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Twenty years ago the Rangers got a chance to bury their 1940 chants. In 1994 the New York Rangers for the first time in fifty four years had won the Stanley Cup, beating the Vancouver Canucks in seven games. The Rangers haven’t gotten a sniff at the title since then. There are no ’94 chants yet, and now the Rangers have a chance to bury them before they get started. There are two possible foes for the Rangers in the Finals, the Los Angeles Kings and the Chicago Blackhawks.
The Chicago Blackhawks look like the easier series. The Blackhawks are down to the Kings 3-2 in the Western Conference Finals and could possibly be done with their season as soon as tonight should they lose game six. If they manage to win the next two games, the Rangers will be more rested going into the finals then the Blackhawks. Henrik Lundquist the Rangers goalie has 2.03 GAA average this postseason while the Blackhawks, Corey Crawford has a 2.38 GAA he also has a save percentage of .917 to Lundquist’s .928. The goalies are pretty much evenly matched, the Rangers have an intangible going for them as they outlasted Philadelphia, stunned Pittsburgh, and then knocked off Montreal, that the Blackhawks don’t seem to have going for them at the moment. It won’t be an easy series by any stretch but I think that the intangible against the Blackhawks gives the Rangers the edge. Rangers 4 Blackhawks 3
The Kings have had almost as rough a postseason as the Rangers if not rougher. In the opening round they had to comeback from a 3 game deficit against San Jose who they knocked off in seven games. Then they went down 3-2 to the Ducks and won again. Now they hold a 3-2 advantage on the Blackhawks and a win tonight would give them that extra day off before the Finals begin. Quick has a 2.78 GAA and .909 saves average Lundquist and Quick are evenly matched despite Lundquist’s better numbers this offseason. They also have that intangible that the Rangers seem to have this postseason and in some ways their intangible is greater then the Rangers intangible, because of the greater odds they needed to overcome. Kings 4 Rangers 2
As a fan I’m in a quandary, with the Rangers in the cup, I want to see the hometown Rangers take home the cup, Here is the thing in a Blackhawks vs Rangers series, I’d be rooting for the Blackhawks, and I don’t see the Rangers as having a chance against the Kings even though I’ll be rooting for them in a Kings vs Rangers series.