Could it be, Chi-town vs. Philly?

109

The way these playoffs have unfolded so far, we’d be foolish to put anybody in the next round based on two games, right?

And, as distasteful as it might be to see that piece of carcillo, plus Hartnell and the Flys’ ninth-string goalie play for the Cup, and as much as we might even be rooting for San Jose, there would be something very cool about having the Blackhawks (and 20-Cent) in the final.

They’ve been there before, obviously, but they haven’t won a Cup since 1961, the longest drought in the NHL. They were in the finals in ’62, ’65, ’71 and ’73 — all as the Black Hawks, before the name was changed to one word.

And they’ve been to one final since ’73.

You know, of course, that the other finals appearance for the Blackhawks had some bearing on the Rangers’ 1994 Stanley Cup, right?

Because that 1991-92 Blackhawks team was coached by Mike Keenan, who would get himself bounced out of Chicago soon after. While in Chicago, Keenan developed an affinity for certain players: Steve Larmer, Stephane Matteau, Greg Gilbert, Brian Noonan and Mike Hudson — all of whom would pied-piper him to New York for the Cup season.

Something else you might recall about that ’92 year. That was Mark Messier’s first season in New York, and Adam Graves’ first. And the Rangers won the Presidents’ Trophy (after a brief strike threatened the end of the season and the playoffs). And it was also the year of the second-round debacle against defending champion Pittsburgh, where Graves broke Mario Lemieux’s hand (and was disgustingly reviled as a thug/hit man by ignorant fans and media members across the continent) and where Mike Richter let in the Ron Francis goal from center ice, etc., and where the skids began to be greased for Roger Neilson’s firing in the middle of the next season.

Anyway, to get back to the ‘Hawks … they won 11 straight playoff games before the final. But they ran into a healed Mario and Jaromir Jagr and Tom Barrasso and Francis (not to mention Kevin Stevens and Ulf Samuelsson), plus Scotty Bowman. After the Rangers had taken a 2-1 lead in that second-round series, the Pens reeled off 11 straight wins themselves, including a sweep of the ‘Hawks in the final.

Today’s trivia: Name Chicago’s two goalies in the ’92 final.

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109 Comments

  1. Ugh, the Francis goal is the worst that I’ve witnessed as a Rangers fan. If that doesn’t go in, Rangers win that series and possibly the Cup a few weeks later.

  2. Gift of GAB-orik (Vinny V) on

    always love the history lessons!!

    I’m sure it’s been discussed already, but Jan Levine over at Hockeybuzz.com wrote last week that the Rangers were negotiating with Zherdev for a possible return.
    I will go on record as saying I would welcome this move. Why? Because you can’t teach talent like his as Jan stated in her article. He’s offensively gifted, a good skater, great hands, oh and he LED THE TEAM in points. Now i know he was moody at times, and lacked on D… but something tells me a year in Siberia might have changed his attitude. Not to mention having Gabby on the team can only help him develop and inspire him.

    BRING BACK NICKY Z!!!

  3. Gabby, forget it. Zherdev’s not coming back. They hated his “compete” level when he was here. So unless all new management and coaches come in, Zherdev’s done here.

  4. Jay Riemenschneider on

    Zherdev? Tortorella would have him riding pine faster then a fat kid on the track team. Total waste of time. I’m not shocked that Hockeybuzz posted something like that though—the site was started by someone who fabricates his “rumors” with a magic 8 ball.

  5. Gift of GAB-orik (Vinny V) on

    Carp,

    I totally agree he wasn’t the most popular kid in town at the end of his run… but doesn’t the good outweigh the bad? How can they indict Z and allow Redden to keep taking the ice?

    I just think it’s worth a second chance. Other lesser talented players had them… why not Z?

  6. Gift of GAB-orik (Vinny V) on

    Jay,

    Yahoo Sports also had an article in reference to Zherdev.

  7. Gabby, I agree with you. The good outweighs the bad with him … as Herb Brooks used to say, you don’t hire Michaelangelo to paint your garage. …

    But I’m telling you what the braintrust think about him. I don’t think Torts would take him back at any price. Remember when Torts didn’t give him a chance in a shootout because he’d played poorly that night, and thus might have cost the Rangers a point?

  8. Jay Riemenschneider on

    Was the Yahoo article in reference to Zherdev or in reference to Zherdev returning to the Rangers? To me, it makes total sense he would want to return to the NHL it makes absolutely no sense that the Rangers would be making an attempt to resign him. That, and I trust anything posted to hockeybuzz about as much as I trust my cat to stay off my bed when I’m not at home.

  9. Jay Riemenschneider on

    I disagree that the good outweighs the bad. I know he wanted too much money but if that were the case I still think he would have had an NHL job last year. 30 goals is nothing to sneeze at. The problem is he might help you win 20-30 games a year but he’s doing nothing to help you win for equally as many. So I call him at 50/50. A player who scores a bit less can have more upside in a lot of area for less of a cap hit IMO.

  10. Gift of GAB-orik (Vinny V) on

    Jay,

    The article was in reference to Zherdev wanting to come back to the NHL, not the Rangers specifically.

    Carp,

    I do remember that game, and yes Torts did bench him for poor play, though i can’t really remember anyone else getting rough treatment (Prucha as the exception).
    That being said, I also recall that Jagr often didn’t participate in shootouts, which was just mind boggling.

    I know it’s highly unlikely he will be back, though I am curious to see what he could have done with Gaborik. That might have been what he needed to keep his compete level high, and strive for success. He always played hard competing against Malkin, or Ovechkin… it’s a shame he couldn’t just bring it every night.

  11. Blue Seat Horror on

    I also don’t think that Zherdev will not be wearing a Ranger uniform next year. However, if we need a pine riding Russian I’d take Zherdev over Lisin. He would chip in better when he was allowed to play. So long as he still didn’t think he was worth $4mil in the NHL.

    And yes, I know Zherdev is Ukranian, but pine riding Russian rolls off the tongue so nicely.

  12. Gift of GAB-orik (Vinny V) on

    Jay… i don’t think his contract demands were that far fetched. Look what Antropov got in Atlanta. He wasn’t exactly a model player either… had the same bad rep in Toronto that Zherdev had.

    That being said… the Rangers let him walk over approx. $700,000. In today’s NHL, that’s hardly a staggering figure.

    SEAN AVERY got a second chance on the Rangers, and his rep was horrible. (BTW i’m a HUGE Avery fan so don’t take it as me badmouthing him.) granted Dallas is also paying half his salary.

  13. If i recall correctly Z was offered an extension by the Rangers and decided to test the free market. He then realized that there weren’t too many takers and his agent came back too Slats with the intention to accept the original offer. The team said: “Nyet, spasibo”. There isn’t too much available on the market in terms of goal scorers, not at the price they ask. So perhaps Torts will have to swallow this one.

  14. Gift of GAB-orik (Vinny V) on

    ilb,

    When Z tested the market, he was seeking a bit more than other teams wanted to pay. I think Antropov’s contract brought him back down to earth. But what the Rangers offered and what the arbitrator awarded were not far apart. And considering they’ve had a revolving door of players who are prucha’d on any given night… there are worse options.

  15. to be accurate, the Rangers offered him just enough to retain his rights … so that if he signed with another team they’d get compensation. They knew he wouldn’t accept that number or they never would have offered it.

    But, given all the Higgins, Kotaliks, Lisins, Jokinens and even Christensens and Parenteaus they relied on last season, I’d take Zherdev. They won’t.

  16. Gift of GAB-orik (Vinny V) on

    I’m with you Carp. It’s that optimistic/stubborn fandom part of me that wants to see a return. Well, that and i wouldn’t mind dusting off the Zherdev jersey in my closet.

  17. Blue Seat Horror on

    Right you are, Blogmama.

    What if the Rangers had retained Zherdev. History will be made.

  18. The bottom line is, there isn’t too much talent available on the free market of Bettman’s NHL. You can only squeeze so many goals from Callahan and Dubinsky. Besides, players attitude changes with time and with coaching (see Vincent). I think he deserves a second chance for the right price.

  19. Torts made Zherdev ride the pine after he took over for Renney and I got a feeling a coach who takes first impressions so seriously like John Tortorella does, wants no part of Zherdev.

    Gabba Gabba Hey !

    Marian Gaborik Ranger Hi-Lite Reel w/commentary

    http://www.rangercrisis.com

  20. Gift of GAB-orik (Vinny V) on

    Kevin,

    What good will the revolving door that the Rangers had last season do? They’ve had a cast of players who combined had maybe 40 goals. And that’s including about 7 players.
    Nobody ever got ahead in life by playing it safe. All you can hope for, is that he learned a lesson by having to play in the KHL. Maybe he grew up a little bit. Maybe he’ll respond to the adversity he caused… and maybe not.

    But i’d rather have Z on the roster that about 6 or 7 guys on the Rangers last season.

  21. Gift of GAB-orik (Vinny V) on

    Can’t hurt to have Zherdev sit with Torts and lay it on the table. Torts can tell him exactly what he didn’t like, and what he expects. Z needs to look the man in the eye and tell him he wants to be a Ranger. If he can’t do it… than he doesn’t deserve to put on the jersey.

  22. Carp

    i’ve got point a couple things in regards to the Graves/lemieux incident because it touches a nerve with me.

    first off, it was his wrist not hand in part because mario took out the protective padding on his glove in order for it to be more comfortable.
    yes, it was disgusting how Graves was viewed as a thug by
    know-nothing (bandwagon) fans.

    i have it on tape from an espn post-game interview with Kevin Stevens — basically said that that type of slash happens tons of times during the season but Graves just happened to hit mario just right.

    finally,
    i’ve always been skeptical about the seriousness of the injury. yes, i know it was the Stanley Cup playoffs but mario came back in the next round against boston, maybe even earlier during our series. if it was this horribly broken wrist as portrayed he would have had major problems holding on to the puck, passing and shooting. but it didn’t look as if there was any discomfort…at all.
    (and yes, i know they can “freeze” areas of the body)

  23. jpg, I agree on all counts. But it was portrayed as Neilson sending out Graves to break Mario’s wrist. What gets lost, even if there could have been a shred of reasoning in that, is that the Rangers were down 1-0 in games, down (I believe 1-0) in Game 2 and already killing a penalty. So why would they put the defending champs on a 5-on-3 and maybe have to go back to Pitt down 2-0 in the series? It made no sense.

    Then the people in Pittsburgh, including Mario’s agent and the idiot columnists who made remarks about Graves and Neilson living in the sewer, were truly disgusting. And I was with Adam through a lot of that. Nobody was ever more sorry than he was then, even though he knew in his heart he had no intention of hurting Mario.

    Also, the Rangers won the game in which Mario was hurt, and then won Game 3 without the suspended Graves. They should have won the series.

  24. One more thing about that game: Messier sat out Game 2 with a back or rib injury suffered against Claude Lemieux and the Devils the previous series. So they were down a game, down in the game, missing their best player, and killing a penalty when Graves injured Lemieux. Yeah, makes a lot of sense.

  25. billybleedsblue on

    I remember Graves being villanized for that slash on Mary-O…his wrist probably would have been protected had he worn the proper gloves. I seem to recall Mary-O liking really short gloves. Mary-O whined to the NHL that Roger Neilson and Graves were out to get him with that play, and the worst part was that Graves got suspended. What a joke.

    When that play was shown on the news and whatnot, it was always shown in super-slow motion. Anything looks about 10 times worse in slow-motion. WTG NHL. And WTG Super Mary-O.

  26. People always remember Ron Francis in Game 4 of that series, but forget that we had a 2-goal lead in that game – twice – and lost 5-4 in overtime. That’s the real killer, if you ask me.

  27. Tom Foolery on

    I always thought that the strike or lockout or whatever it was helped to cost the Rangers the cup that year. They were never the same once play resumed. They played lousy in what was left of the regular season, struggled to beat the Devils in 7 (before the Devils became the Devils) and we all know how heartbreaking the Pittsburgh series was. Damn, I loved that 91-92 team. They deserved the cup instead of Pitt and those bandwagon idiots. That is where my hate of the Penguins began.

  28. I hear you Vinny V. I’m not necessarily against bringing Z back, but I’m concerned about Torts messing with his head. Not sure I can see Torts having a pow wow with him.

  29. Gift of GAB-orik (Vinny V) on

    Kevin,

    yea probably no pow-wow in their futures… but i’m sure it would go a long way if it happened. Torts was hard on Vinny L. in Tampa, and got gold out of him…. the player also needs the desire and fortitude to take that step. Nicky Z didn’t have it then… maybe he does now.

  30. Tom Foolery on

    Another thing I remember about the 92 playoffs and correct me if I’m wrong Carp. I recall hearing that because the strike made the playoffs start later than scheduled, if the Rangers made the finals they would not be able to play at MSG because the Garden was hosting the Democratic convention that summer. There was talk that the Rangers would have to play finals home games at the Colosseum or Meadowlands. How crazy would that have been.

  31. I recall there was talk about that. I don’t know if that was definite, though. The convention was in mid-July. The Cup finals would have been late because of the strike.

  32. “Adam Z. May 19th, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    If the Flyers win the Cup, Olli Jokinen should get a ring.”

    If they win the Cup, he should get a Guillotine.

  33. TheREALMikeyNJ on

    Carp

    Do you or did you get the impression from Torts, or anyone in the organization prior to or just after the season ending that Redden and Rosi are not 100% on the starting line-up next season?

    I mean we as fans all joke about it, but Rosi is tradeable,and Redden is demotable.

    Do you think in your opinion Redden starts the year here or does Sather work his magic and get rid of one or both of them in the offseason? (And Again I know only way Redden goes is by demotion to HArtford)

  34. If I’m not mistaken, they can’t dump Redden until the preseason. So they won’t have enough cap space to do anything major this summer, I don’t think.

    I think Tortorella wouldn’t mind keeping Rozsival, who improved late in the year … but you’re right, he might be moveable. Though I think the time to move him was at the trade deadline. It’ll be harder to do in the summer.

  35. Carp, you are right. Assuming an optimistic figure of $58 mil cap next year, the Rangers can only be at $63.8 mil (10% above the cap) during the summer. Players can only be send (and their respective cap hit) down to AHL after the conclusion of training camp.

  36. TheREALMikeyNJ on

    Carp

    I shoudl have worded my question better.

    I agree with what you wrote, pre-season, cap space, etc.

    But did you get any kind of feeling the the organization has already given up on Redden at this point?

    Is it just a forgone conclusion that once pre-season begins and cap space is made, he’s being demoted?

  37. Rozsival has actually looked decent in the Worlds also. Top d-man as far as minutes and had the primary assist in game winner vs. Canada the other day. Might not be the worst thing to keep him around.

  38. Leslie Treff of Hockey’s Future will be joining us on Blueshirt Banter Radio tonight to discuss what goes on at the NHL combine and who she thinks are the top prospects now and possibly who the Rangers may target in the upcoming draft.

    All the necessitates to listen can be found here

    Tonight At 8 PM

    http://www.rangercrisis.com

  39. If the Rangers do sign a player in the $5m+ range you can bet your ass Redden will be looking for houses in Conneticut or checking the CBA this summer.
    According to nhlnumbers.com we are at about $46m without any RFA or UFA resigning as yet. But we still have to get Staal, Prust and possibly Shelley, Girardi, Christensen, Weise and Prospal under that too and that would be about $55-56m i reckon for that lot. Add in a backup goalie for $1m or less.

    I’d say if any movement happens its going to be via trade or waivers (Redden) but i think i read the same as Carp that Dreaden can’t be officially sent down until the training camp opens.

  40. Mouth – i’d be interested in her opinion on what the Rangers could get if they could trade their way up to 5th or 6th. If anything we need a C/LW who can keep up with Gabby – is there such a player in the top half dozen picks that we can jump up to grab?

  41. Hello all, it has been a while, but I wanted to drop in and say hello and see how you are all doing. I have been enjoying the playoffs.

    I am going to the Pearl Jam concerts at the Garden tomorrow night and Friday night. I am going to do my best to stop by Warren after the show. If I drive in, which is looking more and more possible, then I will definitely be stopping by. If I take the train, well, then I am not so sure.

    Who else is going to be there? Carp are you coming this time?

  42. Nasty, I was just asking after you! We have quite a crowd showing up. Jealous about the concerts, but definitely come by after.

  43. UKRanger

    Thanks man! I remember some time ago you were talking about that breed and i looked it up and really liked what i read about these dogs! Awesome breed!

  44. I am here. I have been real busy at work, and the IT department sent a memo saying something about monitoring online activity during work hours, so I have been laying low, but I have been popping on during the day to read and catch up. I don’t think the IT department is really doing much of anything, and that it was a few select people that they were trying to single out and scare, but said it to everyone, but either way, better to be safe than sorry. I am going to have to talk to TR and see if there is a way to beat the system here, LOL.

  45. Nasty 1

    you talking Pearl Jam or party
    because i’m going to be at MSG on thursday
    (section 334)
    and Warren77 on friday

  46. my thoughts on 1991-92….the original schedule had the rangers playing only three games in the last eight or 10 days(something like that),but the strike causd them to play three games in four days….also,it sucked that ,as president’s trophy winners, our “reward” was to play the devils,a not yet power,but bitter local rival,and then to play the defending stanley cups champ penguins..but no matter,they blew it…it’s still,despite 1994,my most disappointing loss as a sports fan(i’m 57)…it still pisses me off…those penguins fans chanting 1940…i was hoping the whole town would burn down or the other 50% of pittsburgh would be unemployed too….but,like the bumper sticker says…carcillo happens

  47. JPG, I am going to both shows, Thursday and Friday night. I hope to go to Warren after the Friday night show.

  48. ZzZz NYR ZzZz " Rangers will be back!!! " … says Greg L. on

    New York New York , welcome Linda!!!

  49. ZzZz NYR ZzZz " Rangers will be back!!! " … says Greg L. on

    Carp ’92 ….ahhh what a time. Thats when I came aboard . I have fond memories of that year and it was the year I embraced NYC. Tom , I also thought that the strike ruined our drive the following year and NJ won instead of our team. Pittsburgh with Mario and Jagr was a handfull!!! Those losses drove me batty and Ive NEVER been so behind my team untill those times.

  50. ZzZz NYR ZzZz " Rangers will be back!!! " … says Greg L. on

    Zherdev ahhhh could it be?

  51. ZzZz NYR ZzZz " Rangers will be back!!! " … says Greg L. on

    Ilb,
    Zherdev had his ego put in Check. He found out that his disappearence in the playoff didnt sit too well with other takers. Zherdev can pass very well. He is creative and speedy. He has alot to prove if he ever comes back to the Rangers or the NHL for that matter. I like his pure talent. Hes a top pick and if we have him with Gaborik….wow ,maybe when Gaborik isnt scoring Zherdev will and visa vera.Both are RWers so someone will have to move over. Now the problem is Torts. He ruined Z when he came over and its really hard to see those two together…BUT Sean Avery is a great example..Torts hated him too ( ruined him too kinda)
    SO , I want Z back but not if Torts is gonna pick on him . Its a really tough call.

  52. ZzZz NYR ZzZz " Rangers will be back!!! " … says Greg L. on

    Ilb,Oli should get a gillotine haha if the Flyers win. Really funny ’bout the ring Adam Z.

  53. wicky (Positionally sound=soft in NHL speak!!) on

    didnt he play really well in games vs OV and kovi?

  54. Hey, have you seen the Gogol Bordello live DVD? My friend just told me her mom recognized my nose in the front row. Oy vey…

  55. I’m only up now cause my Vegas friend called me (pay attention to the time zones!)

    Sally, drive safe!

    Oh my Greg, you really are a puppy, eh, not a grown dog :) started in 92??? Tony, get yer golf cart out, and save me a seat….:)

    CCCP, you’ll regret being so close and not showing :)

    TA! and let’s go HAWKS!!

  56. Mama, I will! To quote Best In Show, “If you get tired… pull over! If you get hungry… eat something!”

  57. Yeah, when they played at Irving Plaza in 2007. It was the same night the last Harry Potter book came out, and I remember walking out into Union Square at 1:00am and everyone was dressed like witches and wizards. It was awesome!

  58. Good morning, boneheads!

    Wake up, it’s a game day. We don’t have too many left this year.

  59. Re: Zherdev

    The Rangers need to have another scorer besides Gabby and they don’t have a lot of cap room to do it with. So, they can’t pick up a $10 million a year player like Kovalchuk. Zherdev would fill the bill even with his uneven play and lack of defense. Either that or they have to resort to importing smurfs from Sweden.

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