Ultimate Playoffs: Round 2, Series 2

BallHype: hype it up!


’94 Rangers vs. ’09 Penguins


#1 Seed, Eastern Conference
Season record: 52-24-8 (112 points)
Head Coach: Mike Keenan
Playoff Roster:

#2 D Brian Leetch
#4 D Kevin Lowe
#6 D Doug Lister
#9 LW Adam Graves
#10 RW Esa Tikkanen
#11 C Mark Messier (C)
#12 C Ed Olczyk
#13 LW Sergei Nemchinov
#14 C Craig MacTavish
#15 C Mike Hudson
#16 RW Brian Noonan
#17 LW Greg Gilbert
#18 F Mike Hartman
#19 F Nick Kypreos
#21 D Sergei Zubov
#23 D Jeff Beukeboom
#24 D Jay Wells
#25 D Alexander Karpovtsev
#26 RW Joey Kocur
#27 F Alexei Kovalev
#28 RW Steve Larmar
#30 G Glenn Healy
#32 LW Stephane Matteau
#35 G Mike Richter
#36 RW Glenn Anderson

Playoff Stat Leaders:

Mark Messier, 12
Brian Leetch, 11
Adam Graves, 10
Brian Leetch, 23
Mark Messier, 18
Sergei Zubov, 14
Brian Leetch, 34
Mark Messier, 30
Sergei Zubov, 19
Goalie Stats-
Mike Richter (16-7, 2.07 GAA, .921 SV%)

The Road to the Cup:
ECQF- 4-0 over #8 New York Islanders
ECSF- 4-1 over #7 Washington Capitals
ECF- 4-3 over #3 New Jersey Devils
SCF- 4-3 over #7 Vancouver Canucks
Conn Smythe winner: Brian Leetch

Turning point of the playoffs:
Game 6 vs. New Jersey… Facing elimination for the first time in the playoffs, Mark Messier made a prediction… the Rangers’ captain guaranteed a victory. Down 2-0 late in the 2nd, they had to rally to win the game. Not only did the Blueshirts win, but Messier backed it up with a natural hat trick in the 3rd period. That win forced a Game 7, in which the Rangers won 2-1 in double overtime behind Matteu’s winner. Game 6 in the Meadowlands ultimately propelled this team to a Cup victory over the Vancouver Canucks in 7 games.

#4 Seed, Eastern Conference
Season record: 45-28-9 (99 points)
Head Coach: Dan Bylsma
Playoff Roster:

#2 D Hal Gill
#3 D Alex Goligoski
#4 D Rob Scuderi
#7 D Mark Eaton
#9 LW Pascal Dupuis
#11 C Jordan Staal
#13 RW Bill Guerin
#14 LW Chris Kunitz
#15 C Mike Zigomanis
#17 RW Petr Sykora
#24 LW Matt Cooke
#25 C Max Talbot
#26 LW Ruslan Fedotenko
#27 C Craig Adams
#28 RW Eric Godard
#29 G Marc-Andre Fleury
#32 G Mathieu Garon
#43 D Philippe Boucher
#44 D Brooks Orpik
#48 C Tyler Kennedy
#55 D Sergei Gonchar
#58 D Kris Letang
#71 C Evgeni Malkin
#81 RW Miroslav Satan
#87 C Sidney Crosby (C)

Playoff Stat Leaders:

Sidney Crosby, 15
Evgeni Malkin, 14
Max Talbot, 8
Evgeni Malkin, 22
Sidney Crosby, 16
Chris Kunitz, 13
Evgeni Malkin, 36
Sidney Crosby, 31
Bill Guerin, 15
Goalie Stats-
Marc-Andre Fleury (16-8, 2.61 GAA, .908 SV%)

The Road to the Cup:
ECQF- 4-2 over #5 Philadelphia Flyers
ECSF- 4-3 over #2 Washington Capitals
ECF- 4-0 over #6 Carolina Hurricanes
SCF- 4-3 over #2 Detroit Red Wings
Conn Smythe winner: Evgeni Malkin

Turning point of the playoffs:
Game 3 vs. Washington… Down 2-0 in the series, Pittsburgh was basically facing elimination as the game went into overtime tied at 2. The Caps had the Pens’ number through the first 180 minutes of the series until Kris Letang’s slap shot from the point eluded goalie Simeon Varlamov to give the Pens a 3-2 win. That goal left the Pens down 2-1 in the series instead of 3-0. From this point on, they went 7-1 on their way to the finals in near dominating fashion. But it never happens without this goal from Letang!

Both of these teams endured a special run to the Cup, and also won Game 7’s in the finals. Comparing personnel… the Pens’ strength down the middle gives them the edge with the forwards. I like the Pens’ depth on defense, but Brian Leetch’s presence with the Rangers makes that even. And in net, I love Fleury, but Mike Richter was extremely consistent and was a brick wall for the Blueshirts.

The Rangers would have the home-ice advantage in this series, but Pittsburgh was stellar on the road in the playoffs. This would be an outstanding matchup to say the least. Messier & company was a group that Rangers fans will always remember, but I think I’m advancing the Pens in 7 hard-fought games.

Penguins win in 7 games… will face the 2000 Devils in Round 3

About Chris Wassel

Simply I am a hockey writer who is a jack of all trades. Whether it is draft, fantasy, NHL, KHL, AHL, etc...I probably can write about it. The challenge in hockey is to be able to step out of your comfort zone and write like you are still there. Hopefully you enjoy the humor in the writing on the site and tell your friends. Thanks for reading!