The dominant theme of postmortems to come out of the Rangers’ first-round exit last weekend is that the organization has reached the end of an era. I’m inclined to agree, and there’s a lot of (deserved) doom and gloom regarding the Rangers’ outlook. That said, I thought I’d put together a top ten list of the most memorable goals from this wildly successful era for nostalgic purposes.
10. Carcillo Opens the Scoring off Zuccarello’s Pass, G7 vs. PHI 2014
I remember experiencing high levels of anxiety prior to this game, as the Rangers let an inferior Flyers team push them to Game 7 after a rout in Philadelphia in Game 6. Scoring first was a huge sigh of relief, made sweeter by the ridiculous pass and unlikely scorer.
9. Pouliot Scores Opening Goal of the Stanley Cup Final, G1 vs. LA 2014
This goal might not belong on the list in terms of importance, but for me, this was a “pinch me” moment, as it was a bit surreal to watch the Rangers playing in the Final. Also, Benoit Pouliot is awesome.
8. McDonagh’s Overtime Winner Keeps Rangers Alive, G5 vs. WSH 2015
It was still difficult to be optimistic about the Rangers’ chances even after this goal kept them alive, but it ultimately set the stage for the Rangers to complete their memorable comeback. Pretty nice play all around, too.
7. Hagelin’s Overtime Series Winner, G5 vs. PIT 2015
Hagelin’s winner was a sweet way to cap off a series that the Rangers had commanding control of (at least in terms of a 3-1 series lead — on the ice it was razor-close). This was Hagelin’s last big moment with the Rangers, and perhaps his signature moment, too.
6. Gaborik’s 3OT Winner Gives Rangers Series Lead, G3 vs. WSH 2012
This gets bonus points for ending a marathon game on a happy note, giving the Rangers a series lead (which wouldn’t make the series any easier, of course).
5. St. Louis Scores on Mother’s Day, G6 vs. PIT 2014
This was not only an emotional goal, but also an extremely important one to open the scoring in an elimination game.
4. TIE – Richards Ties it with 6.6 Seconds, Staal Wins is in Overtime, G5 vs. WSH 2012
I couldn’t find a way to separate these two, as they are inexorably linked in both my memory and due to the fact they were both scored while Joel Ward served his high-sticking double minor. The Rangers followed this up with a dud in Game 6, but these two goals were high on drama and importance.
3. St. Louis Beats Tokarski in Overtime, G4 vs. MTL 2014
I was at MSG for this, which was probably the biggest crowd eruption I’ve ever experienced in person. The Rangers flirted with completely squandering their 2-0 series lead in this game (committing nine minor penalties in this game made it perpetually tense), so it was a huge relief to head back to Montreal with a 3-1 cushion.
2. Stepan’s Overtime Winner Sends Rangers to the ECF, G7 vs. WSH 2015
I don’t think this needs much explanation.
1. Rangers Advance to Final on Moore’s Goal, G6 vs. MTL 2014
Nor does this one. One of these days I want to re-watch this game in its entirety.
Let me know if I royally screwed something up!