For most of the players in this year’s Eastern Conference finals, Mark Messier guaranteeing a Game 6 victory in 1994 is the stuff of hockey lore.
For Martin Brodeur, it’s just another game he played in.
That was the message today as Brodeur fielded questions about the most famous moment in the Hudson River Rivalry… and downplayed it entirely.
“I don’t know when he did it,” Brodeur explained. “I think it was in the morning skate or something. I could have been the night before but again, I don’t recall it having an effect on us at all.
“I think at the end of the game everybody made a big deal out of that. If he really said it, it’s a pretty gutsy thing to do.”
Messier certainly did say it.
Here’s the May 25, 1994 archive of the New York Daily News:
“We’re going to go in and win Game 6,” Messier said. “That was the focus this morning and it’s the way we feel right now. We’ve done that all year, we’ve won all the games we’ve had to win.
“I know we’re going to go in and win Game 6 and bring it back here (to the Garden) for Game 7 … We have enough talent and experience to turn the tide. That’s exactly what we’re going to do in Game 6.”
As for effect? While Brodeur and the Devils might not have felt it, it’s hard to argue there wasn’t one.
Messier had just one goal through the first five games of the series, limited by “injury, fatigue and a stifling Devil system,” according to the Daily News.
But after making his guarantee, he did this:
Of course, Messier’s guarantee happened a long time ago — and Brodeur isn’t the only Devil disregarding it.
“That’s 15, 20 years ago,” Devils captain Zach Parise told the New York Post. “I don’t care.”