The Maven's Haven

  • Monday, December 17, 2012

    Greatest Rivalries: Rangers & Devils Meet in Playoffs for the First Time

    To best understand and appreciate the Rangers’ playoff series victory over New Jersey in the Spring of 1992, one must turn back the calendar to the Autumn of 1991; specifically Oct. 5 The fallout from one of the most arresting trades in NHL history still was reverberating around the hockey world all because THE Captain, Mark Messier, had just become a Ranger. At the time, Messier was regarded as the best team-leader in...
  • Friday, December 14, 2012

    Greatest Rivalries: Gartner's Hat Trick Eliminates Isles

    Only on the rarest of occasions will a single playoff-game result not only in long-term effects on both hockey clubs but actually inspire one team's moves -- in this case, the Rangers -- that would eventually lead it to win a Stanley Cup. It wasn't evident at the time but the Rangers ‘6-5 postseason victory over the Islanders on April 13, 1990 did more than merely provide the Blueshirts with their...
  • Thursday, December 13, 2012

    Greatest Rivalries: Richer Stuns Rangers

    Something new had developed in the Rangers-Devils rivalry that would affect the teams for almost two decades. That was the arrival of Martin Brodeur as New Jersey’s premier puck-stopper. The affable French-Canadian from Montreal made a brief debut during the 1991-92 season, but really didn’t emerge as a factor until the 1993-1994 season. Brodeur posted a 27-11-8 record with a 2.40 goals against...
  • Thursday, November 29, 2012

    Greatest Rivalries: Rangers-Devils 1994 Game 7 - Matteau, Matteau, Matteau

    “This will be the biggest game in these two franchises’ history, going back at least 50 years. Buckle up!” –Peter McNab – Devils TV analyst for SportsChannel Well, some would call it not only the greatest game, but the greatest game of the NHL’s greatest series ever. That’s what Associated Press executive hockey editor Tim Sullivan labeled the series and its finale. Not only that, but Sullivan...
  • Wednesday, November 21, 2012

    Rangers-Devils: The Guarantee

    Never in the course of hockey history has a team owed so much to one player and his one utterance -- “I guarantee a victory”. Mark Messier was THE man and the Rangers team he captained in the 1993-94 season was teetering on the brink of playoff-elimination prior to Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Semi-Final round. An upstart New Jersey Devils squad hardly was given a chance to defeat a team that...
  • Sunday, October 28, 2012

    What to Watch For With the Local Four

    BUFFALO: What a difference a year makes. In the Autumn of 2011, the Sabres looked so good forecasts had them finishing as high as fifth overall in the Eastern Conference. Having undergone a major character change -- a tougher, meaner team -- they impress critics enough to be considered for seventh overall which is better than missing the playoffs altogether as they did last Spring. What Buffalo will need...
  • Tuesday, September 25, 2012

    Hockey in the Holy Land

    How bizarre is this -- I travelled 6,000 miles to see my first hockey game of the season. And, of all places, it was in The Holy Land. Not that I was in Israel just to see a bunch of puck-chasers but -- hard as it may be to imagine -- I did see hockey played -- although on a level considerably below the NHL. While visiting my younger son, Simon, who lives in The Golan Heights with his family, he tipped...
  • Thursday, September 20, 2012

    Disagreeing With the Hockey Bible

    Being the unofficial "Bible" of its sport, The Hockey News is to be taken seriously; which I do, believe me, I do.
    But that doesn't mean that The Maven and The Hockey Bible have to agree all the time; especially when the time is now.
    To be specific, I will now take issue with THN's listing of the National Hockey League's best players just released in its annual Yearbook.
    For starters, The Hockey...
  • Monday, September 17, 2012

    Captain Considerations & Goaltending Questions

    • Considering his super-positive impact on the Rangers, Ryan Callahan spent the early part of his career egregiously overlooked by just about everyone but his Rochester-based agent, Steve Bartlett. In a Hockey News Yearbook "Captains America" feature, author Ken Campbell points out that Callahan actually would have been bypassed in the 2001 Ontario Hockey League Draft were it not for Bartlett. The rep lobbied then...
  • Tuesday, September 11, 2012

    Rating the 'Delicious Dozen' Met-Area Players

    One of my personal all-time favorite books -- among the 100 or so that I've written since 1967 -- happens to be titled HOCKEY'S 100; otherwise known as the best hundred players ever.
    That was written before anyone else in our scribbling business got around to such a listing and, with that in mind, The Maven figures it's time to do an abridged, contemporary, listing of the BEST DOZEN among our local...