Sam Rosen’s Stanley Cup Final diary: This run will be a lesson

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Sam Rosen has called Rangers games for 30 years on MSG Network. He is famous for his ” … and this one will last a lifetime!” call of the Rangers’ 1994 Stanley Cup championship.

Rosen, a New City resident, provided diary entries throughout this year’s Stanley Cup Final.

By Sam Rosensam rosen photo

I really wanted one more game at MSG Monday night, because I thought this Rangers team was capable of coming back and surprising a lot of people and maybe doing the near-impossible. But it wasn’t to be.

What a great series. To think back and realize it only went five games, but it seemed like so much more with all the overtimes and the double overtimes and how close the Rangers were, really, to making this an even series or being ahead in the series.

I thought in Game 5 they really showed what they were made of, when they fell behind early — and we’ve seen it with the Kings several times in the playoffs where they get on a roll and they just swarm you. They did it to Anaheim, they did it in Game 2 against Chicago in the Western Conference final, and the Rangers really stood up to them.

After falling behind they had a really good second period. The power play worked perfectly with Ryan McDonagh setting up Chris Kreider … the short-handed goal, Carl Hagelin making a big play, Brian Boyle with a great goal. Suddenly the possibility of the Rangers taking this series back to New York was a reality.

But the questionable penalty call to Mats Zuccarello, the Kings doing what they’ve done throughout the playoffs, coming through with big goals in the third period — this time the goal by Marian Gaborik to tie it. The double overtime was just fantastic, with both teams going for it. Those two overtime periods were thrillers. You couldn’t ask for anything more. Chances on both sides.

I don’t know how long it will stay in my memory, but it is etched in there: that shot of McDonagh on the power play banging off the post. I’m thinking, “Oh, my” — the cliché, “Game of inches.” There it was. The Rangers had 2-on-1s. Boyle had a chance. Rick Nash had a wide-open net and Slava Voynov made a great play to deflect it. Derek Stepan had a wide-open net. Tyler Toffoli hitting the crossbar for L.A. And then finally the rebound on the 3-on-2 chance.

But the Rangers did themselves proud. They showed that they belonged in the Stanley Cup Final. They have nothing to be ashamed of. Yes, they’re down. That’s normal, because we all know that opportunity to win the Cup doesn’t come around that often. The players will be disappointed.

Now comes the real hard part for the Rangers. They have a lot of decisions to make in the offseason. There are restricted free agents (Zuccarello, Derick Brassard, Kreider, John Moore), there are unrestricted free agents (Boyle, Anton Stralman, Dominic Moore, Benoit Pouliot, Raphael Diaz) and a buyout situation (Brad Richards).

We don’t know what the team will look like next season. But we know one thing, and that is that this coaching staff has set a real good tone and began building a solid culture here for the teams that will follow.

The players that went through this together will have learned a valuable lesson: what it takes to reach a Stanley Cup Final, and what it takes to win one. And the players who join the team will learn from them and know that there’s a core here that knows what it takes to win.

That core is led by Henrik Lundqvist, who in my mind has established himself as the best Rangers goaltender ever. We know Mike Richter won a Stanley Cup and Eddie Giacomin is in the Hall of Fame, but Lundqvist has proven to be a great goaltender who is destined to be in the Hall of Fame as well. He’s proven himself to be a clutch performer on the ice and a true leader on the ice.

It makes the future seem very, very solid for the Rangers.

Photo, top, by Getty Images.

Photo of Sam Rosen by Rebecca Taylor/MSG Photos.

 

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94 Comments

  1. First on a Repo. The blog is starting to thin.

    I said here before we knew whom they’d be playing in round 1, “I want to play, in any order, Philly, Pittsburg & Boston in the East and
    San Jose in the SCF.”

    Carp, responded, “feeling ambitious (or confident?) Papa?”

    So, there you have it. it’s documented, I had the Blueshirts going to the finals EVEN IF they played Boston.

    I HAD NO FEAR.

  2. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    October 1, 2013

    I predict the rangers finish second behind pens. Then, in the first rd beat filthy in 7, pens in 7, Habs in 6, and likely face the Kings in the SCF.

    There you have it.

  3. Therrien got 4 year extension… guess the Canadiens like that Pittsburgh bush league crap.

  4. I’ve yet to stop, Diane.

    Boiler, interesting article. In watching some games, it’s like they’re being taken down by snipers.

  5. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Diane – it certainly isn’t getting better with time. I feel worse today than I did Friday. Still, I thin I was much more depressed after game 2. That game hurt after being up 2-0, 3-1, then 4-2 going into the third. I was already anticipating a game 3 at the garden tied 1 all.

  6. Matty"WhyNot!!"Boy on

    E3, Diane….you’ll come around. We were lucky to have been part of this. Good days ahead as long as the cigar chomper makes good decisions.

    What a great few weeks. Who expected this aside from Papa? The kids will learn. A real positive for the organization.

    Only thing is we all now know how important certain role players are and he must find a way to keep a good percentage of them.

  7. Thanks for posting this, Carp! It was sweet to read in Sam’s voice.

    Yeah, the loss was hard. I know others have said it, but I can’t feel anything but pride about this team. And I’m working on feeling optimistic about the future. Gotta keep Zucc, Kreider, Stralman, Moore, and build on what we got going. Learn from this, and we’ll have more to be proud of soon. My two cents.

  8. Maybe Cam’s hand got slammed when he got caught reaching into AV’s gum chest.

  9. “*McIlrath needs to be on the team next year*” ???

    Maybe McIlrath should first show he’s improved his overall game significantly before we give him a roster spot as a top 6 DMAN on a team with SCF aspirations???

    Maybe he can actually earn a spot in camp before we pronounce that he must be on the big league team next year?

  10. This Iraq situation is disgusting…what a terrible circus led by the current administration, embarrassing!

  11. iWicky said:

    “I think with d men they don’t have to be fast like j Moops or mcdonut, they just have to be quick in the hips, and be able to swivel on a dime and change directions.”

    That’s Michael Jackson!

  12. You can pick up a share of MSG for $75 and participate in the Dolan glom. He throws in Radio City MHall, too.

  13. I’m still kind of in shock, taking it all in… making it to the finals, and the loss. It was a spectacular year, I just wish the officiating was better.. Very proud of the boys in blue. I love the new system, it’s a blast to watch as opposed to the block everything mentality and the players seem to enjoy it. Fingers crossed that AH-LANE gets the changes he wants and Ulfie sticks with us. Thank you Carp for the ‘Red Shoe’ Rosen diaries, the Rangers are lucky to have him on their crew, and we’re lucky to have you on ours!

  14. King Eddie Eddie Eddie VI on

    Wicky – remind me, what administration got us into Iraq? I’ll give a hint. It wasn’t the current one.

  15. Eddie
    Sincere mistake on my part with that post, with that being said since no other administration has ever inherited a problem from the previous one, I will take your comment as you approve with and absolutely condone the current administrations handling of Iraq.

  16. Gregm-section403 on

    2 days after the loss, and I’m still bummed out. If I feel this down, I can only imagine how Hank is feeling right now.

  17. King Eddie Eddie Eddie VI on

    If bush doesn’t invade Iraq, we aren’t having this discussion. Do I approve of what’s going on? Hell no. But if you’re going to toss blame around you really ought to start by pointing that neocon finger of yours at the dunce that started the mess.

    Oh – and if Obama wasn’t black, the rangers win the cup

  18. Eddie
    Going to be very point blank here, I’m not a right wing nut job nor do I belong to any political party. I don’t vote party, I vote for the candidate!

    Clearly, you do, which is absolutely your prerogative.

    Do me a favor, don’t insult me by accusing me of being something I’m not, I disagree on several issues with one or both sides of the political spectrum

    This guy sucks though, regardless of his party affiliation

  19. I would suggest he never should have withdrawn all the troops from there until their government was more established and the factions quelled.

    That being said since the administration did such a horrible job with Syria (his watch spin master), it should shock no one that the problems in Iraq are a spillover from Syria mishandling.

  20. ORR, since the Avs filed for arbitration, it seems they will keep O’Reilly. Besides, NYR have no pick to compensate COL with, unless they can send them a 2016 pick. LOL! So still Stastny for me, as we agreed upon yesterday. Cash is the best option for NYR at this point, the cupboards are barren.

  21. I’m not, frankly it offends me you say that. Just because I think he is a terrible president, doesn’t make me a right winger.

    If it does in your eyes then you are one closed minded individual and I truly feel sorry for you.

  22. King Eddie Eddie Eddie VI on

    Wicky – no offense, but I highly doubt that you’ve ever taken a left wing position in your life. Feel sorry for me all you want, but if Bush doesn’t invade Iraq, we aren’t in this mess. For you not to understand that leaves me feeling sorry for you…

  23. King Eddie Eddie Eddie VI on

    Wicky – suppose that government never gets established. We just keep troops there for say, how long, infinity? That country once it was broken will never be repaired. It’s like you dropping a glass on the ground and it shatters into a million pieces. I’m supposed to walk in and what? Glue it all together?

  24. Hockey question……two parts.

    When is the Traverse City prospects tournament?

    And,

    Do we have enough prospects to field a team?

  25. You couldn’t be more wrong about political positions I’ve taken so to speak and we could debate other administrations foreign policy decisions for weeks. The issue is the current administrations handling of issues, and it sucks.

    Every administration has a responsibility to make the right decisions and that includes correct decisions on “difficult” issues that have been left from previous administrations.

    This administration may not have started the conduct there, but it has a responsibility to not only the American people, but in this case the Iraqi as well, to have a proper exit strategy that allows the country of Iraq to establish itself and stand on it’s own when it is ready. Clearly it wasn’t ready.

    Again, the administration didn’t do itself any favors by stepping on its own genitalia in regards to Syria (which is now obviously adversely impacting Iraq)

    I get it that you think this administration is doing fantastic and it has a top shelf foreign policy, I just disagree with you.

    And fwiw, I was also blogging on the only other website I routinely visit sofrep.com which is basically for former and current spec ops.

    Not a political site at all, a military one!

    My post that started this was honestly a mistake on here as I had both windows open, and due to the site having a lot of us military folks on there, foreign policy does tend come up.

  26. King Eddie Eddie Eddie VI on

    Wicky. – feel free to blather on and on regarding what know to true and accurate, I’ll just skip over any post I see from you. Feel free to reciprocate.

  27. Is that the OHalloran of the non-goalie interference call?

    Safe to say, that guy sucks.

  28. Sorry, I forgot to add the, ;)

    It sounds more jovial with the winky face. Which was how I intended it to be.

    I’ll look forward to it!

  29. I really hope they don’t start trying to cater to Nash by taking on Thornton. Let’s not forget that Nash had LOTS of chances in these playoffs, no just shots, but legit SCORING CHANCES that he didn’t bury.

    I don’t want to keep Nash, let alone cater to him by bringing in his playoff choker buddy.

  30. I don’t know about Stastny – Colorado supposedly tried to move him for years and couldn’t.

  31. @rangersreport

    Larry Brooks reporting that Cam Talbot suffered a broken hand in warmups before Game 6 of the ECF.

  32. What a major bummer for all legit hockey fans that game 2 or game 5 didn’t weren’t ref infected and we had another game tonight & Fridays epic happened either at MSG tonight or in LA for game 7!

    Imagine how many borderline hockey would become legitimate hockey nut-jobs like most of us Carpaholics here!

  33. Yes, the buyout will benefit Richards. Ironic, though, that he was involved in negotiating the CBA with the cap-recapture penalty in it.

    Manny, begin? :)

  34. Maybe this system only allows nut-jobs when associated with politics not hockey fans :)

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