What’s up everyone and welcome to another blog here, on BlueCollarBlueShirts.com. Today’s blog will be my fifth DELOREAN blog, where I go back in time and review an old Rangers game, as if I’m living in the year when the game was played.
If you’re not familiar with these Delorean blogs, here are the previous four games I’ve reviewed this summer:
Return to the Delorean IV: The NY Rangers vs The Philadelphia Flyers, in a Do-or-Die Game 5, from 4/15/86! Vezina Winner John “Beezer” Vanbiesbrouck Outduels Jennings Winner Bob Froese, Huber’s GWG, Videos, The Ron Duguay Trade, Rosen/Esposito, Keenan vs Sator, DWI Goalies, Richter, Greschner Leads, Maloney Seals It, Isles Dynasty Finally Over & Much More In This In-Depth Playoff Game Review!
Back to the Delorean Part III: The New York Rangers vs The Philadelphia Flyers From 4/10/1982! Cam Connor Wins It, Eddie Mio Saves It, Captain Barry Beck, Mike Rogers & Tom Laidlaw Come Up Big, Ron Duguay Screwed By The Refs, The Case For Greschner, The Maloney Brothers, The F’N Islanders, Ranger Fan Programs Today vs 1982, The Go-Go’s & Much More From A First Round Game 3 Match-Up
Return to the Delorean: New York Rangers vs The Broad Street Bullies aka The Philadelphia Flyers From April 25, 1974 Review. Fights Galore, The GAG Line, Parent vs Giacomin, Brad Park Dominates, The Underrated Teddy Irvine, Wayne Gretzky’s Favorite Player, Shero vs The Cat & Much More From Game 3 of the 1974 Semifinals
The DeLorean Blog: Reviewing & Recapping Game 5 of the 1979 Semifinals Between the New York Rangers & New York Islanders As If The Internet Existed In 1979. Hedberg The Hero! The Hockey Sock Rock Delivers! JD Goes Nuts! POTVIN SUCKS! Duguay Dashes, ONE MORE WIN FROM THE SCF, MSG Networks vs YES & Much More In This Comprehensive Game Review! Plus: Thoughts on Current NHL Contract Extensions & Signings
I know these Delorean blogs tend to go longer than anything else I write. I talked about that in my last blog, which you can read here:
The “LOST YEARS” of the New York Rangers: A Year-by-Year Look at the “86” in the 4-86 Rangers Stanley Cup Record. All 90 Years of NY Ranger Hockey & Key Figures Explored, Explaining Why The Rangers Only Have Four Stanley Cups & Much More in PART ONE (1926-1942)
Keep in mind, these blogs are just a hobby. I’m not making any money off of this. The only “gains” I make, from doing this blog, are readers sending me random programs and old games on DVD. I do this because I enjoy it and it’s a hobby. It’s not anything more or less than that. While I know I upset some people with my opinions of wanting Lundswiss out of town, I’ve also encountered many cool Ranger fans. The trade-off is worth it for sure!
As this blog continues to grow, and really these Delorean blogs have pumped up the traffic of this site tremendously, the one common complaint I get, is that these blogs are too long. I’m trying to edit/condense myself moving forward, but I’m not going to sacrifice my perceived “quality”, by cutting down on the “quantity”. Screw this new ADD generation! Read, motherfuckers, read! That said, (There’s my infamous go-to phrase) I will try not to go 10,000 words in today’s blog!
As I’ve mentioned in these Delorean blogs, when picking a game to cover, I try to pick a different era for each blog. I also try to avoid the early 1980’s, because I don’t want to talk about how those seasons ended. (Fuck the Islanders.)
While I previously did review a 1974 Rangers game, there were some roster changes, between this team in 1971 and the team in 1974. While free agency and players jumping all over the place wasn’t as prevalent as it is today, you did have some roster turnover from year-to-year. Obviously, this is much different today. Just think about the ECF winning 2014 Rangers, compared to the Rangers of today. Less than 50% of that 2014 Cup run team, wear the Rangers blue today.
Perhaps the biggest roster change from 1971 to 1974 was Bob Nevin. Nevin, the Rangers captain from 1965-1971, would be traded after the 1971 playoffs. The Rangers would trade their captain for long time Montreal Canadien and then, a member of the Minnesota North Stars, in Bobby Rousseau. For the first two years, it looked like a great trade for the Rangers, as Rosseau posted better numbers than Nevin. Rosseau would eventually retire a Ranger, after a short stint, while Nevin would continue to play and later on, have some great years for the Los Angeles Kings.
As I’ve talked about in my Ranger history blogs, once the Rangers got out of the dark ages of the post World War II era, they were a perennial playoff team. The Great Expansion of 1967 helped the Rangers become a regular squad in the playoffs, year-after-year. When the league doubled up in size, the Rangers were always in the mix.
In fact, the only time the Rangers missed the playoffs for three plus seasons in a row, (which was common place in the 1940’s, 1950’s and 1960’s, for the Rangers, despite the NHL being a six team league) would be at the turn of the millennium. Unfortunately, that meant the 1994 Stanley Cup general manager, Neil Smith, was out and Senile Sather was in.
In case you don’t know, despite Senile Sather saying in the 1980’s, that “If I had the Rangers payroll, I would win the Cup every season”, it’s been 17+ years (15 of them as the GM), where he’s been at the top of the Rangers management food chain and has produced as many Stanley Cup victories, for the team, as I have from my bar stool. It must be great to be employed by an idiot who doesn’t care.
There I go on a tangent again, but really, fuck Glen Sather! However, Glen Sather’s name will appear again in this blog, because if you don’t know, he was on this 1971 NY Rangers team. No wonder why the Rangers didn’t win the Cup in 1971! Hey Senile Sather- GO RETIRE AND GO ICE FISHING IN ALBERTA! (I’m so friendly, am I not?)
I loved this article for several reasons. First, the article mentions that the last time a Rangers goalie (Dave Kerr) won the Vezina, the Rangers won the Cup. That was in 1940. Later on, this article would start talking about how 1940 was so long ago. Who would’ve known it would’ve taken 23 more years?
What I really enjoyed about this article the most, was how the author, Herb Goren, used the narrative of winning the Vezina, as being a team accomplishment. It’s so relevant today and with this blog, particularly.
Many people whine, bitch and insult, when I, the ultimate Lundwiss truther, expose Lundswiss as an overrated and overpaid goalie. The problem with a lot of current Ranger fans, is that they live in the NY bubble. They are outraged when Lundswiss is not on Top 10 lists or considered elite by other fans, media personalities, ex-players, writers or anyone else. However, if you move outside the bubble, you will notice that Lundswiss isn’t that great today, nor has he been, for the last few seasons. Hall of Fame career, sure. An all-time great like a Sawchuk, Dryden, Billy Smith, Patrick Roy, Marty Brodeuer, etc? Without a Cup, he’s not even close.
The reason I bring this up, is because Lundswiss fans, who are kind of like liberals and will become hypocrites in any argument, have the same speech after every bad Lundswiss game. (And there’s been a lot of those.) I kind of don’t blame those fans, because Lundswiss himself, does what his fans do – blame everyone else for the bad, and take all the credit for the good.
It’s amazing how after every Lundswiss shut-out (not many of those these days. For comparison, Cam Talbot and Antti Raanta had way more shutouts than Lundswiss last season and for much less money) everyone is screaming “KING!” or “LUNDSWISS CARRIED THE TEAM!” Not one word about the defense. However, after Lundswiss gives up 5+ goals (A common occurrence these days), it’s always the defense’s fault, and it’s “LUNDSWISS CAN’T DO IT ALL BY HIMSELF!” These Ranger fans will ignore Dan Girardi for years, and all his shot blocks, but once Lundswiss gives up a goal, they want Nick Holden’s head on a stick.
The point of another one of my mini Lundswiss rants – the more things change, the more they stay the same. I just enjoyed how the Vezina award was considered a team effort back then, more than it is today.
Man oh man, as I talked about in the 1982 blog, the Ranger programs from the past, are head and shoulders better than the crap you get today. Nowadays, programs are $10, have a few pictures and are 40 pages of ads. Back in 1971, this program featured many great stories and covered stories from other Original 6 cities. (Yes, I know we were in the early years of expansion, but of the Original 6 teams, only Chicago played in the West, with the other five Original 6 teams playing in the East.)
If you read my 1982 blog (linked above), the program, for a measly buck, was well worth your money and time. It’s like reading a mini-book. Today, I can read one of the Ranger programs, (I think it’s called “Broadway Blue” these days) in 5 minutes, on my LIRR trip back home from the game. When I read this 1971 program (and I am a fast reader), it took me a good 30 minutes to get through all of it. Of course, I wasn’t speed reading this either, but there was so much information to take in. It’s not like the puff pieces that you see today.
You can also see the power that this program had back then. I don’t know what the distribution was, but I am going to assume that these programs sold more units, than the programs of today, for several reasons.
For starters, there was no internet then, so this was one way to get news. Secondly, it was only a $1. While obviously everything costs more money today with inflation, $1 in 1971, wasn’t as much, as the $10 today, that the Rangers charge for a program, here in 2017. In other words, it was less percentage of your income to buy a program back then than now.
Going by my sleuth skills only, and not by any real research, I’m just going to assume more units of these programs were sold in 1971 than today. It’s funny looking at the advertisements. While booze and cars are prevalent in both programs, there are a lot of advertising differences. I don’t know if you people care about this, and perhaps I’m wasting too much space on this, but it’s my blog and I’ll blog if I want to.
If you look at the advertising, in this 1971 program, there were a ton of ads for local restaurants and bars. You don’t see any of that today. It tells me that these programs really reached the locals, as spots all over Manhattan (of course, with the majority of the restaurant/bars being near M$G) were advertised.
There were also a ton of ads for hockey camps, which means advertisers were trying to get parents to send their kids to them. Is this a way to grow the American game, or is it a way for Canadian kids to get better? Then again, is it all just a cash grab? In either event, hockey camps in both Canada and America were advertised.
Oh and of course, about 97867868 different cigarette brands were also advertised. Outside of Newport cigarettes, I don’t really see cigarette ads in any sporting publications these days.
I know this has nothing to do with hockey, but little things like this interest me.
And to wrap this section up – how about that picture above? FRANK BOUCHER BABY! For the millionth time, let me plug my Frank Boucher blog:
Don’t Let History Be Forgotten! Time for The Rangers to Finally Honor The Greatest Ranger Ever, Frank Boucher
While on Boucher, I should have something special later on number 7, in an upcoming blog.
What truly saddens me, is take one more look at the picture. The Cook Brothers. Frank Boucher. Taffy Abel. Ching Johnson. All there to honor Lester Patrick. Today, the Rangers ignore every single one of them. It’s truly a fucking disgrace and quite frankly, I’m ashamed.
I’m already 2000+ words in and haven’t even started talking the game yet. I get excited doing these blogs. So much for trying to shorten these things! That said (take a shot), for more pictures of this 1971 program, visit my twitter @NYCTHEMIC
The 1970-1971 season were interesting times for the Rangers. The year prior, the NY Knicks won the NBA Championship. In fact, check out this page from the program:
The most shocking thing to me wasn’t how cheap everything was or how smoking paraphernalia was advertised. It was the fact that the Knicks won a championship! For the Rangers in 2017, they are still treated as second class citizens, to the more profitable Knicks of today. The Rangers, despite not winning a Cup in 23 years, have been much more successful than the current NBA laughingstock, the NY Knicks.
An interesting character at this time, in 1971, was Irving Felt, whom was the “equivalent”, and I use the word “equivalent” very loosely, of James Dolan. In 1959, Felt bought the controlling interest of M$G and its properties. This was unlike James Dolan, as Dolan just did a shit load of drugs and inherited it all from his dada.
A year after buying M$G, Felt would buy the property rights to build a new venue at Penn Station. In other words, Irving Felt is responsible for the building where the Rangers play today. At the time, Felt bought the property that spanned 32nd Street – 34th street, from 7th avenue to 8th avenue, on the hush-hush. Felt knew by building a new M$G, he would face his detractors, who would prefer tradition over growth.
This also has to be mentioned – the “new”, or at least new in 1971, Madison Square Garden, was built with private money. That’s unheard of today. Private money vs taxpayer money, is a huge issue when it comes to the Islanders finding a home these days.
Felt, who was no dummy, when defending the construction of a new MSG, would later say, and I’m paraphrasing him here, that “in 50 years, people will be upset when they tear this building down to build a new one.” While that didn’t exactly happen, MSG did go through a ton of renovations several years ago. However, maybe Felt was a Nostradamus, as there are rumors that MSG may have to find a new address in less than 10 years, when the lease with Penn Station expires. Time will tell on that one. Unfortunately, this Delorean only goes backwards and not forwards!
The MSG construction project lasted from 1960-1968. The Knicks and Rangers would play their first full seasons at the new MSG during the 1960-1970 seasons. Just like the Yankees of 2009, people didn’t like the new idea of a new home. However, the Knicks would christen it with a championship that year.
Another “contribution” during Felt’s time with the Rangers & MSG, was when Felt was battling with NYC over taxes. NYC, the money grubbing hoes that they are, wanted to squeeze Felt for everything that he was worth. In turn, before anyone knew the name George Steinbrenner, Felt threatened to move the teams to NJ. Instead, Felt & NYC made a deal where MSG would enjoy a tax-exempt status, under the provision that all Ranger (and Knick) home games were hosted at MSG.
In other words, if the Rangers & Knicks were to play a home game elsewhere, MSG would lose their tax-free life. As we all know, M$G is all about that money, so there is no way you will ever see the Knicks or Rangers play a home game elsewhere. This is also why today, in 2017, the Rangers are always the visitor in these outdoor games. I mean come on, the Buffalo Sabres will be the “home team”, when they play the Rangers, during the NHL’s over-exposure of outdoor games in the 2017-2018 season.
While Felt’s Rangers could never deliver a Cup for him (He did see all four Ranger Cup wins, as he lived from 1910 to September of 1994), he did more for the Rangers in a day, than James Dolan has done during his tenure.
Before jumping into the Delorean, let me set the stage for you, as we go to April 15th, 1971.
As mentioned previously, the NHL was no different than the NHL of today, when it came to team schedules and playoffs. In other words, it was constantly changing. After three years of the Blues making the Cup Finals and being dominated, the NHL changed the format up again.
In 1970-1971, the NHL had a balanced schedule, meaning each team played each other 6 times, with 3 games at home and 3 games on the road. Playoff spots were determined by divisional standings, despite in-division games being played as often as non-division games. The top 4 seeds from the East and West would make the playoffs.
The Boston Bruins, who were just monstrous at the time, with Bobby Orr and Phil Esposito leading the way, dominated the league. They finished first in the East, with 121 points. The Rangers would finish in second place, with 109 points, which were more points than the West Champions, the Blackhawks, who had 107 points. The Leafs would finish fourth in the East with 82 points, for the last playoff spot. However, it was a large disparity between them and the fifth place expansion team, the Buffalo Sabres, who had 63 points.
When the NHL had the expansion in 1967, they put all the expansion teams in one conference, thus giving an expansion team a crack at the Cup. Nice in theory, but in reality, the St. Louis Blues would get swept in three straight Stanley Cup Finals. The NHL wanted a competitive Stanley Cup Finals, so the seeding was changed in the playoffs, from the year before, so stronger seeds would eliminate weaker teams in the earlier rounds. Instead of going through the East or West, teams would meet non-divisional opponents, as the playoffs progressed.
The Rangers and the Leafs would draw each other in the first round. Despite the Rangers being the better team during the season, it was the Leafs that won the regular season series, with a 9-4-1 record. There wasn’t much animosity between these two clubs when compared to other rivalries of this era or during the course of Rangers history. The last time these two teams met in the playoffs was 9 years ago, when Toronto eliminated the Rangers in 6 games.
In 1971, while Bob Nevin led the Rangers, it was Big Walt Tkaczuk as the points leader, with 75 points off of 26 goals. Dave Balon (Not gonna bullshit you here, I never heard the name before until starting this blog and reading this program this week) was your top goal scorer, with 36 tallies. The GAG line was in full effect here, as the Rangers second best goal scorer was Rod Gilbert, with 30 goals. Gilbert’s linemates, Ratelle & Hadfield, respectively, finished with 26 and 22 goals, to round up the top 5 goal scorers for the club.
While Eddie Giacomin was the starting goalie, as he would play most of the playoffs, Gilles Villemure played more than the back-up goalies of today do. Giacomin would make 45 starts, while Villemure made 34 starts. That’s why they shared the Vezina that season, as compared to the individuals that win that prize today.
Of note, it was around this time that legendary Rangers defenseman, Brad Park, started to find his groove and grow into the Rangers great that he became. Also interesting at this time, was the former long time Toronto Maple Leaf, Tim Horton (a name you surely know today) played his first full season with the Rangers, after being traded the season before by the Leafs, for “future considerations.”
And because I live in Long Island and know several of his friends (Hi Double G and Evan Davis if you’re reading this), Peter Stemkowski, who won a Cup with the Leafs in 1967 (To this day, the last time Toronto won a Cup) made his Rangers debut during this season. It’s actually Stemmer’s birthday today, as I started work on this blog, so Happy Birthday and enjoy a belt at Billy’s Beachhouse on me. Stemmer is still beloved by the NYR organization and is frequently at meet & greets, at the Garden today.
In Toronto, the Leafs were backstopped by Parent and legendary Montreal Canadien goalie, Jacques Plante, who was at the tail end of his career. Plante would be the starter to start the season, but Parent would get the call in the playoffs.
Eventual Hall of Famer, Darryl Sittler was in his rookie year this season and finished with 18 points. Your top scorers for the Leafs were Norm Ullman (85 points), Dave Keon (76 points), Paul Henderson (60 points), Ron Ellis (53 points) and Billy MacMillian (41 points).
Rangers head coach, Emile Francis, faced off against Toronto’s John McLellan, in this series. For McLellan, his failed coaching tenure was sandwiched between two hockey legends, as Punch Imlach preceded him and Red Kelly followed him.
I swear, I’m almost up to the game review itself. However, as usual, let’s take a look at the world during April 15th, 1971. As always, the following information comes from ThePeopleHistory.com:
Cost of Living 1971
How Much things cost in 1971
Yearly Inflation Rate USA 4.3%
Yearly Inflation Rate UK 8.6%
Year End Close Dow Jones Industrial Average 890
Average Cost of new house $25,250.00
Average Income per year $10,600.00
Average Monthly Rent $150.00
Cost of a gallon of Gas 40 cents
Datsun 1200 Sports Coupe $1,866.00
United States postage Stamp 8 cents
Ladies 2 piece knit suites $9.98
Movie Ticket $1.50
A few More Examples
Dodge Charger $3,579
Fresh Turkey Lb 43 cents
Fresh Strawberries Lb 29 cents
Idaho Potatoes 10 Lbs 98 cents
Jiffy Peanut Butter 59 cents
Tape Cassette Recorder $29.88
2 Quart Pressure Cooker $7.77
Side By Side Fridge $704.95
Electrical Heater Fireplace $59.88
Malibu Barbie $1.94
Rock Em Sock Em Robots $8.99
Ladies Beret and Scarf Set $6.00
3 Bedroom House Chicago $16,500
As I always say when checking out ThePeopleHistory.com, I love the random item prices they have. I feel better knowing that a Malibu Barbie cost $1.94 in 1971!
Another fact worth mentioning, a month before this playoff game, on March 8th, 1971, in Madison Square Garden, Joe Frazier defeated Muhammad Ali, in the “Fight of the Century”, to become the Undisputed Heavyweight Boxing Champion of the World.
In the music world, here are your Top 10 songs in America, for the week ending April 17th, 1971:
1 JOY TO THE WORLD –•– Three Dog Night (Dunhill)
2 WHAT’S GOING ON –•– Marvin Gaye (Tamla)
3 JUST MY IMAGINATION (Running Away With Me) –•– The Temptations (Gordy)
4 SHE’S A LADY –•– Tom Jones (Parrot)
5 ANOTHER DAY / OH WOMAN OH WHY –•– Paul McCartney (Apple)
6 PUT YOUR HAND IN THE HAND –•– Ocean (Kama Sutra)
7 ME AND BOBBY McGEE –•– Janis Joplin (Columbia)
8 DOESN’T SOMEBODY WANT TO BE WANTED –•– The Partridge Family (Starring Shirley Jones and Featuring David Cassidy) (Bell)
9 FOR ALL WE KNOW –•– The Carpenters (A&M)
10 ONE TOKE OVER THE LINE –•– Brewer and Shipley (Kama Sutra)
While “What’s Going On” and “She’s a Lady” are probably the most famous songs from this time, how about checking out a 21 year old Karen Carpenter?
You can also watch this game for yourself here:
What’s up everyone and welcome to another journal entry, here in the BlueCollarBlueShirts newsletter. Stand up, get loud and get proud, your New York Rangers are moving on to the second round! With tonight’s Game 6 victory over the Leafs, the Rangers will draw Chicago in the second round. While I know the Blackhawks had a good year this season, the East conference is tougher and the Rangers did finish with more points, during the regular season. I’ll talk about this more at the end of this blog, but with the season champions, the Boston Bruins, struggling with Montreal in their quarterfinal series, I believe the Rangers have a great shot at winning the Cup this year!
I don’t know if you heard yet, but the last time a Ranger goalie won the Vezina, (Dave Kerr, 1940) the team won the Stanley Cup. You really gotta feel good about the Rangers right now. Despite being down 2-1 in this series, the Rangers have now ripped off three straight wins, as they meet the Blackhawks, who just swept the lowly expansion Philadelphia Flyers, in the second round. The Rangers are now playoff tested, where Chicago didn’t meet much resistance in their series.
The Rangers won this Game 6 in overtime. When you think about great Ranger playoff wins, this is right up there. An overtime win to close out a series? Oh baby!
Listen, I was only four years old when the Rangers won the Cup in 1940. Now, 35 years old, here in 1971, I’ve never seen the Rangers win a Cup in my adult life. 31 years is a long time between Cups and with the way King Eddie has been in net, it’s going to take a superhuman effort to beat the Rangers in a best of 7 series.
After missing the playoffs for most of my adult life and being eliminated in the first round, the last three seasons, in this new expansion era, I truly believe the Rangers are primed to do what the Knicks did last year – win a championship.
As we all know, while it’s great the Knicks brought home a championship to MSG last year, it’s time for the Rangers to bring home the ultimate prize in sports – the Stanley Cup. After all, this is a city that’s recently seen a Superbowl in 1968 with the Jets and a World Series in 1969 with the Amazin’ Mets. It’s time for the Rangers to get their parade and time in the sun. By getting this first round monkey off their back, it’s time for the Rangers to take care of business, once and for all. WE WANT THE CUP!
Before getting into the meat, potatoes and Cutty Sark, here’s the official box score, courtesy of the Hockey-Reference newsletter:
|12:39||NYR||Bob Nevin (4) Walt Tkaczuk and Vic Hadfield|
|17:26||TOR||Jim McKenny (2)|
|1st OT Period|
|09:07||NYR||Bob Nevin (5)|
|03:22||NYR||Vic Hadfield: Holding — 2 min|
|03:22||TOR||Jim Harrison: Slashing — 2 min|
|05:14||NYR||Dale Rolfe: Delaying Game-Smothering puck — 2 min|
|07:09||TOR||Norm Ullman: Holding — 2 min|
|08:29||NYR||Rod Gilbert: Slashing — 2 min|
|08:29||TOR||Mike Pelyk: Slashing — 2 min|
|10:34||NYR||Jean Ratelle: Tripping — 2 min|
|12:58||NYR||Glen Sather: Fighting — 5 min|
|12:58||TOR||Bob Baun: Fighting — 5 min|
|16:44||NYR||Brad Park: Tripping — 2 min|
|05:33||NYR||Brad Park: Fighting — 5 min|
|05:33||TOR||Rick Ley: Roughing — 2 min|
|05:33||TOR||Jim Harrison: Fighting — 5 min|
|05:33||NYR||Rod Gilbert: Roughing — 2 min|
While there’s always pressure on you to win a Game 6 and close out a series, when you have a 3-2 lead, for the Leafs, the pressure was all on them in this game. They were down 3 games to 2 in this series and were trying to even it up at home. However, when it was all said and done, Bob Nevin prevented a Game 7 at MSG, by beating Jacques Plante in overtime, to win the game 2-1.
The Leafs, who looked panicked, as they did win the regular season series, 9-4-1, switched up their netminders for Game 6. The Leafs put Bernie Parent on the bench, in favor for the future Hall of Famer, in Plante. However, with the way Giacomin was playing, you could’ve dug up another former Canadiens goalie, in Georges Vezina and the final score tonight would’ve still remained the same.
My friends and I worked 10 hour days this week at our jobs, as we made a deal with our boss, to work 40 hours this way, so we could have off of work on Friday. Once we got out of work at 5pm, Thursday afternoon, we all met up at the Harry M. Stevens restaurant, (Try the veal) right near MSG and took in this game together. The Schlitz and Canadian Club were going down like water, as we were stressed out and thankfully, later on, celebrating!
Despite seeing some games in this brand new time of color TV, this playoff game was in black and white. It’s fine by me. While the radio was fun, nothing beats seeing these games on television. If there was a way to put a running clock on the television broadcast, I would be set for life and extremely happy!
Let’s get to this game!
The Leafs were all over the Rangers to start this game. Big Walt Tkaczuk threw his weight around to start this game. For Eddie Giacomin, he was tested early, before the Rangers could regroup and get their heads into it.
Watching this on TV, I’m glad that Art Ross suggested to make the center line checkered. Much easier to watch the game on television this way.
Vic Hadfield and Jim Harrison would take off-setting penalties 3 minutes into this game. On the ensuing four on four, Giacomin and Plante were able to keep the game scoreless.
Eddie Giacomin and Jacque Plante, both sporting masks that looked like something a horror movie character would wear, had to deal with a bunch of high quality shots early. Even off the television, you could feel the intensity through the glow.
Dale Rolfe would put the Leafs on the PP, when he was sent to the sin bin for smothering the puck. This delay of game tactic is frowned upon. Is it me, or is Rolfe a penalty machine?
While you didn’t get a running clock on the television, I was happy to see frequent shots of the scoreboard during the broadcast.
Towards the end of the penalty on Rolfe, Ullman of the Leafs, took a holding penalty. This gave the Rangers a powerplay. Stop me if you heard this before – the Rangers powerplay was brutal tonight. Ugh. I’m sure it will get better one day.
During the Rangers PP, Rod Gilbert & Mike Pelyk would take off-setting penalties, both for slashing. The Rangers PP would eventually expire, as did the off-setting penalties, bring this game back to 5 vs 5 hockey.
— BlueCollarBlueShirts (@NYCTheMiC) August 26, 2017
The video above illustrates how dangerous the GAG line was. While they didn’t score here, every time they were on the ice, Plante’s butthole was puckering.
One comment I gotta make here, is that this game moves so fast and is small on TV. It would be cool if the players had their names on the back of the jerseys, so it was easier to identify them. I don’t know about other Ranger fans, but at times, I had trouble figuring out which Leafs were on the ice.
After a GAG line attempt, Plante had to stop a Rangers two on one, as the puck grazed the left side of the net. In a period that started off hot and heavy for Toronto, the Rangers were able to match the aggression and set the tone.
Jean Ratelle would take the next Rangers penalty, this time for tripping. As unsuccessful as the Rangers PP was, the PK was sharp.
At the 12:58 mark, this happened:
I wish Bob Baun stuck a cigar in Sather’s face pic.twitter.com/irZwsFUIId
— BlueCollarBlueShirts (@NYCTheMiC) August 26, 2017
After the Baun/Sather fighting penalties, the Rangers would get a 3 on 2 break, courtesy of the GAG line. Once again, Plante was on point. Toronto would march right back down the ice, where this time, it was Giacomin, making one of his 27 saves.
The Rangers, as much as they created some scoring opportunities, were kind of sloppy, as Brad Park went off the ice for hooking. Another Toronto PP, but luckily the Rangers killed that one too. Giacomin would have to come up big, yet again, making a big stop with under 70 seconds to go.
After one period, the Toronto fans went for another round of Molson beer, as we ordered another round of Schlitz at the bar. 20 minutes gone and this game was still 0-0.
Just like the first period, Toronto got off to a hot start and Eddie was challenged right away. I’m not going to lie, a little poo came out when watching Toronto coming out hot.
At the 5:33 mark, Brad Park would go off for fighting for five minutes, while Rick Ley only got two minutes for roughing. I don’t get how Ley doesn’t get 5 for fighting too? It must be that screw the Rangers button in Toronto! Another Toronto powerplay. Ugh! Giacomin would absolutely rob Ellis right before this. Not that I have to tell you this, but Giacomin is very athletic when manning the pipes.
As stated, before Nevin broke through, both goalies were on top of their game. Dorey, of Toronto, bailed out Plante on an earlier Nevin attempt. Giacomin bailed out the Rangers after a brutal turnover. Toronto brought more pressure. However, at the 12:39 mark, we finally had a score:
Captain Bob pic.twitter.com/LWmzEaeaa2
— BlueCollarBlueShirts (@NYCTheMiC) August 26, 2017
1-0, GOOD GUYS!
After this goal, the camera focused on a banner promoting a Tom Jones concert that takes place on 5/29/71. I wonder if Tom Jones will be doing concerts in NY 40+ years from now? Either way, now that the Rangers eliminated the Leafs, Tom Jones can play all summer in Toronto, if he chooses!
The announcers and camera then started to focus on Teddy Irvine and Glen Sather. From everything I hear, Teddy Irvine is smart and has a high hockey IQ. I could see him being a general manager or coach one day. Sather on the other hand? Child please!
While I got some free time here, did anyone else hear about some new hockey league starting up? The World Hockey Association? What a joke. It will never last nor affect the NHL anyway.
Toronto would make some attempts to close the period, but the Rangers defense was there. The second period flew by and after 40 minutes, Rangers 1 – Leafs 0. 20 minutes from victory!
It was funny, when the second period ended, you could hear feint boos from the Leaf fans.
This third period gave me hemorrhoids. Again, Toronto started off strong and there was a near incident where Giacomin got hooked. You never know with these referees, they could let the play go.
What did surprise me, was after two periods with a ton of penalties, this third period was relatively clean. The Rangers weren’t going to bite and were disciplined under “The Cat”, to commit any dumb penalties, with a lead in the third period.
For the first 17 minutes of this third period, my ass was on the edge of my bar stool. I can remember the camera zooming in on the scoreboard with 4:18 left in the third.
Just when I thought I could relax, Jim fucking McKenny, of all people, tied the fucking game. Unfuckingbelievable. Sorry for the swearing, but I’m trying to illustrate my frustration through the written word.
Plante would lose his stick during a Rangers rush. A turnover would turn into a Toronto rush, but Toronto was ruled offside. Toronto would win the faceoff, but the Rangers fought them off. Then, Toronto would take the puck from their own blue line, cross the center line and McKenny would fire a rising slap shot and caught Eddie on the stick side. The worst is this – we saw Eddie make tougher saves all game long.
With 2:34 remaining in regulation, the game was tied at 1-1. I don’t know if it was the Schlitz or the score, but I felt a tinge of diarrhea.
At this point, I was asking my friend what time did he want to meet up for Game 7. After all, we’ve seen this routine before. I’m sorry to sound depressing here, but the last time the Rangers won a Cup, I was just out of my diaper phase.
This game would end 1-1. Overtime was ahead. If the Rangers scored, this series was over. If Toronto scored, they would live to fight another day.
As it was in every period of this game, the Leafs started off stronger. I don’t know why, but Toronto was hot at the start of every period.
The Rangers had a chance to put the game away early, courtesy of Hadfield, but Plante made the stop. MacMillian would come down the ice for Toronto, but the Rangers stopped his opportunity.
I remember OT as a complete blur. You ever feel like you’re just stuck in a moment? That’s what this was.
However, after plenty of scoring opportunities from both teams, this happened:
— BlueCollarBlueShirts (@NYCTheMiC) August 26, 2017
And just like that… Rangers 2 – Leafs 1. THE RANGERS GO ON TO THE SECOND ROUND! Captain Bob wins it! See ya Toronto!
All in all Ranger fans, what a great game! It wasn’t easy watching it live, but after 69+ minutes of hockey, the Rangers finally return to the second round of the playoffs!
Listen, I know that Stan Mikita and Bobby Hull are two of the best players in the league. I’m aware of what Tony Esposito is doing in Chi-town. That said (this is going to be my new catch phrase), the Rangers are deeper to me. Early prediction, Rangers in 6!
However, before NYR vs CHI starts, we have to finish the rest of the first round. We got a huge game 7 with Montreal and Boston on tap. Let’s hope Montreal can win that, as I really feel Boston is the deeper team, despite the history of the Canadiens in the playoffs.
All in all, what a great time to be a Rangers fan. GREAT SCOTT! Can I get a “LET’S GO RANGERS?”
See you in Round 2 guys! Until then, enjoy Schlitz beer!
I tried to go short here, trust me, I really did!
If you don’t know by now, the Rangers would go on to lose to the Blackhawks, 4 games to 3, in the second round of the 1971 playoffs. The Blackhawks would win the Cup that year. I plugged my “4-86 NYR History” blog above. It’s just another series that the Rangers could’ve won and who knows, maybe today, they have more than 4 Cups to their name. Once the Expansion Era hit, the Rangers were finally out of the post World War II dark ages. However, as we all know, it wouldn’t be until 1994, that the Rangers would hoist the Cup again.
As always, thanks to all of you guys for reading this. Special thanks to blog readers, Travis Jackson, Mike Simmons and Mike Jurkowski, who have hooked me up with old games and programs for this blog.
In a weird request – does anyone have a copy of the Rangers vs Nordiques, Game 3, from 5/12/95? That was the first ever playoff game I went to as a kid and that would be fun for this Delorean blog. I don’t know how many more Delorean blogs I’ll get to, as the preseason is nearly here. I’ve also been swamped at the real job, so I was lucky just to get this game in as it is.
As far as the next blog, I’ve been keeping a Monday/Thursday schedule all summer. I’m waiting on a few books from Amazon. However, if I don’t get my orders in, maybe I’ll return with Part 2 of my “4-86” series. Soon enough, it will be time to start doing preseason predictions and all that other happy horseshit.
If all goes according to plan (meaning I don’t get stuck at work) see you Thursday. Oh and as teased earlier in this blog, I should have an update on my “Get the Rangers to honor Frank Boucher in the rafters” campaign.
Thanks again for your time.
And of course, as always….
LET’S GO RANGERS
@NYCTHEMIC on the tweeter machine