Back in 1994, the New York Rangers found themselves were in a very similar position to where they are today. Down 3-2 in the Eastern Conference Finals against the New Jersey Devils, Mark Messier guaranteed that the Rangers would win Game 6. Sure enough, they did and that New York team ended up winning the Stanley Cup.
So, 18 years later, will these Rangers step up and make a such a statement?
“We haven’t really thought about it,” Brad Richards said.
Oh. Well, why not?
“No disrespect to history, but we’re worried about ourselves,” Richards said. “We want to create our own story and that’s what we’re here to do.”
If there’s one thing the Rangers and Devils can agree on, it’s that the 1994 series doesn’t have a bearing on this one.
“I don’t even think about ’94,” Devils coach Peter DeBoer said. “In ’94 I still had hair. It was that long ago. That plays no part in what we’re doing.”
Rangers coach John Tortorella added that the 1994 series “has nothing to do with how we’re preparing.”
In fact, the series was so long ago that the only player on either team that was around for it is Martin Brodeur. At the time, Brodeur just had 51 regular season games under his belt.
“Nobody knew my name back then,” Brodeur said.
So yeah, times have changed and it appears that no one is stepping up to repeat Messier’s guarantee. We’ll have to wait and see if the outcome is different too.