New York Rangers Stanley Cup History: 1928, 1933, 1940, and 1994
The New York Rangers are 4-time Stanley Cup Champions. The first 3 came quickly, but the next one was a struggle. Here is the New York Rangers Stanley Cup history:
1928: New York Rangers vs Montreal Maroons
In 1926-1927, the Rangers came out swinging and finished 1st in their division, but ultimately would get knocked out of the playoffs in the semi-finals by the Boston Bruins. The team was legitimately good and had a few good players.
They ran it back with a very similar team the next year, and a jump from 13 to 23 goals from youngster Frank Boucher helped move the team forward. Boucher continued his scoring prowess in the playoffs by netting 7 goals in 9 games, 4 of those being game-winners. Goaltender Lorne Chabot played in only 6 games but had a minuscule 1.31 GAA through the playoffs. The real shocker was when Chabot got hurt, the team’s coach Lester Patrick suited up and backstopped the team to a victory, before they were able to secure permission to use New York Americans goaltender Joe Miller for the rest of the playoffs.
The Rangers lost the opener to the Montreal Maroons, and couldn’t get any pucks past Montreal goaltender Clint Benedict. Game 2 was a different story, as Bill Cook and Frank Boucher both scored, and the Rangers used both Chabot and Patrick in the net to grit their way to a 2-1 victory. The Maroons would win Game 3 by a score of 3-0, with Benedict again shutting the door. Game 4 was a complete turnaround, as the goaltender-on-loan Joe Miller would post a shutout for the Rangers, and Boucher would net the only goal of the game.
It all came down to Game 5, with the Rangers unable to use their own starting goalie, and only have been able to score 3 goals in 4 games on Maroons goaltender Clint Benedict. Boucher put the team on his back and scored 2 goals before Merlyn Phillips tucked one home for the Maroons at the end of the game. The Rangers, in only their 2nd season, had won the Stanley Cup, in large part due to another team’s goalie playing for them.
1933: New York Rangers vs Toronto Maple Leafs
Five years removed from their first-ever Stanley Cup win, the Rangers were hungry for another one. They had lost in the Stanley Cup Final twice in those five years, including the year previous, and were one of the NHL’s best teams. Brothers Bill and Bun Cook were the two leading scorers through the regular season for the Rangers, with the then-grizzled veteran Frank Boucher not far behind.
The year previous, the Rangers had lost to the Toronto Maple Leafs in the Stanley Cup Final, and now it was time to exact some revenge. The Leafs had swept the Rangers in 3 straight games in 1932, so the Rangers had a lot to prove. They brushed past the Montreal Canadiens with a win and a tie (and won on total goals scored), and swept the Detroit Red Wings in the semi-finals. The showdown with the Maple Leafs was set.
The Rangers came out flying in Game 1, going up 4-0 by the end of the 2nd period, and ultimately finishing off the game with a 5-1 victory, putting up 5 goals on their former goaltender Lorne Chabot. The Leafs scored the first goal of Game 2, but it didn’t matter as the Rangers scored three straight to win 3-1. The Leafs stormed back in Game 3, with a 3-2 win on the back of Ken Doraty who scored twice, and the lone goal of Game 2. Bill Cook ended the playoffs with a goal in overtime to secure a 1-0 win in Game 4, and a Stanley Cup for the New York Rangers.
1940: New York Rangers vs Toronto Maple Leafs
It was seven years before the Rangers would win another Stanley Cup, but Rangers fans could feel this one coming. The team finished 2nd in the league, behind only the Boston Bruins, and only by three points. They didn’t have names like Boucher, or the Cook brothers at the helm anymore, but were led by youngsters like Hextall, Colville, and Watson, and had steady veterans like Coulter on defense, and Kerr in the net.
They dusted off the 1st place Boston Bruins 4 games to 2 on the back of 5 points in 6 games by Alex Shibicky and looked to take on their last Stanley Cup opponent: the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The first game didn’t start well for the Rangers at home, with the Leafs scoring 2 goals in the 1st period; but the Rangers stormed back to set the tone with 6 straight goals on Leafs legend Turk Broda, including a hat trick from Bryan Hextall. Game 2 was much closer, and the Leafs held the Rangers to just one goal, beating them 2-1. Game 3 was an even better defensive performance by the Leafs, as Broda pitched a shutout to help the Leafs beat the Rangers 3-0.
It looked like the writing might be on the wall for the Rangers down 2-1, but then they took control of the series. Game 4 went to overtime, and the Rangers evened the series by winning 2-1. In the deciding game of the series, Game 5, the Leafs stormed out to an early 2-0 lead. The Rangers entered the 3rd period, with only 20 minutes to play to win their 3rd Stanley Cup. Colville and Pike each scored one to tie the game and send it to overtime where Bryan Hextall would score to win the game, the series, and the Stanley Cup.
This was the Rangers’ 3rd Stanley Cup in 12 years, but they would need to wait another 54 years to win their next.
1994: New York Rangers vs Vancouver Canucks
By the time the New York Rangers won their next Stanley Cup, the NHL had changed drastically, growing from 6 teams to 26 teams by way of expansion, and a merger with the WHA. The Rangers were considered an “Original Six” team but had seen much younger expansion teams win Stanley Cups while the Rangers’ drought grew and grew.
The 1994 New York Rangers were a team built to win. They were a perfect mix of veterans like Mark Messier and Kevin Lowe, and young stars like Brian Leetch, Sergei Zubov, Alexei Kovalev, and Adam Graves. With Mike Richter between the pipes, and new coach Mike Keenan at the helm, the Rangers looked to rebound from missing the playoffs the year before and fight to end their 54-year drought.
They finished the season 1st in the league and brushed off their long-time rivals the New York Islanders in 4 games to win the first round. The Washington Capitals proved to be more challenging, but only by a little, as the Rangers dispatched the Capitals in 5 games. It took a full 7 games, including a game 6 “guarantee” by captain Mark Messier, to get past their Hudson River rivals the New Jersey Devils, but the Rangers looked like a team ready to take home Lord Stanley’s Cup.
They were up against the Vancouver Canucks in the Final, who had young superstars like Pavel Bure and Trevor Linden, along with goaltender Kirk Maclean who was playing lights-out all playoffs. The Canucks took Game 1 in OT, but the Rangers rattled off three straight, 3-1, 5-1, and 4-2. It seemed as though the Rangers had figured out Canucks goaltender Kirk Maclean. However, the Canucks pushed back hard and won two straight, 6-3, and 4-1. Bure had 4 points across those 2 games, and Geoff Courtnall had 4 goals.
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The Rangers had looked to be in control for part of the series but were on their heels entering Game 7. The young core of the Rangers started things off for the deciding game with Leetch and Graves both scoring goals in the 1st period, and Zubov assisting on both. Canucks captain Trevor Linden scored a shorthanded goal to cut the lead in half, but Rangers captain Mark Messier responded to make it 3-1. Linden would score again to make it 3-2, but it wasn’t enough, as the New York Rangers ended their 54-year drought to win their fourth Stanley Cup.