So it is Canucks-Bruins …

100

… and your New York Rangers were 4-1 against the two teams that will play for the Stanley Cup.

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The Ghost of Cam Neely:

June 6, 1986: Traded to Boston by Vancouver with Vancouver’s 1st round choice (Glen Wesley) in 1987 Entry Draft for Barry Pederson. My God.

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I was kind of hoping for Tampa Bay-Vancouver , which would have been the longest distance between two finalists — about 142 hours by plane. But also because the Lightning had so many good stories and played so hard and valiantly (see Steven Stamkos’ nose) and showed such character in Game 82.

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That said, Boston could scratch off another team from the longest-Cup-drought list. But it will be a tall task to beat the Canuckleheads.

Like many teams from the expansion era, Vancouver has never won the Cup. But of the teams that have won it, here are the longest current droughts (with Chicago having ended its drought last year):

Toronto, 1967.
Boston, 1972.
Philadelphia, 1975.
Islanders, 1983.
Calgary, 1989.
Edmonton, 1990.
Montreal, 1993.
Your New York Rangers, 1994.

Also, you should note … and this will inevitably begin to change, just because it has to … in the post 1967-expansion era, only one team has won a Stanley Cup, torn the whole thing down and won another Cup with all new players. That was the Pittsburgh Penguins.

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Teams still won’t touch the conference trophies. Well, the Rangers did. They didn’t lift it or carry it around, but they touched it. As a matter of fact, 17 years ago last night, a Mr. Matteau touched the trophy. Remember?

Stephane Matteau broke a skate lace or something just before the second OT of Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final began. So he was still in the lockerroom when they put the trophy in the hallway. Matteau came out, had to go around the trophy, and tapped it for luck. You might say it worked.

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I’m going to be busier than a one-legged man in a butt-kicking contest through the second weekend of June. So if anybody wants to volunteer to do a game review during the finals, please let me know at rcarpini@lohud.com. Give me the games you’d prefer to review. Thanks.

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AP photos, above.

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100 Comments

  1. Great game last night and what a finish. I had my doubts at the puck drop. But as time went on, Roloson was just getting peppered. You knew one of those was going in. Gonna be a tough haul to beat the Canucks, but if there was a team to do it, it’s the Bruins. This is going to be a great finals…

  2. Good morning, ‘heads!

    That was a great, hard played, entertainig series. Now, let’s go Vancouver! I’d love to see Manny Malhotra raise the Cup.

    Carp, you’re full of memories…:-)

  3. ilb2001 – You may just get to see that too…not sure if you read this:

    ‘The Canucks didn’t want to encourage unrealistic hopes, they say.

    They didn’t on Friday, either, but for the first time, and though asked in several different ways by reporters, Gillis didn’t rule Malhotra out for the Stanley Cup final, which begins next Wednesday.

    “I don’t know,” he said. “I can’t answer the question.

    “I would say that based on what we first thought about this injury, [recovery] has gone well beyond our expectations. The most optimistic scenario has begun to play itself out, and we just have to be patient enough not to get ahead of ourselves, and put him in any position where he’s at any risk.

    “He’s come through major surgeries, and we were told all the downsides and he hasn’t experienced any of them. It’s remarkable, it’s almost stunning.

    “I think the doctors need to be comfortable that his eye is stable and that absolutely no further damage could ever occur by him participating, playing hockey. Once we get that, we’ll be in a different position.”‘

  4. Thanks, Phil. That’s great news, indeed. I think he played enough regular season games to have his name engraved on SC even if he doesn’t play in the finals.

  5. ilb, I have all these memories, yet I can’t remember where I parked my car or what I’m supposed to be doing right now.

  6. go canucks

    anyone selling the bruins short in this final i think is wrong though. chara/seidenberg will neutralize the sedins. that could leave bergeron line to play against kesler.

    the bruins will be a big undedog but to me they are a live underdog and i wouldnt be surprised if they win.

    now i hope they get killed but something tells me they win in 6 on home ice.

  7. Carp, your car is probably on your driveway, and the reason you “forgot” what you’re supposed to be doing right now is because you promised mrs. Carp to cut your lawn :-)

    Eric, I’d go with Vancouver in 6.

  8. Boom Boom Bathgate on

    If Montreal wins the Cup this coming season, that will mark 19 years between Cup championships for a once dominant franchise. This is wonderful for the sport. May they go another 30 years of so of experiencing drought. I particularly take offense to the territorial draft rule which was in place until the 60’s, which put the best talent in the Montreal and Toronto metropolitan areas, automatically into those teams’ organizations. The Rangers were reduced to population-scattered western Canada as the best alternative for finding talent.

    So when Ranger-haters, like “One Cup in a million years” types, make fun of our past failures, they probably don’t even know the history of how the talent gap was a stacked deck against New York, Boston, and Chicago, with Detroit lucking out by being near Windsor, Ontario for draft rights. Nice comeuppance for Montreal and Toronto that these days they cannot even get close to the Cup. The Rangers, I predict, will win another Cup before any eastern Canada team does.

  9. billybleedsblue on

    wow! Boom Boom, I never knew that! How can you compete with that? I guess the point is, you can’t.

    Rolo made some pretty awesome saves last night, but it wasn’t enough. Oh well. Kudos to Stamkos’ visor, and props to him for coming back out in under 5 minutes. What a tough game!

  10. Boom Boom Bathgate on

    Yes, in the “expansion era” Vancouver has never won the Cup. However, Vancouver HAS won a Stanley Cup, the 1915 Vancouver Millionaires, to be precise. What a GREAT name, especially in the age when being a millionaire actually meant something, besides being over one’s head in debt carrying a two million dollar mortgage on a three million dollar house in 2011, which would have cost about 10K in the time of the Vancouver Millionaires.

    Also, I found a web site out of Winnipeg wherein they cannot get rid of the “Manitoba Moose” AHL franchise and name fast enough, and have a strong movement to revive the NHL team name: Winnipeg Jets. Got to like that.

  11. Boom Boom Bathgate on

    billybleedsblue: What territorial draft rights meant, in the old days, was that the Beliveau’s and the Geoffrion’s automatically went to the strongest team, rather than the league having a reverse draft with the bottom teams drafting ahead of the top teams.

    This is so critical, if I had owned the Rangers, back then, I would have invited the Bruins and the Black Hawks franchises to join the Rangers in founding a rival league. To some extent it is the fault of New York, Boston and Chicago for putting up with this for the two+ decades it was in force. What made the NFL strong was when Commissioner Pete Rozelle not only perpetuated the reverse draft of college players, but also implemented television revenue sharing so that all teams got an equal slice of the television pie. This made the league competitive and strong and is why Green Bay, for example, went from having the worst team in the league in 1958 (1-10-1 record) to winning the NFL championship under Vince Lombardi, just three years later.

    The NHL struggled with weak sister franchises for years because it did not have leadership at the top that looked after the interests of all its member franchises, on an equal basis.

  12. Boom Boom Bathgate on

    Olga, in the previous column you mention that the Rangers will finish 8-9-10 in the conference “Until Sather dies or retires.” Don’t you know that Sather died 10 years ago?

  13. billybleedsblue on

    wow, I guess you can’t blame Montreal and Toronto for trying to preserve what was “theirs” but talk about unfair!

  14. wicky(grating PIBG)© (The proud winner of 3 Latona lunch points!!) on

    morning ILB and all!!

    I went with Nucks in 6, but it seems to be the year of 7 (“SEVEN” as George would say) so you never know. Nucks either way though!!

    carp
    morning one legged man in an assen kicking contest!

    Not sure if you guys saw this, but the owners of this dog really suck!! The dog is awesome and the people suck!!

  15. wicky,

    Thanks for that; I’m a huge animal person and those stories are really incredible. I also said Vancouver in six.

  16. wicky(grating PIBG)© (The proud winner of 3 Latona lunch points!!) on

    latona,
    atta girl and you are welcome.

    How the hell can those people leave that dog at the shelter after it crawled on 2 broken legs to get back home? If they are living in a box, that dog deserves to be with them, assens!!

  17. Exactly! It would be different if the shelter or vet requested to have the dog with them for proper care, but there was no indication of that.

  18. I’m not watching it, wicky…Another dog abused by owner? What else is new? Maybe the owner should adopt a rattlesnake next time.

  19. wicky(grating PIBG)© (The proud winner of 3 Latona lunch points!!) on

    yep, the dog deserves better!

  20. It’s funny, in my line of work I see pretty gruesome stuff happen to people every day. But I can not watch that ASPCA commercial. I switch the channel every time it’s on.

  21. ilb,

    Same here with me. I can’t watch that ASPCA commercial. It breaks my heart. Between the sad faces and Sarah McLachlan, it just doesn’t work. I guess that’s the point of the commercial though; to break your heart, and so it’s highly effective.

  22. Just caught some of Kelly Chase’s preview of the Cup Final on NHL On The Fly.

    It can be summarised as: “Luongo is great, but I’d just take Tim Thomas. Vancouver’s defense, offense and special teams are better. But the intangibles are way more important than any of that, so I’ll pick the Bruins.”

    Clear-thinking, rational analysis like that should earn Mr Chase an NHL GM’s position within mere hours. Or at least a shot at being Chris Drury’s agent.

  23. Afternoon gang.

    People who abuse dogs should be abused themselves, imo. Or sent to spent eternity with The Doctor (not any dr here, but THE Doctor, with the TARDIS).

    Still a toss-up for who I’m rooting for in the finals.

  24. Huh, all those predictions about the end of the world are wrong. The whole universe was supposed to end 6/26/2010.

  25. wicky(grating PIBG)© (The proud winner of 3 Latona lunch points!!) on

    I thought the first game was monday?

  26. JimboWoodside on

    “This is so critical, if I had owned the Rangers, back then, I would have invited the Bruins and the Black Hawks franchises to join the Rangers in founding a rival league. To some extent it is the fault of New York, Boston and Chicago for putting up with this for the two+ decades it was in force.”

    Aha – but the Black Hawk franchise would not have cooperated, because after 1944, the team was owned by members of the *Norris* family, who also owned the Detroit Red Wings!

    Yes, that’s right – two teams of the Original Six had basically the same ownership – and since Detroit had the 50 mile territorial limit that extended into Canada, this is why the Red Wings were such a successful team – the most successful team in the USA before the 1967 Expansion Draft.

    Boston and New York were basically patsies for the Canadian-owned teams – James Norris was a Canadian who also had American citizenship.

  27. boom boom- are they out of their vulcan minds?? wtb?? leafs n scabs got the best talent just because of where they were located on a map??? well, i didnt know that but no wonder the scabs got so many cups

  28. ilbzo- i had fb messaged u like 2 weeks ago bro. not email. i’d like to continue the convo i started and had some otherquestions for you if u get round to it k? thnks bud

  29. imagine if teams like the yotes and thrashers had to scout and draft players strictly from th southern U.S.?? youd see alot o jose mendoza’s and that cowboy kid from mighty ducks 2 on their teams

  30. bull dog line on

    Luongo is not the best player on Vancouver. there skill players are there best players. Sedins, Kessel etc. now Boston, CCCP, is your case. I do not think they have a so called star player, a lot of real good players, but no star. Thomas may be there best player.

  31. Boom Boom Bathgate on

    Good point, Jimbo, as regards the Norris family controlling both Detroit and Chicago. They were subsequently mandated to divest control of one of those franchises, I think they chose to stay with Chicago and sell the Red Wings.

    What I said is that the Rangers, back then, should have invited Chicago and Boston to join them in forming a new league. If Boston had joined the Rangers (leaving Chicago out of it), that would have been enough to get it done, as the new league could have taken in Philly, Ottawa, and a couple other cities, for starters. I don’t know about you, but I don’t like my franchise being a step-child to the Toronto and Montreal franchises for any reason. Apparently the MSG Corporation, in those days, was already Knicks-centered, and not focused, just like today, on the best interests of its National Hockey League division. The Rangers and the pre-war New York Americans were kings of NYC winter sports, (with college basketball also a major force), but then the Americans disbanded when WWll came along, and the NBA was hatched in Fall, 1946, a really bad day for the National Hockey League, and the Rangers, in particular.

  32. Boom Boom Bathgate on

    Actually the MSG Corporation, in the old days, was “Knickerbockers-centered.” New York Knickerbockers, now that name had a really nice, local ring to it. Not sure getting away from it adds any class to the team’s imagine, it just makes it a bit easier for media reporting.

  33. Boom Boom Bathgate on

    You are right, Grabby, and I say Jean Beliveau would have looked good in Ranger blue. Drafting Beliveau, not releasing a young (16) Gordie Howe from a Rangers tryout camp, along with Andy Bathgate, Dean Prentice, Harry Howell, and the Gumper in goal – now that team wins a handful of Stanley Cups! Makes you hate reality, doesn’t it, fantasy is so much more fun.

  34. JimboWoodside on

    Yeah, Boom – the US franchises in the Original Six era were just a few more places for the Canadian teams to travel to in order to beat us – again, Detroit was practically a Canadian team, being owned by the Norris family, who were Canadians after all – and they benefited from being so close to the Canada border that they had the territorial rights to Canadian players in Ontario.

    I read that Boston was founded by Charles Adams, who was a big shot in the grocery business – the company that grew into the Finast Supermarket chain..he was an American, as were the owners of Madison Square Garden…..

  35. JimboWoodside on

    Bottom line is – and I think this is what you were saying in your earlier posts today – for Boston and New York to be “competitive” with the Canadian teams was practically impossible. American teams had no chance to get good players that came from within the 50 mile protected territories of Montreal, Toronto, and Detroit…..

    There’s no secret as to why the Rangers and Bruins were perennially fighting to keep out of last place in the old NHL…..the deck was stacked against them!

  36. Balcony Bob on

    This is a story that was told to me about how the Rangers were able to snatch away Jean Ratelle and Rod Gilbert from Montreal Canadians’ exclusive territorial rights. Whether it is exactly correct, I don’t know, but here it is:

    It seems that Ratelle and Gilbert were playing for a small peewee (or midget?) team near Montreal. The Rangers approached the Canadians and asked for permission to sponsor the team. Montreal, not knowing what was there, agreed. Thus Ratelle and Gilbert were no longer part of the Montreal exclusive rights, and became Rangers property.

    As I said, I don’t know if this is accurate or not, but if true, it had to be a major coup for the Rangers. Can anyone verify this story?

  37. 3C wins random comment of the day, lol.

    No hockey tonight and no baseball, whatever will I do with myself?

  38. If someone with multiple personalities threatens to kill themself, would that be considered a hostage situation?

  39. Awesome news on Manny. I sure hope he gets a chance to play in the Finals. Can you imagine the emotions? Chillng for sure.

  40. Boom Boom Bathgate on

    Balcony Bob,

    Your theory makes sense as it was in 1963, I believe, that territorial drafting rights were eliminated, and Hot Rod and Jean were Rangers property before then. Jean had a spinal fusion surgery, early in his hockey career, it may be that Montreal thought he would not overcome that, and they probably thought Rod was too small. Imagine if Rod had been 6′-3″ – you would then have had a Bobby Hull clone, about half a foot taller.

    By the way, the Saturday night in early 1968 that Rod scored five goals in the Montreal Forum, well, if I were GM, I would have traded him to his hometown Montreal for a couple prospects named Mickey Redmond and Serge Savard. That would have been quite a deal for both teams.

  41. Boom Boom Bathgate on

    Original owner of the “new” MSG, and the new New York Rangers franchise in 1926, was a Texan by the name of Tex Rickard, who liked to sponser big-time boxing matches. The team had no nickname so the press starting calling it “Tex’s Rangers” and it stuck. Glad it did, they would be the New York Empires, as in Empire State, were it not for some sharp newpaper reporter, back then.

  42. JimboWoodside on

    Hey! Sean Avery is in this movie, “The Rocket”…he’s playing some goon who the Rangers got specifically to beat hell out of Richard – I think we all know how this is gonna end…

  43. JimboWoodside on

    Hi, 3CP – yeah, I did a search to learn more – turns out there was real guy on the Rangers named Bob Dill – I had not heard of him before. I’m old, but not *that* old!

    Avery did OK, anyway – it wasn’t exactly a big part.

  44. JimboWoodside on

    I don’t know, Orr – but he’s definitely a player on the Habs – I didn’t see the movie from the very beginning, so maybe I missed it….

  45. JimboWoodside on

    Thanks, 3CP…..from my point of view, I didn’t think that the movie was very good. Of course, I’m not a French-Canadian……but Richard really came off as a “drama-queen” in this portrayal of his life.

  46. JimboWoodside on

    Sad stuff on Boogaard, by the way – thanks for the link….what a waste.

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