Game Seven: a Retrospective

c/o Elite Sports NY

There’s a Game Seven tonight, something Rangers fans are very accustomed to and adept at surviving. One of the teams playing tonight for the chance at Lord Stanley’s Cup was in the same exact Game Seven scenario at Madison Square Garden just three years ago; the other team has never made it this far.

Regardless of who you are cheering for (or cheering less against, or rooting against, etc.), a no-stakes, series-deciding game is always exciting. Given the amount of raw talent in this game (hello Alexander Ovechkin, Steven Stamkos, Nicklas Backstrom, Victor Hedman, just to name a few), as a fan of the game, you certainly should find some joy in watching.

Now since this is a Rangers blog, and the Rangers are the Kings of Game Seven (patent pending), let’s take a look back at some of the best Game Seven moments in recent history.

Let’s quickly set the mood…

Welcome back to 2014, AKA the Year of the Game Seven.

2014, First Round against the Flyers

Really, the most important thing that happened in this series was the Daniel Carcillo double deuce at the Philly crowd. Moving on…

2014, Second Round against the Penguins

This series was absolutely amazing for so many reasons. First off, this was the first time the Rangers came back from a 3-1 defecit in their history to win a series. Secondly, off the back of absolute tragedy – the sudden loss of Martin St. Louis’ mother – MSL and the Rangers showed solidarity and resiliency in coming back to win. Can anyone say they weren’t moved during Game 6, Mother’s Day 2014, when MSL scored? No. No you cannot, because then you would be a robot. Long story short, that series was dope – my favorite as an only Decade Old Ranger fan.

2015, Second Round against the Capitals

Picture it: Overtime, Game 7, your stomach is about to fall through your butt. Derek Stepan wins the faceoff to Noted Terrible Defenseman Keith Yandle, who sauces a beautiful pass to Actual Terrible Defenseman Dan Girardi, whose shot rebounds to — who else? — Stepan, who puts it in the back of the net. The giddiest jumping celebration ensues.

1994, Matteau! Matteau! Matteau!

No explanation needed.


As for tonight, settle in and watch. Either you’ll watch a generational talent make it to his first Stanley Cup Final, or you’ll watch a bunch of old Rangers make it. You could make a case for either, and you can make a case for both. No matter which way you lean, it should be a good fight to the end.


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  • All Game 7s are nail bitters for sure.

    But the one that stands out to me is in 1994 against the Devs. Not too long before Matteau ended it, the Devs had a 3 on 1 that they ended up messing up. I watched them coming towards Richter and I thought it was over for the Rangers.

    Phew!! 🙂

  • That 94 team was lights out great!!!!!!!!!! Would be nice if we could replicate that feat again real soon, don’t you think???????

  • More important question: Why was Yandle so late to the celebration against Washington? He was on the ice, had an assist, yet was like guy #15 in that pile.

    • Yandle was late into that celebration pile because AV felt like he needed to talk to him about improving his use of the Vigneault-patented useless pass to his defensive partner while both D men were behind the goal line. Sure, the assist on a series-winning OT goal was nice, but Alain had some real problems with the way Yandle kept making accurate, purposeful passes to set up teammates for normal breakouts from the defensive zone. That’s not the way a Vigneault defenseman is supposed to play the game, after all. Retaining possession of the puck is bad in the Vigneault system, remember?

  • Its over now. These are nothing more than memories. This team has been gutted an is a shell of its former self. We won’t be seeing the playoffs for years, let alone a Game 7. Gorton needs to sell this team and start from scratch. Waive Hank and move on from him onto Shortysyken. At least we get our Springs back.

    • Starting to believe that this persona of yours is some form of weak performance art, as it’s hard to believe anyone can be this misinformed. First off—who cares that you don’t care about these memories? Some people go in for nostalgia, some don’t. I don’t go for it myself but I’d never hold it against anyone who does.

      Onto the factual parts: Gorton is the GM, not the owner. He can’t sell the team. Waiving Lundqvist would be idiotic and a waste of a whole lot of cap space for a long time. And lastly, the future Ranger Tsar’s name is Shestyorkin, it’s really not that hard to spell or to show a little respect to other people’s ethnic heritage.

      • First off, I never said there was anything wrong with nostalgia. Just that this is not the reality of what our team is anymore, and playoff/game 7 are over for the foreseeable future. We won’t be seeing the playoffs or anything close to a game 7 for quite some time.

        Second, “sell this team” is a figure of speech, champ. Not too difficult to figure that one out. Metaphorically, it means trade everyone you can and start from scratch. I’m sure you read a number of articles that used this terminology around the trade deadline. “Selling off the team” would make it much more palatable to waive Hank.

        Third, in no way did I disrespect Igor’s Russian heritage by misspelling his last name on my phone. Take a chill pill bub.

        • Wow, look at how much more articulate you are all of a sudden. What a surprise. Is your little joke still fun?

          • So now commenting from your phone is trolling? Get outta here with that garbage. Dude’s probably never played one second of organized hockey. News flash paisan, this ain’t pond hockey in the backyard.

  • Game 7’s to me are also a sign of not being able to finish a team if you had the lead in the series (lack of killer instinct) so to me it’s not all that impressive, impressive enough but not to hang your hat on.
    Caps should not be in this position and yet they are and it has nothing to do with OV. Should they lose this will be another team that needs to blow it up. This draft is going to be very very interesting.

    • The Caps do not have a history of success. If they can beat Tampa, then all the ghosts will be killed. If they lose, not sure you blow it up, but you make major changes to everyone not named Ovechkin.

    • I see no reason for the Caps to blow their team up should they not beat Tampa Bay … In the first place all I’ve read on this blog is about how great Steve Yzerman is as a GM and how good the Lightning are as a team. Losing a 7 game series to such a team in the conference finals is not a signal to blow things up. To the contrary, this is about as good as the Caps have ever looked in the playoffs during the Ovie era. This team is better built than past teams (for the playoffs at least). Of course changes will need to be made, but it’s going to be more about some additional tweaks — no wrecking balls required.

  • All Rangers fans should be rooting heavily for the Bolts to win this series and the Stanley Cup. Not because there are so many ex Rangers on the team, but because the Rangers get Tampa’s first round pick next year if they win the Cup

    • Agreed. Another 2 picks in 1st round of what should be another good draft class – plus, hope for a Tampa Bay hangover during the 2019 season.?

      • My expectations are pretty low. Not because of his track record, but simply because that’s where AV has left them. I just want to see systems that make sense for the roster at hand, and players deployed according to their skill set. These two very simple things have been a severe problem long enough that I’m just excited at the thought of getting back to Rangers hockey without a constant level of anxiety about what the next bonehead move from the coach will be. Hopefully that will happen.

      • Why?

        I get the Ranger pessimism, I’ve been a fan since1965 and have seen enough of it to say there is a history of failure.

        But by the same token, the Rangers cast off all the Rangers that they believed made them playoff failures. Well looked what happened, Bees out early and TB couldn’t score in a house of ill repute, with all those ex-Rangers on it. Girardi was Girardi and allowed a crucial goal that basically put TB on their heels the rest of the game.

        Then they got rid of their coach who they knew was not the answer, especially with infusing younger players into the line up.

        They got picks and prospects who they believe have talent and a passion for the game that will play well in the locker room.

        Zib, Hayes, Kreider are starting to click going into their primes. Lundqvist is still one of th best regardless of the delusional views of some Ranger fans. Kovy on the way. They will add more players and hopefully a D man.

        They just hired the right kind of coach.

        Nah, I’m very excited, not pessimistic.

  • To me, this is THE defining game in Ovie’s career. I don’t think he’s ever going to get closer to the Finals than he is now. To fail to get there again, will leave a stain on a career that has so much greatness written all over it. Don’t get me wrong, I want that #1 pick next year, so I’ll be rooting for TB. But even though I have NO love for the guy, Ovechkin, IMO, deserves to play for the trophy at least once in his career.

    • Agreed Mickey,

      I want Tampa to go all the way for Tampa’s first next year. But also for the ex-Rangers on that team.

      What’s not to like about Ovie, a true superstar forward who plays like a fourth liner. A Captain that leads by example in ALL aspects of his game. Ever though his team possesses players who bang, when the team needs a lift, or when his building get quiet, HE goes out and delivers a hard clean hit. He’s alway first to join a scrum and not afraid to get his nose dirty. He shows emotion on the ice, and on the bench.

      I agree he deserves his name on the Cup.

      • I developed a severe distaste for the Caps during the playoff run-ins from 2009-2013, and I don’t know as it will ever fade. Plenty of Rangers have been deserving but not gotten their name on the Cup. I want a better pick from TB.

        For these reasons, eff Ovie!

        Biases aside, though…he does play the game the right way, no doubt.

    • I agree, defining moment, but how can you have no love for the man. As a hockey fan, hasn’t it been awesome to watch one of the greatest play in your time? I always said, if I’m building a team?, Ovechkin is my number one pick! The guy is a BEAST!

      I don’t want the Caps to win, I’m not a big fan for obvious reasons, but I wouldn’t mind seeing Ovie lift the Cup. He deserves it, ala Borque.

  • Yes it would be nice to see him get the monkey off his back but we gotta root for TB to win the cup and fall apart again and miss the playoffs like they did last year! That would be the best thing that could happen to the the rangers.

  • First off, Becky, this is a really professional post. Clearly you worked hard to make this happen, and it shows. Bravo!! I loved the videos, and whats better than watching Sid congratulate the Rangers? I submit, “nothing, nothing at all, excepting a Rangers CUP!” Just a really nice job!

    • JT Miller concludes the series against the Caps as a 3rd/4th line washout. Girardi burned fiercely throughout the series and tonight as he’s once again badly exposed on the first pairing. McDonagh suffering equal 3rd-degree burns in a game 7. Hilarious. Looks like Gorton knows what he’s doing after all, gotta know when to walk away from a player.

  • I started off rooting for the Lighting. The old NYR’s, the draft pick, etc, etc. But I did find myself rooting against them more and more as it went on. Idk… the thought of watching them all lift the Cup together in a TB jersey was kind of making me queasy.

  • The fabled lyrical author, Austin Richard Post, once quipped;

    “Won’t take me down in flames
    I don’t even wanna know your name
    Watch how everything is gonna change, yeah

    Now, I don’t even want you anymore, anymore
    It’s over now
    It’s over now, yeah”

    I think his tone in that passage really encapsulates the essence of the front office’s attitude towards the 2017/2018 Rangers’ roster. Post-seasons aren’t worth anything if they don’t end with a cup.

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