM
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I don't know what would have happened but maybe Milbury would have come to attend the game with some of his alumni buddies....Rangers score, fans cheer, then they get up and start beating the fans with their shoes.

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03-21-2012, 12:02 PM
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Rangers were far and away THE best team in the league in '94 and it wasn't really even close. Rest of the teams in the east including the Pens,Caps,Devils and Bruins were all pretenders. Bruins maybe could have pushed us to 6 games tops. Devils on other hand, clearly got hot at right time during the playoffs from my recollection and gave us all we could handle.

Still the most suprising thing about that '94 playoff run to the Cup and to this day it vexes me, was how much trouble we actually had with the Devils and how close we came to NOT winning that series. Here it is we destroy the Islanders and Caps in the prelims and alot of us that time, even with the 54 year old curse thought we were going to waltz thru the pesky a$$ Debbies and yet here it is they almost spoiled it for all of us.

As an analogy, and maybe some of my brothers in here who are 40+ years old can identify with this but the Ranger's '94 Cup run reminded me alot of the Mets '86 WS year as both teams were so far and away the best regular season teams, that it wasn't even in realm of possibility that those teams wouldn't win titles yet due "jinxes", "karma"...who the heck knows, when it came to the playoffs, both teams for some reason didn't dominate like they needed to, had to deal with extreme adversity and gave us all heart attacks instead. Obviously divine intervention appeared(Messier,Matteau for Rangers) and (Buckner,Ray Knight..etc for the Mets) and it all worked out for some glorious endings.

So no, no way did I ever think Bruins would have given us too difficult a time that year...not a chance.

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03-21-2012, 12:27 PM
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the best thing about the 94 cup win was that after the first round all the teams that rangers had trouble beating were all eliminated....the pens were gone who in a 7 gme series would of beaten us...montreal was gone...we struggled badly against them...detorit was gone.. they had beaten us soundly in both reg season meetings...after the first round the sea was parted and we had a much easier time...the only reason the finals went to game 7 was because we had played the equivalent of 9 games vs the devils, while the canucks were well rested...then game 1 we got completely robbed by an insane mcclean in goal...the finals should of been a 4 game sweep...we were just too banged up but survived

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03-21-2012, 12:56 PM
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Rangers were far and away THE best team in the league in '94 and it wasn't really even close. Rest of the teams in the east including the Pens,Caps,Devils and Bruins were all pretenders. Bruins maybe could have pushed us to 6 games tops. Devils on other hand, clearly got hot at right time during the playoffs from my recollection and gave us all we could handle.

Still the most suprising thing about that '94 playoff run to the Cup and to this day it vexes me, was how much trouble we actually had with the Devils and how close we came to NOT winning that series. Here it is we destroy the Islanders and Caps in the prelims and alot of us that time, even with the 54 year old curse thought we were going to waltz thru the pesky a$$ Debbies and yet here it is they almost spoiled it for all of us.

As an analogy, and maybe some of my brothers in here who are 40+ years old can identify with this but the Ranger's '94 Cup run reminded me alot of the Mets '86 WS year as both teams were so far and away the best regular season teams, that it wasn't even in realm of possibility that those teams wouldn't win titles yet due "jinxes", "karma"...who the heck knows, when it came to the playoffs, both teams for some reason didn't dominate like they needed to, had to deal with extreme adversity and gave us all heart attacks instead. Obviously divine intervention appeared(Messier,Matteau for Rangers) and (Buckner,Ray Knight..etc for the Mets) and it all worked out for some glorious endings.

So no, no way did I ever think Bruins would have given us too difficult a time that year...not a chance.
I will take this belief to the grave.

The trades that we made at that trade deadline in 1994 made the Rangers an easier team to play against.

We were slower and less talented and it almost cost us that series.

There's nothing that anyone can say that will make me believe different.

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03-21-2012, 01:43 PM
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The Bruins traded Moog after the 93 sweep by Buffalo and replaced him with Casey. Casey led the North Stars run in 1991 but sucked afterwards. Kevin Paul Dupont said he had an "amazing technicolor 5-hole". The first two wins at NJ were as lucky as you get. Don Sweeney scoring on an odd man rush in Game 2? As normal an occurance as Malik going through the legs.

Devils were a powerhouse in 94. They were an elite team and the 2nd best team in hockey, and the hockey in the CF reflected that.

Bruins would have been smoked.

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03-22-2012, 12:01 AM
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Originally Posted by German Way of War View Post
The Bruins traded Moog after the 93 sweep by Buffalo and replaced him with Casey. Casey led the North Stars run in 1991 but sucked afterwards. Kevin Paul Dupont said he had an "amazing technicolor 5-hole". The first two wins at NJ were as lucky as you get. Don Sweeney scoring on an odd man rush in Game 2? As normal an occurance as Malik going through the legs.

Devils were a powerhouse in 94. They were an elite team and the 2nd best team in hockey, and the hockey in the CF reflected that.

Bruins would have been smoked.
Sad part is Rangers went 6-0 against them during the regular season, and won convincingly before the deals were made. They had too much speed and talent for the Devils to contend with.

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03-22-2012, 12:18 AM
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I'm still surprised the Canucks took us to 7 games. I remember the Rangers flat out dominated the first 4 games...it was 3-1 only cuz McLean stood on his head and stole Game 1.

I was only 10 in 1992, I do remember parts of that Pens series. I remember Games 2,3 and 4 well especially Game 4 with Richter allowing that awful Francis goal from way out that really cost us the win. Strangely enough I dont remember anything about Games 5 and 6. Did the team just fall apart after the tough Game 4 loss?

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03-22-2012, 07:16 AM
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I'm still surprised the Canucks took us to 7 games. I remember the Rangers flat out dominated the first 4 games...it was 3-1 only cuz McLean stood on his head and stole Game 1.

I was only 10 in 1992, I do remember parts of that Pens series. I remember Games 2,3 and 4 well especially Game 4 with Richter allowing that awful Francis goal from way out that really cost us the win. Strangely enough I dont remember anything about Games 5 and 6. Did the team just fall apart after the tough Game 4 loss?
game 6 was probably the worst loss I suffered as a ranger fan...laying in a hospital bed listening to 16,000 redneck pen fans chanting 1940 on the tv...thank god they gave me anesthesia and I passed out

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03-22-2012, 12:32 PM
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I will take this belief to the grave.

The trades that we made at that trade deadline in 1994 made the Rangers an easier team to play against.

We were slower and less talented and it almost cost us that series.

There's nothing that anyone can say that will make me believe different.
pld459666 - I agree with you 100 percent. In fact, I know I'll get killed but I wrote this in a previous thread:

I certainly will not complain about 1994. I am a little older so I remember the deadline in 94 and the playoffs. I bought the Ranger DVD with the Devils and Canucks series and part of me was relieved that the Rangers had bigger players for the physical game the Devils and the Canucks played. However, I was thinking about it recently and was wondering if those trades HADN'T occurred, we still may have won the cup. Keep in mind the Conference and Stanley Cup finals were 7 game series with both game 7s decided by a goal.

Now the Rangers dominated the Devils that 93-94 regular season going 6-0. Yet they played us a lot tighter in the playoffs. I think what happened was the trades made the Rangers a slower team. The Rangers were fast but not as fast as they were with Amonte and Gartner. Gartner was the fastest player in the NHL at the time and Amonte wasn't exactly slow. Speed can nullify the trap. We certainly were a slower team with Glenn Anderson, MacTavish, Noonan, and Matteau.

Again, I am not totally convinced myself but sometimes "what ifs" are fun. Maybe the Rangers can beat the Devils in a shorter series, maybe the Rangers lose...Either way, I can't complain.

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03-22-2012, 12:53 PM
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Just to give my $0.02 on several points in this thread, in no particular order, I'm not going to try to quote everyone.

-1994 was the year the Rangers were way more talented than any other team in the league. We sacrificed a lot of speed and talent to get grittier for the playoff run, but I disagree that the trade deadline deals made the Rangers easier to play against. I don't like all the trades we made: losing Tony Amonte stung, and I think it's at best arguable that the Rangers were made better by this trade, despite Matteau's heroics (I think it was a trade for Keenan's sake more than anything); Gartner was one of my favourite players at the time, but Anderson played a big part in shadowing Bure in the finals; MacTavish really helped with defensive-zone draws and, as great a career as Todd Marchant had later, that one was a perfect example of how to tinker with a winning team to improve it immediately.

-1994 was the year the Rangers won the Cup, but it was also the coming-out party for those great Devils teams of the 1990's. Brodeur's emergence, Lemaire showing the league what the future was going to look like, Stevens entering the phase of his career where he really built his reputation, etc. The Devils were way better than the Bruins by that point in the season, and although the Canucks played out of their skins in the Finals, I think the Devils were better than them, too -- though less entertaining.

-The Penguins were a very good team, but it wasn't their year. Barrasso was one of those goalies who could stand on his head at times, but for all the scary talent they had, the Rangers had, in a way, been designed to beat them in the playoffs. I don't think they would have played the Rangers as close as the Devils, either.

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03-22-2012, 09:03 PM
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It isn't one of the obvious ones, but something of interest I thought about:

As great as the East Finals with New Jersey was, it almost didn't happen- Boston actually had a 2-0 lead on them before choking it.

Suppose instead of the Devils, it was the Bruins going into MSG for the 1994 conference finals.

Would have been interesting- an all-Original Six showdown, but high potential for no Messier guarantee or Matteau heroics.
http://www.whatifsports.com/nhl/default.asp#top

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03-22-2012, 09:11 PM
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game 6 was probably the worst loss I suffered as a ranger fan...laying in a hospital bed listening to 16,000 redneck pen fans chanting 1940 on the tv...thank god they gave me anesthesia and I passed out
In a similar situation, I think I would have asked them to kill me.

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03-22-2012, 10:48 PM
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pld459666 - I agree with you 100 percent. In fact, I know I'll get killed but I wrote this in a previous thread:

I certainly will not complain about 1994. I am a little older so I remember the deadline in 94 and the playoffs. I bought the Ranger DVD with the Devils and Canucks series and part of me was relieved that the Rangers had bigger players for the physical game the Devils and the Canucks played. However, I was thinking about it recently and was wondering if those trades HADN'T occurred, we still may have won the cup. Keep in mind the Conference and Stanley Cup finals were 7 game series with both game 7s decided by a goal.

Now the Rangers dominated the Devils that 93-94 regular season going 6-0. Yet they played us a lot tighter in the playoffs. I think what happened was the trades made the Rangers a slower team. The Rangers were fast but not as fast as they were with Amonte and Gartner. Gartner was the fastest player in the NHL at the time and Amonte wasn't exactly slow. Speed can nullify the trap. We certainly were a slower team with Glenn Anderson, MacTavish, Noonan, and Matteau.

Again, I am not totally convinced myself but sometimes "what ifs" are fun. Maybe the Rangers can beat the Devils in a shorter series, maybe the Rangers lose...Either way, I can't complain.
I believe in my heart of hearts that if we DON"T make those trades, we beat the devils in 5 games.

THAT is how good the Rangers were in 93-94

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03-23-2012, 07:00 AM
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I will take this belief to the grave.

The trades that we made at that trade deadline in 1994 made the Rangers an easier team to play against.

We were slower and less talented and it almost cost us that series.

There's nothing that anyone can say that will make me believe different.
I've always said to my Ranger fan friends those trades made it harder for us to win the cup that year, not easier. People assume because we won the cup, that those trades were "good". But the reality is, if we don't make those trades, we probably beat NJ and Vancouver in much less than 7 games.

The trade for Anderson was the worst. I don't care what he did against Vancouver and Bure, the fact is he almost single handedly cost us the cup the first 3 rounds with his horrific play. Meanwhile, Gartner was lighting it up in Toronto.

I wish Gartner had a chance to hold the cup that year with us, he deserved it. If you look at the intros Game 1 against Vancouver you will hear Anderson being booed. He did not have a good post season for us overall.

But alas it made for a lot of drama.

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03-23-2012, 10:43 AM
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I've always said to my Ranger fan friends those trades made it harder for us to win the cup that year, not easier. People assume because we won the cup, that those trades were "good". But the reality is, if we don't make those trades, we probably beat NJ and Vancouver in much less than 7 games.

The trade for Anderson was the worst. I don't care what he did against Vancouver and Bure, the fact is he almost single handedly cost us the cup the first 3 rounds with his horrific play. Meanwhile, Gartner was lighting it up in Toronto.

I wish Gartner had a chance to hold the cup that year with us, he deserved it. If you look at the intros Game 1 against Vancouver you will hear Anderson being booed. He did not have a good post season for us overall.

But alas it made for a lot of drama.
I am ambivalent about that trade (I originally hated it, but I came to recognise Anderson's contribution in the finals), but regardless, I always felt Gartner got screwed. The guy deserved a cup. I used to worry that it would keep him out of the HoF, but thankfully people realised what a great player he was.

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03-23-2012, 08:01 PM
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I am ambivalent about that trade (I originally hated it, but I came to recognise Anderson's contribution in the finals), but regardless, I always felt Gartner got screwed. The guy deserved a cup. I used to worry that it would keep him out of the HoF, but thankfully people realised what a great player he was.
Gartner and Messier had known each other for years. They played in the WHL as teenage teammates. They played in the 1984 and 1987 Canada Cup together. Gartner was the focal point of the Rangers offense for a season and a half, and when Messier showed up (after a few weeks), Gartner went from 1st line winger to 2nd line winger. Messier rarely played with Gartner at even strength the whole 3 years they were together.

Messier knew Gartner was a historical no-show in big games. So did Keenan. Gartner scored 43 playoff goals in 122 games smack in the middle of the most prolific goal-scoring era in NHL history.

Anderson scored big goals in the playoffs his whole career. Backbreaking goals. What's funny is that 1994 was by far his worst performance in the playoffs, but two of his three goals that year were GWG.

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03-25-2012, 02:32 PM
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i often wonder what would have happened if Matteau would have slipped on a banana peel

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