… and your New York Rangers were 4-1 against the two teams that will play for the Stanley Cup.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Give me the games you’d prefer to review. Thanks.
AP photos, above.