May 09, 2008

Messier's Guarantee

May 25, 1994. The New Jersey Devils are leading the conference finals series 3-2 against the New York Rangers.

The Rangers haven’t won Lord Stanley’s Cup since the 1939-40 season.

The Devils have never won the Cup.

Before the game at the Meadowlands Arena, Rangers team captain Mark Messier publicly guarantees they will win Game Six.

“We know we have to win it. We can win it and we are going to win it,” he says confidently.

New Jersey has a 2-0 lead after two periods. Rangers' fans are holding their breath, hoping for the promised win.

It all starts with Messier’s set-up pass for Alexei Kovalev, who buries it.


Kovalev takes possession of the puck and snaps off a pass to Messier. He skates ahead with the puck and beats Devils goalie Martin Brodeur under the left pad.


Messier wins the face-off. Seconds later, he buries a rebound from a hard shot from Kovalev.


Jacques Lemaire, normally a very conservative coach, pulls Brodeur for the extra attacker.

The play is in the Rangers’ zone.

The Devils' John MacLean throws a sloppy pass to the front of the net, where Messier intercepts it and dumps it down the ice straight into the Devils’ empty net.


Messier has delivered the win as promised, and game seven is won at home in front of the Madison Square faithful.

The Rangers go on to defeat Vancouver in seven games, making Messier the first player to captain two different teams to Stanley Cup victories.

- article by Jennifer Conway

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