So, tonight the New York Rangers face off against the Los Angeles Kings in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final. The Rangers are in the Final for the first time since 1994, when Messier came to town and broke the 54 year hex that the Rangers seemed to be under in regards to that beautiful silver cup.
I remember that spring of 1994 very well. The Rangers beat the Islanders in the first round, which was awfully sweet, as Islander fans had always been the loudest screamers of "1940"(the last time the Rangers had hoisted Lord Stanley's Cup). Then they beat the Capitals. Then they met the Devils in the Eastern Conference Finals, a series in which they fell behind 3 games to 2 with a Game 6 to be played in Jersey. This, of course, led to Messier's Guarantee that they would win Game 6, and return to the Garden for a Game 7. And man, oh man, did Messier ever deliver on that promise.
This led to Game 7, of course. A game that the Rangers were leading 1-0 until the Devils tied it with 7.7 seconds to go. 7.7 seconds. I can tell you this, I, for one, was sure that this was the curse rearing its' ugly head again. All of messier's Game 6 heroics had vanished. As a Rangers fan, I was sure that they were now going to lose this game. Until they didn't:
My favorite memory of that game)besides the game winning goal), was my Dad announcing that he could no longer take this, and taking the dog for a walk between the overtimes. Thankfully, he did return.
I watched most of the Finals that year while driving solo across country. I did miss being able to watch the games with my Dad. When I was a little kid, it seems that the Rangers played every Sunday night, and I remember watching those Sunday night games with my Dad. Now, for all I know, it only happened once, but it certainly stuck with me.
I watched Game 7 of the 1994 Stanley Cup Finals in Denver, Colorado, with my friends Jack Nolan and Jon Rosen (also my then-girlfriend/now-wife's cousin). Jon was working at the bar at the time. The moment the Game ended, I went and called my dad on the pay phone(remember those?) and we celebrated a bit over the phone.
Well, shit...I'm a lot older now than I was then. My Dad passed away in 2007, so if the Rangers can beat the heavily favored Kings and hoist that Cup, I won't be able to call him and talk about it. That's a bummer.
Well, I don't really know what the point of this post is, except that the Rangers are in the Finals, I am ridiculously excited about it, and I miss terribly the man who introduced me to hockey and to loving the New York Rangers.
LET'S GO RANGERS!!!!!