May 27, 2008

1994: NY Rangers End 54 Year Cup Drought

The year is 1994. In one of the most thrilling Stanley Cup finals ever, the New York Rangers narrowly edge out the Vancouver Canucks for the championship title. It is the first Stanley Cup championship for Manhattan in 54 years.

The last time the New York Rangers won the Stanley Cup, there was no such thing as television. But by 1994 everyone was watching to see if the Rangers could end more than 5 decades of futility. Despite victory plans following game 4 of the finals, the Rangers would have to wait until game 7 to see if they could pull it off.

They did, but it certainly was not easy. The Vancouver Canucks, led by Trevor Linden, Pavel Bure and the spectacular goaltending of Kirk McLean, offered dramatic and stressful competition. If it was not for a Nathan Lafayette goal post, perhaps the Ranger fans would still be waiting for a Cup championship.

The Rangers were of course led by Mark Messier and a cast of ex-Edmonton Oilers - Glenn Anderson, Kevin Lowe, Esa Tikkanen, Adam Graves, Jeff Beukeboom and Craig MacTavish. Every bit as important was defensemen Sergei Zubov and Brian Leetch (who won the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP) and sensational goaltender Mike Richter.

The famous "1940!" chants by New York Islanders fans finally came to an end.

With the championship - and with the famous guaranteed victory against the Devils in round 3 - Mark Messier became "The Messiah" in Manhattan. He remains as one of the most important sporting figures in New York City's grand history.


vdkhanna said...

Classic series! Leetch, Messier, Graves, Kovalev and Richter were phenomenal all 4 rounds! Vancouver came oh so close to winning it!

Looking forward to 1995, 2000 and 2003!! *wink*

Unknown said...

Screw You Rangers. I still hate you