Mark Messier and Ken Daneyko were best friends growing up in Edmonton, Alberta. Although Messier was several years older than him, he always supported his younger skating buddies. continued.
That is, until 1991 when Messier was traded to the Rangers.
“When he came to New York, everything changed,” said three-time Stanley Cup-winning defenseman Daneiko, who spent his entire 20-year career with the Devils. “All friendships were put on hold because too much was at stake. We hated them, they hated us, and our fans didn’t like each other.”
The Rangers-Devils rivalry wasn’t always heated. When one team fell behind, it took time to grow and cool off for the stretch, but it simmered for a long time.
“Those rivalries start in the playoff series,” said Patrick Kane, who won three Stanley Cup championships with Chicago before being traded to the Rangers in February. I know they haven’t met in the playoffs for a while, but it’s still a big rivalry.”
In Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals on May 25, 2012, Adam Henrike won the Devils in overtime, defeating Henrik Lundqvist to end the series. This was also Chris’ last match. A rookie season unique to Crider. He joined the Rangers straight out of his college in Boston and was thrown into the NHL playoffs, where he scored five goals in 18 regular-season games without appearing in a single game.
Three of those goals were against the Devils, but not what Crider recalled when asked about the series.
“I lost,” he said. “That’s what I remember. I mean, it’s a completely different situation. Different teams, different players. Apples and oranges.”
With Crider and new cast members providing the fuel, it begins Tuesday night at Newark’s Prudential Center.
“It will definitely revive the rivalry,” Rangers coach Gerard Gallant said.
The team arenas are approximately 22 kilometers apart and are separated by the Hudson River. Their fans socialize at games, in bars, at work, and sometimes with family. Both fan groups have infiltrated each other’s arenas, and the last time the teams met was in Newark in March, half the building appeared to be wearing Rangers blue.
“If I had to make a decision, there would be a few fewer players here,” said Devils forward Eric Howrah. “But it’s going to be intense for everyone.”
The two have faced each other in the playoffs six times, with the Devils winning two of their last three meetings (2012 and 2006) and the Rangers winning the first three.
“There were Hall of Famers all over the ice,” recalls Daneyko. “He had one of the best playoff series in hockey history.”
It ended with one of the most famous broadcast calls in professional sports when Howie Rose yelled “Mato, Mato, Mato!” On WFAN radio, Stephane Mato’s series-winning goal will forever be added to the lexicon of legendary sporting moments. This meant Stanley defeated his Canucks in Vancouver for the title for the first time since 1940 in the finals of his Cup, erasing decades of pain for the franchise and its fans.
“There was a lot more going into that goal than who made it to the Stanley Cup,” Rose said.
Rose, a 12-year-old Rangers fan since 1966, said to understand the significance of that goal, one had to go back long before the Devils arrived in New Jersey in 1982 (Kansas, Missouri). when relocating from Colorado after starting in City). .). A decade before him, the Islanders were a new team in the New York metropolitan area, and from 1979–80 he won four consecutive Stanley Cups in 1982–83, making the Rangers his fan base. It looks like it was made to torture. Islander fans rubbed their faces with the constant chant of “1940.”
“It infuriated Rangers fans more than anyone could understand today,” Rose said. “That’s the backstory. Now you have another team coming to New Jersey, and the last thing Rangers fans can tolerate is another team coming to this market and trampling the Rangers over and over again.” It was to see
In their first playoff meeting in 1992, the Rangers defeated the Devils in seven games. By 1994, the Devils had a new color scheme and a better team to match the highly talented Rangers.
Coincidentally, the 1994 Rangers had the same 52 wins and 112 points as the Devils this year. And with his 47 wins and 106 points in 1994, the Devils matched the current Rangers’ win total with 107 points. on the playoff field.
“I like them all, but I’m sure they’ll all say the same thing,” said Rangers winger Jimmy Vesey, who played for the Devils last year. I have no friends there.”
In 1994, the Devils won Game 5 at Madison Square Garden, but Messier declared the Rangers would win before Game 6. I backed it up. The Devils led 2–0 with less than two minutes to play in the second period when Messier assisted on Alex Kovalev’s goal. Messier scored his three goals in third of his own.
Commenting on the 1995 Devils Championship, Daneyko said: absolutely. Squeeze your sticks, tighten your heels and let the Rangers take over? Yes. “
In Game 7, the Devils were trailing 1-0 with less than 10 seconds remaining, but Valeri Zelebkin equalized. The team was excruciatingly tense and fought through a scoreless first overtime. Then, in his 4:24 of the second, Mato hustle behind the net and when teammate Esa his Tikkanen comes forward, Martin slips the puck out of his Brodur glove and leaves Rose on his own. Even brought out a frosty kohl.
While watching the replay on the monitor, Rose’s booth partner Sal Messina wondered if it was Tikkanen who scored the historic goal. Rose nodded silently.
“Oh, either be the biggest laughing stock in the history of the NHL, or go into the studio and say, ‘Tikkanen, Tikkanen, Tikkanen!'”
Starting Tuesday, the Rivalry Hall of Fame could see new players joining Mato, Messier, Daneiko, Brodur, Lundqvist and Enrique.
Perhaps it will be Rangers’ Jacob Truba leveling a devastating open ice hit against an unwitting opponent, much like Scott Stevens did with the Devils.Jack Hughes scores a hat-trick with the Devils Either he does, or Kane might do it in his first playoff appearance with the Rangers. Or, like his Matteau in 1994, a name that no one expected could become a new piece of history.
Howrah, howrah, howrah. Or Vesey, Vesey, Vesey.
“I think it’s going to be a classic,” said Daneyko. “I think it’s going to last seven games and it’s going to be epic.”