The Rangers lost Game 3 of their first round playoff series to the New Jersey Devils, 3-0, at Madison Square Garden last night. Despite the presence of Jaromir Jagr, who was injured earlier in the series and tried to pull a "Willis Reed" and inspire his team to a victory, the Blueshirts couldn't pull it off. The Devils are absolutely red-hot right now, and Martin Brodeur is the best goalie on the planet now.
I had to love the New York Daily News this morning. In a little sidebar, they told their fans,"IT HAS HAPPENED!", and mentioned that the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs and the 1975 Islanders are the only hockey teams to have come from 0-3 back to win their seven-game playoff series. (The Islanders almost did it twice that year. After coming back to beat Pittsburgh, they fell behind 0-3 to the Flyers before coming back to tie the semifinal series, 3-3. They lost Game 7 to the Flyers in Philly, who went on to win the Stanley Cup that year.)
But there was also a little note to the sidebar:
"The feat has also been accomplished in baseball. Quite recently we're told."
I absolutely love it! The greatest legacy of the 2004 Red Sox comeback is seeing things like this. Every time a baseball, hockey or basketball team falls into an 0-3 hole in a seven game series(or is about to), the Red Sox comeback is sure to be mentioned (even in this roundabout way). The New York Post, however, refused to even mention it today.
In 2005, fresh in everyone's minds, the Red Sox comeback was mentioned many times during the 2005 NBA playoffs. When the Washington Wizards fell down 0-2 in their series with the Chicago Bulls, one player (I can't remember his name) was asked about a possible comeback and said, "If we lose Game 3, we'll have to go back and pull out the Red Sox tapes." The Wizards won the next four straight and the series.
In the 2004 Davis Cup in Spain, the USA was down 0-2 in a five game series that November, and won Game 3. The captain was asked afterwards what he said to inspire the USA to victory (I can't remember who won it for the USA). He said simply, "Remember the Red Sox!" Absolutely beautiful. (But the USA lost Game 4 and the series however.)
So the Rangers aren't quite dead yet. Just remember guys, a team game back from 0-3 to win a seven game series. It was quite recently, even if a certain New York tabloid has trouble remembering exactly who it was.
It might just be time for someone in the Rangers organization to go out and get a copy of the 2004 World Series film.