Blue Notes

Steve Zipay takes you inside the locker room, home and on the road, with the New York Rangers, and also writes about the NHL, off and on the ice.

Messier in '94: 'We feel we will win'

2. MARK MESSIER Center, 1991-97, 2000-04 Inducted into

2. MARK MESSIER
Center, 1991-97, 2000-04
Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2007, Messier was, quite simply, The Captain. His five Stanley Cups in 12 years with the Oilers pale in comparison to the one he carried the Rangers to in 1994. When he arrived in 1991, he changed the perception of the team and made everyone around him better. His guaranteed-win hat trick in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference final over the Devils ranks with the most clutch performances in New York sports history. (Credit: Newsday / Paul J. Bereswill, 1994)

Good luck to the Rangers after practice Thursday as they try to avoid falling into a trap the New York-area media happily will set:

Guaranteeing a victory over the Devils in Game 6, 18 years to the day after Mark Messier did the same in the same situation.

But about that promise the Rangers would win Game 6 in 1994 . . .

Many of the reporters around Messier that day were stunned by how his words were played the next day, especially in the famous New York Post headline: We'll Win Tonight.

Not that Messier didn't promise a victory. It's just that his words weren't quite as dramatic as memory might suggest.

Here is how Newsday's Laura Price quoted him in her preview story the morning of Game 6:

"I know we're going to go in there in Game 6 and bring it back here for Game 7. We know we have to win and we feel we will win."

Messier's quote was not even the first in the story. That honor belonged to Kevin Lowe, who used a duck analogy to describe the Rangers' mindset:

"Cool and calm above water, and paddling like hell below."

Tags: Devils , Rangers , guarantees

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