For us, when we hear the words “Penguins,” “Rangers” and “playoffs” together, we think of two big moments.
The first one is from the 1992 Patrick Division Final:
Why is this important? The New York Times tells us:
“Mario Lemieux of the Pittsburgh Penguins, considered by many to be hockey’s best player, will miss tonight’s game and possibly the rest of the National Hockey League playoffs because a bone in his left hand was fractured on Tuesday night when Adam Graves of the Rangers slashed him with his stick early into a 4-2 Ranger victory at Madison Square Garden.
The injury to Lemieux seriously damages Pittsburgh’s hopes of repeating as Stanley Cup champions and can only help the Rangers in the quest for their first championship since 1940. The Patrick Division final, which resumes in Pittsburgh, is tied at 1-1.
Graves received a two-minute minor penalty for slashing Lemieux, but his act is being reviewed by Brian O’Neill, the N.H.L.’s executive vice president, who serves as the league’s chief justice in these matters. A suspension of Graves is a possibility although Graves and Ranger officials say it would be undeserved. Mullen Out, Too
Shortly after the play involving Lemieux, another high-scoring Penguin forward, Joe Mullen, swerved to avoid a trip by Paul Broten and was crashed to the ice by a blind-side hit from Kris King. Mullen left the game and never returned, and yesterday the Penguins announced he was out indefinitely with a strained knee ligament. King was not penalized.”
Adam Graves will go down as one of the all-time villains in Penguins’ history. Puck Daddy has more:
“Graves was suspended four playoff games for the incident, which was more than the New York Rangers anticipated and less than the Pittsburgh Penguins desired. Brian O’Neill, NHL executive vice president, actually said the play wasn’t an intent to injure infraction, but was simply ‘reckless.’”
We still haven’t completely forgiven Graves, but the Cup certainly made the healing process easier.
The second moment is the 2008 Eastern Conference semifinal:
Obviously there are other moments, but those two always come to mind for us first. Which moments do you think of first?