Big Ben Tuesday: Spring of ’94 Redux Coming? Big Weekend for Rangers, Knicks.

BEN WHITNEY, Mark Messier, John Starks, Meet-The-Matts, Jalen Brunson, Patrick Kane, Julius Randle, Knicks, Rangers, NBA, NHL, Google Alerts, #GoogleAlerts
John Starks of NY Knicks can't take what Stan Fischler said about Mark Messier and the NY Rangers!

*Dramatization, may not have happened

MSG, NY – It was June of 1994. I had just graduated after my 5th year of college. I was bartending, working out, playing rugby, and taking down cocktail waitresses *two at a time.  The Rangers and the Knicks were making runs at championships. And while the Knicks came up one win short, it was still one memorable spring. Could there be something similar in the works, 29 years later?

Bully Blueshirts

Ben Whitney

When your coach has to talk about not embarrassing the other team both nights, you know it was a pretty good weekend. The Rangers embarrassed the Penguins and Predators with thirteen unanswered goals. In both games they shut down the engines in the third. It was a head turning weekend for the Rangers.

Don’t look now but the new line combinations are coming together and the league is taking notice. Igor Shesterkin looked like last season’s version on Saturday. When Ryan Lindgren returns, this team will be whole and hella dangerous.

The Bruins have dominated all season and are still the big favorite. Right now, the Rangers and Devils are staring at an exciting first round match-up. Could they have another unforgettable battle, like 1994?

The Broadway Blues are so loaded with skill now, they don’t really have many grinders and sandpaper guys. You may remember that the ’94 champs traded away skilled but soft players in Mike Gartner and  Tony Amonte to add battle tested warriors like Craig MacTavish and Glenn Anderson. It remains to be seen whether this version has enough grit.

If you saw the Rangers this weekend, you saw a lot of this. (Getty Images)

The Rangers are still +1,400 to win the Cup. I’m not saying they’ll do it, but 14 to 1 seems worth a shot.

Knicks Knock Knuggets

The Knicks couldn’t win one of two in Houston back in ‘94 and the miracle double ‘chip came up one game short. But the current group knocked off Nuggets on Saturday, the best team in the West, and the Knicks have the most exciting team they’ve had in years.

They have a tough road in front and even getting out of the East seems like a long-shot. Could you see them getting through the Sixers/Celtics and the Bucks? Yeah, me either.

But this team is resilient. After blowing a big lead to Denver, the Knicks didn’t fold like they would have in recent years. Jalen Brunson gives them a calmness and poise they’ve been missing. And it’s hard to overstate what Josh Hart’s scrappy play has meant to this team.

The Knicks are +9,000 to win it all. Obviously not likely, but $20 gets you $1,800 if they somehow pull it off.

Comment below and come back tomorrow for Angry Ward. And follow us on Twitter at @benwhit8 & @MeetTheMatts and like our Facebook page, Meet The Matts. And we’re on Instagram, too – @MeetTheMatts.

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About Ben Whitney 406 Articles
Ben Whitney comes from journalistic stock. Aside from his brothers, rumor has that his great-great grandfather was the youngest brother of Eli Whitney and covered the earliest "rounders" games. Big Ben is also another New York Rugby Club player/pal of Different Matt, Short Matt and Junoir Blaber. He likes film noir discussions, has twin girls and took up ice hockey after retiring from rugby.