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New York Rangers Fan Club

Rangers Time Capsule
by Matt Pennino

Tuesday, August 20 2002


Lester Patrick Dons The Pads

No Rangers book or in this case, a Website would ever be complete without mentioning Lester Patrick’s stint in goal – in the Stanley Cup Finals.

The regular season for the Blueshirts showed a decline from their inaugural season when they finished first in the division. In the 1927-28 season they were just 19-16-9. In the first round of the playoffs, they eliminated the Pittsburgh Pirates in a two-game series outscoring them 6-4.

The 2nd round had them against a strong Bruins team who they also beat in a two-game series outscoring them 5-2. It was on to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time in franchise history.

The Rangers showed greatness in the playoffs but the one opponent they could not defeat was the Barnum and Bailey Circus. Due to the circus being set up at Madison Square Garden, the Rangers were forced to play every game of the finals series against the Montreal Maroons at the Forum.

In the first game the Rangers were flat and lost the opening game 2-0. But the 2nd game would wind up being the turning point of the series and a golden moment in NHL history. Lorne Chabot who provided stellar goaltending throughout the regular season would need to step up even further. It appeared he would do just that as the first period ended scoreless.

It was halfway through the 2nd period and both goalies were in a duel as the score remained even at zeroes. Lorne Chabot was struck in the left eye from a shot by Maroons sniper Nels Stewart. Chabot was unable to continue and taken out on a stretcher. The referee gave Lester 10 minutes to find a replacement goalie. Alex Connell, an All Star goalie for the Ottawa Senators was present but Maroons coach Eddie Gerard balked at the idea of using him. 

“Are you crazy?” Gerard replied. “That guy’s too good.”

Another goalie by the name of Hugh McCormick had a good season in the minors for a London, Ontario team. He was also present, and Lester asked Gerard if he could use him instead. 

“Nah. I don’t want you using him, either.”

Then both Bill Cook and Frank Boucher took Lester aside and said, “Looks like you’re going to have to do this yourself.”

Lester said, “I’m no goalie. Never have been. But I’ll take Chabot’s place if you guys promise to back-check like hell and clear all the rebounds.”

All the Rangers players watched in awe as their coach and general manager put on Chabot’s bulky equipment. However he had a hard time putting on his skates so his teammates suggested that he put on an extra pair of socks.

“And don’t forget your jock! They exclaimed.

Out Lester came with his bulky equipment, big skates….and his jock. The Montreal Forum crowd laughed and then applauded knowing it would take a lot of courage for the old man to do something like this. Lester knew it too. If his team lost this game, they would be down 2-0 in the best of five series, and their Stanley Cup hopes would be out the window. The second period ended scoreless.

The Rangers got a break 30 seconds into the third period when Bill Cook fired a long shot that eluded Maroon’s goalie and future Hall of Famer, Clint Benedict. The Ranger held the lead for most of the period until Nels Steward deked out both defensemen. He faked a shot, and Lester went down. Nels calmly tucked the puck into the open side of the net and ended Lester’s shutout bid with 5:40 to play and tieing the game at one goal apiece. Nobody scored in the final minutes and the game went into overtime.

The Maroons came at Lester hard, firing off three quick shots but he stopped all of them. Clint Benedict was just as good on the other end, making three saves of his own. After the Rangers had tried winning it, Montreal came back with a fury and amassed a good passing play to start an odd-man rush. But stalwart defenseman Ching Johnson stole the puck. He saw clear ice ahead of him and raced forward. Out of the corner of his eye he saw Frank Boucher breaking in. Ching made a clear pass to Boucher who lifted the puck over Benedict. Red light, Game over!

Lester was mobbed by his teammates. Bill Cook noticed beads of sweat dripping down the coach’s face and complimented him on his “acrobatic performance.” The Rangers asked him if he would stage an encore in game three.

“No way boys. It was all I could do to survive tonight."

For the remainder of the series the Rangers received goalie Joe Miller from the rival New York Americans. Miller was a terrible goalie and had a dismal 24-90 record in four NHL seasons. The Americans hoped that by giving the Rangers this “bum” they would not win the cup and they could get some revenge on their heated rival. Boy, were they wrong.

Joe Miller fashioned a 2-1 record with one shutout and a miserly GAA of 1.00. Boucher scored the game winning goal in the fifth and deciding game of the Finals to give the Rangers their first ever cup. Joe Miller was returned to the Americans and struggled mightily. But his performance in the Finals is seldom mentioned when the story is told and retold. All the attention is given to Lester Patrick, whose outstanding accomplishment turned the tide..

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September 29th, 2017

How many rostered players were on the ice for opening night 2016-17

Answer...
  STANDINGS
  Team GP W L OT Pts  
  Lightning 54 39 11 4 82  
  Maple Leafs 53 33 17 3 69  
  Islanders 53 31 16 6 68  
  Canadiens 55 31 18 6 68  
  Bruins 54 29 17 8 66  
  Capitals 54 30 18 6 66  
  Blue Jackets 53 30 20 3 63  
  Penguins 54 28 19 7 63  
  Hurricanes 54 27 21 6 60  
  Sabres 53 26 20 7 59  
  Flyers 54 24 23 7 55  
  Rangers 53 23 22 8 54  
  Panthers 52 22 22 8 52  
  Red Wings 54 21 26 7 49  
  Devils 53 20 25 8 48  
  Senators 54 20 29 5 45  
FULL STANDINGS
  RANDOM RANGER

GERRY CARSON
(1928-1929)
  Born: Oct 10 - 1905  
  Pos: Defense  
  GP: 8  
  G: 0  
  A: 0  
  Pts: 0  
  PIMs: 5  

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