FullTilt Flashback: Last time Rangers closed a series in 5 was 2008 against NJ!
The Rangers can close out the Penguins at Madison Square Garden tonight in 5 games. This is basically uncharted territory for this group of Rangers who haven’t closed out a series in less than 6 for a long time.
Matter of fact, the last time the Rangers won a series in less than 6 was in 2007-2008 when they beat the NJ Devils in 5 games. Yes, the same year they signed both Chris Drury and Scott Gomez to monster free agent contracts.
Tom Renney was behind the bench and Jaromir Jagr was his Captain. The Alternates were Brendan Shanahan and Martin Straka. Drury was tied with Jagr for the team lead in goals with 25 and Gomez (thank you for Ryan McDonagh) led the team with 54 assists. Jagr was the main man with 71 total points. This Rangers team also featured future fan favorites Ryan Callahan and Brandon Dubinsky.The Rangers finished 3rd in the Atlantic Division with 42 wins and 97 points.
Good news is this, Henrik Lundqvist was in goal for that series and was just getting his brilliant career going. He had 37 wins that year and a rock solid 2.23 GAA. His backup was MSG Analyst, Stephen Valiquette who posted a stellar 2.19 GAA in 13 appearances.
Also on that team were young defensmen Dan Girardi and Marc Staal meaning that 3 players on the current roster actually experienced closing a series in less than 6. Hopefully they all remember how.
The three most memorable events of that season began with the drafting of Alexei Cherepanov who tragically died on the bench in the KHL not to long after. There was also the confusion of Michael Nylander signing with the Oilers but in fact went to the Capitals, Jagr was never the same again after losing his favorite center. And lastly, the creation of the Sean Avery rule who stood in front of Martin Brodeur on a PP waving his hand in the goalie’s face.
While I don’t expect Tanner Glass to throw his hand in Marc-Andre Fleury‘s face tonight, I do expect them to wrap up this series in 5 games for the first time in 7 years. Also, I don’t think anyone will be called “fatso” either.
*Some info found on Wikipedia