New York Rangers win Stanley Cup
The 1928 Stanley Cup Final NHL championship series was contested by the New York Rangers and the Montreal Maroons.
It was the first appearance by the Rangers in the Finals and was their first victory of the Stanley Cup in only their second season.
The Series had to be played in Montreal, as the circus had taken over New York's Madison Square Garden.
†† The Rangers lost their goalie Lorne Chabot to eye injury in the second game. In one of the most famous incidents in hockey history, 44-year-old coach Lester Patrick took over with the recorded words "Boys, don't let an old man down," and his efforts inspired the Rangers to a 2–1 victory in overtime. Patrick became the oldest person to play in the Stanley Cup finals (44 years-3 months-10 days old), a record which remains unsurpassed to this day. (Chris Chelios in 2008 at the age of 46 became the oldest player with his name on the cup though he did not log any ice time in the finals.)
For the following matches, the Rangers hired New York Americans goalie Joe Miller, who won two games including a shutout.
This final series was played entirely in Montreal. The Rangers management made this decision because the circus was in town in New York, forcing them to abandon Madison Square Garden. This proved to be a good decision for New York as they handed the Montreal Maroons a three game to two series loss. In game two, 45-year-old New York Rangers' coach Lester Patrick replaced injured Lorne Chabot in goal. Patrick and the Rangers were able to win that game 2-1 in overtime, but the Rangers promptly signed New York Americans' goaltender Joe Miller the next day. In just their second NHL season, the Rangers captured the Stanley Cup, becoming only the second American team to win the prize. The previous U.S.-based team to claim the championship was the Seattle Metropolitans in 1917. The star of the finals was Frank Boucher, who scored four of the five Ranger goals.
The 1927–28 New York Rangers season was the second season for the team in the National Hockey League. In the regular season, the Rangers finished in second place in the American Division with a 19–16–9 record and qualified for the Stanley Cup playoffs. In a pair of two-game total goals series, New York defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates and Boston Bruins to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals, where they faced the Montreal Maroons. The Rangers defeated the Maroons 3–2 to win their first Stanley Cup.
The circus knocked the Rangers out of Madison Square Garden, and all games would be played in the Montreal Forum, even though Boston offered to host the Rangers. The Maroons won game one 2–0, with Nels Stewart and goaltender Clint Benedict the stars.
Drama took over in game two when Nels Stewart fired a hard shot that struck New York goaltender Lorne Chabot in the eye. He could not continue, and the Rangers needed a goaltender. However, when coach Eddie Gerard refused to let the Rangers use Alex Connell or minor league goaltender Hugh McCormick, Lester Patrick, Ranger coach, in anger, decided to don the pads himself. The Rangers then body-blasted any Maroon who got near Patrick. Bill Cook scored, putting the Rangers ahead 1–0, but Nels Stewart was not to be denied and scored, tying the game. In overtime, Frank Boucher got the winner for the Rangers and they carried Patrick, tears streaming down his eyes, off the ice.
Joe "Red Light" Miller, New York Americans goalie, was allowed to take Chabot's place in goal and he played well in a 2–0 loss in game three. However, Frank Boucher starred as the Rangers took the next two games, and the Stanley Cup. Drama almost took place in the final game when Miller was badly cut on a shot, but he was able to continue. The crowd became unruly at times and referee Mike Rodden took abuse for disallowed goals by Maroon players. Even NHL president Frank Calder was a target of some fans for not intervening. The Rangers became the second American team to win the Cup and the first NHL American team to do so.