Tale Of The Tape: 2014 Rangers Vs. 1994 Rangers
- CAPTAINFormer captain Ryan Callahan was shipped off to Tampa Bay at the deadline, so the Rangers don’t have one. Three players – Brad Richards, Dan Girardi, and Marc Staal – are designated as the team’s alternate captains.Mark Messier. They named a leadership award after him for a reason. Anyone who was a Rangers fan in ’94 knows why.
- GOALIEHenrik Lundqvist. In my opinion, he’s the best goaltender in the world right now. Just broke the franchise record for most playoff wins. Slight edge over Richter, talent-wise.Mike Richter. As of this moment, he has one advantage over Lundqvist – a Stanley Cup. That aside, his days as best goaltender in Rangers history are over.
- POINTS LEADERMats Zuccarello. Racked up 59 points; respectable production for a second line player, very unimpressive amount for a team’s scoring leader.Sergei Zubov. Led the Rangers with 89 points AS A DEFENSEMAN on a team that included Mark Messier and Adam Graves.
- LEADING GOAL SCORERRick Nash. Scored 26 goals, had an up-and-down year coming off a concussion. I think he’s more talented than Graves was, but he didn’t play his best hockey this year.Adam Graves. Filled the net 52 times. This year, the Rangers’ top two goal-scoring wingers (Nash, Zuccarello) combined for 45.
- TOP DEFENSEMANRyan McDonagh. Quickly becoming one of the best all-around defensemen in the NHL and is unquestionably the anchor of this Rangers defense.Brian Leetch. Recorded 79 points and helped the Rangers win a Cup while en route to a Hall-of-Fame career. Eons ahead.
- TROUBLEMAKERDerek Dorsett. He’ll drop the gloves without the slightest hesitation. Like everyone else on the Rangers, he used to play for the Columbus Blue Jackets.Jeff Beukeboom. His name alone struck fear in his opponents. If you got in his way, (Beuke) boom went the dynamite.
- HEAD COACHAlain Vigneault. History of playoff failure in Vancouver, but has learned from his mistakes and done a wonderful job with this Rangers team.Mike Keenan. “Iron Mike” knew how to do two things: Push buttons and win. Sometimes you didn’t like which (or whose) buttons he pushed, but you couldn’t argue with the results.
- NOTABLE MIDSEASON ACQUISITIONMartin St. Louis. The trade was very controversial at the time but I thought it was a great move from the get-go. He was the goal-scorer the Rangers desperately needed, not to mention a proven winner and a leader.Stephane Matteau. Helped give the Rangers more depth and grit, ultimately scored one of the biggest goals in team history.
Deeper, more talented, more poised. Even their healthy scratches were better. Slightly worse in net, but that’s about as far as it goes. -- Daniel Friedman, CBS New York contributor