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New York Rangers Fan Club

Rangers Time Capsule
by Matt Pennino

Thursday, January 2 2003


A Franchis Is Born

The New York Rangers played their first game in franchise history on November 16th, 1926 at Madison Square Garden against the defending Stanley Cup champions, the Montreal Maroons. Obviously this newly built Rangers team was the underdog as they came out to raucous cheers from the crowd.

New York City mayor Jimmy Walker was scheduled to drop the puck for a ceremonial face-off, but as usual, was late arriving. However, there was a replacement. Lois Moran, a popular movie star at the time, was introduced to the Madison Square Garden crowd. Most of the men, accustomed to going to Broadway shows, were attired in tuxedoes. The women wore evening gowns along with their finest jewelry. They applauded as Ms. Moran came onto the ice, waving with one hand, and holding the puck in the other. She dropped the puck carefully between Maroons' star Nels Stewart and Frank Boucher of the Rangers. Boucher was only the fourth player on this Rangers team that had played professionally...everyone else was a first year pro.

Referee Lou Marsh came in to retrieve the ceremonial puck and dropped it a second time. The game was underway and the Rangers were now a part of the National Hockey League. The Rangers immediately went offside and the clang of the referee's school bell arose some humor from the crowd.

"Look, he's using a cowbell! Someone exclaimed. "That's a riot!"

At that time, cowbells were briefly used by the NHL until replaced by whistles after several months.

Frank Boucher later stated that the game was "as rough as any ever played." Blood poured onto the ice from cuts of high sticks. At one point, the referee lost control of the game with all the crosschecking, slashing, hooking and holding. It wasn't too long after all this that the first fight in Rangers history occurred. Of all people it was Frank Boucher. The same Frank Boucher who won seven Lady Byng trophies in eight years. He went toe-to-toe with Montreal tough guy Bill Phillips. Phillips knocked Boucher flat with one punch but Boucher bounced back up and flattened Phillips.

There was only one goal scored in the game and it came late in the second period off the stick of Bill Cook, who would win the scoring title that season. Maroons goalie Clint Benedict tried stretching across the crease to make the save but Cook poked it in to give the Rangers the 1-0 lead. Not only did Benedict give up the goal, but also he slammed his head against the post in attempting the save and was knocked unconscious for several minutes. The game was delayed until he could resume playing.

As the game wore on, the ice was in terrible condition when the third period started. There were no Zambonis in those days, instead workmen simply used heavy-duty scrapers to remove the slush that accumulated.

The Rangers withstood every Maroon attack and came out of the game bruised and battered…. but victorious. They received a standing ovation as they skated off. Many of the fans remained long after the game ended to celebrate a successful debut. Not only did the Rangers win their first game in team history but also Rangers goalie Hal Winkler became the first goalie in N.H.L history to record a shutout in his league debut.

As the Ranger players walked back to the locker rom, they pounded each other on the back and were just as thrilled as the audience.
"We beat the world champions!" a player exclaimed.

"Did you hear the crowd? Another player shouted. "They love us here!"
Rangers coach Lester Patrick shook everyone's hand.

"Boys, you play some more games like that and this franchise is going to be a huge success here in New York. It's really exciting to think of what's ahead for all of us. This is just the beginning."

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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  
  Capitals 46 30 11 5 65  
  Bruins 46 27 8 11 65  
  Penguins 45 28 12 5 61  
  Islanders 43 27 12 4 58  
  Lightning 44 27 13 4 58  
  Maple Leafs 45 24 15 6 54  
  Hurricanes 45 27 16 2 56  
  Flyers 45 23 16 6 52  
  Blue Jackets 46 22 16 8 52  
  Panthers 44 23 16 5 51  
  Sabres 46 20 19 7 47  
  Rangers 44 21 19 4 46  
  Canadiens 46 19 20 7 45  
  Devils 44 16 21 7 39  
  Senators 45 16 22 7 39  
  Red Wings 46 12 31 3 27  
FULL STANDINGS
  RANDOM RANGER

DEREK MORRIS
(2008-2009)
  Born: Aug 24 - 1978  
  Pos: Defense  
  GP: 18  
  G: 0  
  A: 8  
  Pts: 8  
  PIMs: 16  

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