20 years ago to the day, the Rangers won Game 7 in double OT against the Devils to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals. How fitting is it that on May 27, 2014, they can win the Eastern Conference with a victory over the Canadians. There’s a great write up in the Post today about that wild Game 7 and how we should be celebrating more than just the Matteau goal. I was only five years old so it’s hard to remember the specifics of the whole game, but the game had a little of everything.
1994 was a very special year at the Garden and 2014 could be shaping up to be just as memorable. There haven’t been any guarantees but there have been dramatic finishes, compelling off-ice storylines and most importantly signature Garden moments the likes of which Ranger fans have been craving since ’94. Closing the series out tonight gives New York some much needed rest heading into a match up with likely the Kings (but maybe the Blackhawks if they can rally). Either will be a tough opponent but when the Rangers win cups, they do it in tense, nail-biting fashion. I don’t expect 2014 to be any different.
As an aside, what a call by Howie Rose on Matteau’s goal. Like other great calls in sports history, it was not scripted. Just a spur of the moment description of events and the only thing that needed to be said after he scored an unlikely goal from behind the net is “Matteau.” Just like Al Michaels’ “Do you believe in miracles” and Vin Scully’s “29,000 people and a million butterflies,” it is a perfect call for the moment. It would take days to write out and plan such a distinct call and Howie nailed it on the spot. The moment was huge in it’s own right but the goal is even more memorable because of the call and that’s the ultimate compliment for a sportscaster.
Can’t wait for Game 5 tonight. The Rangers are in the driver’s seat to play for the Cup and if I know anything about New York, those Stanley Cup games at The Garden are going to be electric.