NY Islanders fans used to chant 1940 in games with the Rangers. It worked until 1994 when 40-plus Mark Messier brought the Stanley Cup back to the Big Apple for the first time in 54 years.
Now, 38-year-old Brendan Shanahan is working his magic from past Stanley Cup winners in Detroit. His three goals, one apiece over the last three games, led New York to a four-game sweep of inexperienced Atlanta in the first round.
Since his rookie season with New Jersey in 1988-89, Shanny has scored at least 20 goals. This past year he netted 29 during the regular season, giving him 627 for his stellar career.
It’s not just goals, but the overall excellence of Shanahan that has given the Rangers perhaps their best shot at a Cup since the legendary Messier came to NY from his glory years winning Stanley Cups in Edmonton.
It’s all about experience with the Rangers, who have eight players with at least 10 years in the NHL.
Shanahan has 20.
The Rangers were hot ending the regular season and the only team able to advance to the second round without a loss.
Caesars Palace listed the Rangers at 25/1 to win the Stanley Cup, the fourth highest behind Calgary (30/1), Tampa Bay (30/1) and the rival Islanders (50/1).
In other opening round action: Buffalo downed the Islanders in 5, Ottawa eliminated Pittsburgh in 5, San Jose beat Nashville in 5, Anaheim topped Minnesota in 5, New Jersey is up 3-2 on Tampa Bay and Detroit is also up 3-2 on Calgary. Vancouver and Dallas were even at 3-3.
The second round matchups were set in the East, but the West is waiting on the outcome of Game 7 between Vancouver and Dallas. Detroit, San Jose and Anaheim have already advanced.
Sabres -175 vs Rangers: Great chance for hot Rangers to steal Game 1 at big price off 4-game sweep of Atlanta. Buffalo’s 4-1 edge over Isles was much closer than final outcome. RANGERS.
Devils -120 vs Sens: Game 1 in Jersey. Looks like 7. Ottawa is well rested, but Brodeur played much better in net toward the end of Tampa Bay series. DEVILS.
Senators -125 -130
Devils +105 +110
Rangers +155 +165
Sabres -175 -195
c/o offshore books consensus