Top 5 Moments in the Rangers/Devils Rivalry [LIST, VIDEOS]
Rangers vs Devils is one of the greatest rivalries in the National Hockey League. New York and New Jersey have faced off five times in the playoffs, the Rangers have won four of those matchups, most recently in 2008. Although, since their historic first series in 1994, the Devils have been to four Stanley Cup Finals, winning three of them, while the Rangers are still looking for a return trip since their 1994 Stanley Cup victory. Will this be the year that New York finally heads back to the Stanley Cup Finals or will the Devils add another trip to their already amazing legacy? As the two teams are about to wage another epic playoff battle, here are the top five moments in Rangers/Devils history.
This moment was famous enough that the NHL installed a rule directly because of it. "The Avery Rule" was created after Sean Avery parked in front of Devils goalie Martin Brodeur during a Rangers power play and waved his stick and hands in front of Brodeur in order to distract and screen the goalie's view. The following day, the NHL issued an interpretation of the league's unsportsmanlike conduct rule to cover actions such as the one attempted by Avery, which would now result in a minor penalty.
It is a long-standing hockey tradition that when the series is over, both teams out their differences aside and form two lines to shake hands as a sign of good sportsmanship. Martin Brodeur was so incensed with antagonist Sean Avery that he passed him on the line and refused to shake his hand. This prompted Avery to later say in an interview when refererring to the Devils netminder that "fatso forgot to shake my hand."
It is a rare occurrence that hockey fights develop right off the opening faceoff but when it's the Rangers and the Devils playing, expect the unexpected. The most recent entry to the Rangers/Devils rivalry happened earlier this season when not one, not two, but three fights broke out from the opening faceoff. It was a sight that looked like a moment straight out of the movie Slapshot, the puck barely hit the ice and punches were being thrown.
Not only is this memory one of the most famous between the Rangers and Devils, it may be one of the most famous in New York sports history as well. Down 3-2 in the 1994 series heading into Game Six at the Meadowlands Arena, ' "The Captain" Mark Messier made the ultimate declaration to the local media and guaranteed the Rangers a victory. Messier went on to score a natural hat trick and sent the series back to Madison Square Garden for Game 7.
'MATTEAU! MATTEAU! MATTEAU!" This will always be one of the most famous calls in the history of this series and three words Devils fans hate to this day. The famous double overtime wraparound goal scored by Stephane Matteau and propelled the Rangers into the Stanley Cup Finals against Vancouver.