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1994 Game 6 - Biggest Momentum Turner

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02-17-2006, 01:09 AM
  #1
Ronnie Bass
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1994 Game 6 - Biggest Momentum Turner

Hey Ranger fans, I'm sitting here with a fellow Devils fan and a Ranger fan and they are trying to tell me that the biggest goal in that game that Messier predicated a win was not Kovalev's goal with about three minutes and change left in the 2nd period that made a 2-0 Devils lead that at the time they were dominating a one goal game and put self-doubt into the Devils going into the 3rd period, because I was there and I firmly believe that without Kovalev's late 2nd period goal that the Devils going into the 3rd period up 2-0 would have won that game six and advanced to the Stanley Cup finals.

In fact I have always said that goal was the biggest Ranger goal that season for you guys.

Am I right or not?

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02-17-2006, 01:21 AM
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You're absolutely right!! Kovalev was outstanding in that game and before that goal, NJ had all the momentum in the world as that curse was once again looming large in Rangers' fans minds.

Out of curiosity, what goal does your friend believe to be the difference maker?

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02-17-2006, 01:40 AM
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I was there too and agree

Kovalov sailing in on the right wing cutting towards the middle and unleashing a blast stunned the NJ crowd. Messier's first minute 3rd period goal put the devils on their heals. Its like it was yesterday.

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02-17-2006, 02:08 AM
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I have to agree with you Lou. It got us back in the game. Messier took it from there. If we'd gone into the 3rd 2 goals down---I don't know.

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02-17-2006, 02:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nyranger61494
You're absolutely right!! Kovalev was outstanding in that game and before that goal, NJ had all the momentum in the world as that curse was once again looming large in Rangers' fans minds.

Out of curiosity, what goal does your friend believe to be the difference maker?
One of Messier goals. But in fairness they weren't there and being in person for a moment like that sometimes is the only way to appreciate what had happened.

And the one player who might have been bigger than Kovalev in that game was Richter, the game should have been 5-0 by the time Kovalev scored that fateful goal.

I can't remember any time walking out of a arena, stadium or what have you with such a empty feeling.

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02-17-2006, 02:37 AM
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Originally Posted by eco's bones
I have to agree with you Lou. It got us back in the game. Messier took it from there. If we'd gone into the 3rd 2 goals down---I don't know.
No doubt, the big key to Kovalev's goal was that it happen so closed to the end of the 2nd period and sent the Devils into the locker room instead of having complete control were now in self-doubt, that was a BIG momentum changer, HUGE.

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02-17-2006, 04:27 AM
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Kovalev had 1 goal 2 assist in that game right?
We often critisize Kovalev for his play in New York (at least comparing to what he did in Pittsburgh) but we dont win the cup without Alexei Kovalev, no way.

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02-17-2006, 09:30 AM
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I was there that night. While Mess' guarantee and 4 point performance is rightfully the story there were a lot of great performances that often go overlooked.

1) Mike Richter was brilliant shutting out the Devils for the final two periods.

2) As mentioned, Kovalev might have played the best game he's ever played that game.

3) Doug Lidster was very solid taking Beuk's place next to Leetch.

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02-17-2006, 09:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SingnBluesOnBroadway
I was there that night. While Mess' guarantee and 4 point performance is rightfully the story there were a lot of great performances that often go overlooked.

1) Mike Richter was brilliant shutting out the Devils for the final two periods.
2) As mentioned, Kovalev might have played the best game he's ever played that game.

3) Doug Lidster was very solid taking Beuk's place next to Leetch.
How many two on one's did it seem like the Devils had in the second period and Richter ended up stoning them on?

Richter was absolutely brilliant.

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02-17-2006, 09:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lou is God
How many two on one's did it seem like the Devils had in the second period and Richter ended up stoning them on?

Richter was absolutely brilliant.
Richter was great. The whole series was great. Just tremedous flow to the hockey.

You talk about leaving the building with an empty feeling, from a Ranger fan POV, it was the exact opposite. The end of the first was rough. The Devil fans were going crazy (and rightfully so). At the end of the second, it was very tense. And then when the Rangers tied it up, took the lead, and iced it the entire energy in the building did a 180 in the Rangers favor. Just a fantastic game.

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02-17-2006, 11:40 AM
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I forget, but did Keenan move Alex up to Messier's line during the game or did he start there?

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02-17-2006, 11:45 AM
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Thinking about this game just gives be goosebumps. Ahh. Greatest year. I can't wait for that DVD with all the games of this/Canucks series to be on tape.

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02-17-2006, 11:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klingsor
I forget, but did Keenan move Alex up to Messier's line during the game or did he start there?

I think he started there.

It's hard to remember becasue Keenan shuffled lines so often.

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02-17-2006, 11:50 AM
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klingsor...

Keenan had moved Kovalev up with Mess late in the season - I think it was in a March Philly game (which I had on videotape until I threw out the 1994 season a few months ago (I recorded every game - from preseason to the last game). I seem to think that Kovalev and Mess had played with each other in the playoffs too - although a lineup change (other than Lidster in for Beuk) seemed to have had an impact and my memory's blanking - it was that long ago.

And yes, Kovalev scored a big goal, and one of Mess' goals was a big rebound that left Marty exposed after a big Kovalev shot. Marty always seemed to have trouble with Kovalev.

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02-17-2006, 12:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletch
Keenan had moved Kovalev up with Mess late in the season - I think it was in a March Philly game (which I had on videotape until I threw out the 1994 season a few months ago (I recorded every game - from preseason to the last game). I seem to think that Kovalev and Mess had played with each other in the playoffs too - although a lineup change (other than Lidster in for Beuk) seemed to have had an impact and my memory's blanking - it was that long ago.

And yes, Kovalev scored a big goal, and one of Mess' goals was a big rebound that left Marty exposed after a big Kovalev shot. Marty always seemed to have trouble with Kovalev.

I thought that Mess played mostly with Graves and Anderson during the playoffs. Kovalev I remember playing with Larmer and Matteau.

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02-17-2006, 12:04 PM
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I have always wondered what would have happened to Kovalev's career if Keenan hadn't left. Colie just didn't have the patience required. Would we be talking about raising 27 to the rafters now?

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02-17-2006, 12:05 PM
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Andy was on Mess's right to start game 6, I believe Alex was moved there during the 2nd period.

No one has mentioned that the Kovalev goal wouldve never happend if Graves didn't make the play in the neutral zone that took out two Devil players for the rush up ice.

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02-17-2006, 12:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluenote13
Andy was on Mess's right to start game 6, I believe Alex was moved there during the 2nd period.
That's why I thought I remembered it. I doubt if we would've won if Keenan hadn't made that move.

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02-17-2006, 12:24 PM
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Right about Richter putting in a superhuman performance. Larmer and Kovalev were together for most of the playoffs. Those last two series with the Devils and the Canucks were a rollercoaster ride without a seatbelt. I wasn't always enjoying my 180 degree mood swings. It seemed like we were hanging on for our lives for practically a whole month.

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02-17-2006, 12:35 PM
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Kovalev showed...

that if he was left to do what he does best, he can succeed. The problem with Campbell was, first, he wasn't a good coach. Second, he didn't allow players to play to their individual strengths and wanted them to play a different style of hockey (i.e., Kovalev played a European style, and Campbell wanted western Canadian hockey). Collie just wasn't the right guy for the job, and once Mess couldn't carry the team anymore, it became evident quickly.

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02-17-2006, 01:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletch
that if he was left to do what he does best, he can succeed. The problem with Campbell was, first, he wasn't a good coach. Second, he didn't allow players to play to their individual strengths and wanted them to play a different style of hockey (i.e., Kovalev played a European style, and Campbell wanted western Canadian hockey). Collie just wasn't the right guy for the job, and once Mess couldn't carry the team anymore, it became evident quickly.
I don't think you're being fair to Colin Campbell. He was the only coach to have any real success during the Rangers "buy-em-up" years between '94-'95 and last season.

Kovalev couldn't be left to do what he wants on the Rangers because he was surrounded by other stars who wanted to do what they want. Something about Alexei's game - that he's a puck-hog, that he's so amazingly skilled? - means that he can't be effective unless he is the main factor on his line. The Rangers refused to run the risk of telling him to do it all by himself, which he was essentially allowed to do in Pittsburgh.

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02-17-2006, 01:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nyranger61494
You're absolutely right!! Kovalev was outstanding in that game and before that goal, NJ had all the momentum in the world as that curse was once again looming large in Rangers' fans minds.

Out of curiosity, what goal does your friend believe to be the difference maker?
Yep. And to think Kovalev actually played well in a big game. He just always seemed to waste his talent as a ranger.

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02-17-2006, 01:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by natureboy
Yep. And to think Kovalev actually played well in a big game. He just always seemed to waste his talent as a ranger.
He had an outstanding playoffs. Kovalev was always better in the playoffs as a Ranger.

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02-17-2006, 02:12 PM
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It's not a matter...

of having him do it all himself, it was a matter of playing him on a top line, and playing him more minutes than Johan Lindbom, who often received more minutes than Kovalev. Instead of playing the guy 18+ minutes per night and giving him a lot of responsbility (although PITT played him over 20 and gave him PK duties), Kovalev rountinely sat. Everybody would say for bonehead moves, etc., but when you carry the puck a lot, you're going to turn it over a lot (like Gretzky and Messier). He had zero patience. Kovalev made a comment in regards to his favorite coaches - Constantine and Keenan - both tough coaches, but both let him play his game, and both were rewarded for letting him do that.

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02-17-2006, 02:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletch
of having him do it all himself, it was a matter of playing him on a top line, and playing him more minutes than Johan Lindbom, who often received more minutes than Kovalev. Instead of playing the guy 18+ minutes per night and giving him a lot of responsbility (although PITT played him over 20 and gave him PK duties), Kovalev rountinely sat. Everybody would say for bonehead moves, etc., but when you carry the puck a lot, you're going to turn it over a lot (like Gretzky and Messier). He had zero patience. Kovalev made a comment in regards to his favorite coaches - Constantine and Keenan - both tough coaches, but both let him play his game, and both were rewarded for letting him do that.


Very good post.

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