April 22, 2010

1933 Stanley Cup - New York Rangers

The year is 1933. The Toronto Maple Leafs and New York Rangers face-off in a rematch of the 1932 Stanley Cup final.

The two teams remained basically the same. The Leafs had superstars like Busher Jackson, the Big Bomber Charlie Conacher, Gentleman Joe Primeau, King Clancy, Red Horner, Ace Bailey and Baldy Cotton. But they were battle-weary, surviving a lengthy earlier series against Boston which a six overtime game in the clincher

The Rangers loafed through an uninspiring regular season before clobbering Montreal and Detroit en route to the Finals showdown. They had arguably the best line in hockey - Frank Boucher centering brothers Bill Cook and Bun Cook. An area of concern was rookie goalie Andy Aitkenhead, who remains one of the least well known goaltenders to have ever backstopped his team to the Stanley Cup. He was dubbed "The Glasglow Gabber" because he chattered constantly during games, supposedly to calm his nerves.

But it was the Ranger's checker Cecil Dillon (pictured) who stole the show in this playoff. He had goals in his first five playoff games including the winner in the opener of the finals against Toronto, adding another in game 3. He was selected one of the games three stars in a 1-0 overtime winner for his work in holding the Primeau-Conacher-Jackson line to no goals in the final.

Dillon's fine efforts have been all but forgotten. It was Bill Cook who goes down as the Stanley Cup hero, scoring the only goal in a 1-0 overtime win in the clinching game. Although, as defenseman Ching Johnson remembered it, the goal came with a great deal of controversy:

"At the time they had a rule that you couldn't raise your hands above your shoulders. It was a silly rule - it was in effect for only one year. It meant you couldn't raise your hands to protect your face and stop a puck from hitting you. In the overtime of that fourth and final game, I threw up my hands to stop a puck and they put me in the penalty box. We raised hell, but there was nothing we could do about it. Anyway, while I was still in the penalty box, I guess the officials thought they had to return the compliment because they put King Clancy in the penalty box for doing the same thing. That made them shorthanded by two men, and Bill Cook scored to win the game, 1-0. Oh Lord, were those Maple Leafs sore at those officials!"

Cook's goal was the very first Stanley Cup winning goal scored in overtime.

It also proved to be a profitable goal for the Rangers. Coach Lester Patrick promised each of his players $100 if they won the Stanley Cup in game four so that he would not have to worry about a game five.

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