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Jas0nMacIsaac

Defeating Boston in 93-94 and 94-95

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What people remember those years is losing to NYR in the conference finals and beating the juggernaut Red Wings in the finals but what people seem not to remember is ruining Bourque's best chances at winning the cup and arguably the top two strongest possession teams of the last 25 years. They had a 10+ shot for/against differential both years which is remarkable.  To beat that same team two years in a row isn't really stressed enough around here.

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Claude was key both years as he pestered the hell out of a hobbled Neely and picked up a bunch of points in both series

 

the 1994 Bruins were poised to pick us off. We were coming off of a 7 games war with Buffalo and hadn't gotten our second wind yet. They squeaked by us in game 1 and Marty played an awful game in game 2 (ot loss, what a surprise) Game 3 Lemaire goes to Terreri and the Devils fall behind early but claw back for the win. Game 4 they fall behind early again (I think) but Terreri shuts the door and plays brilliantly. Richer had a nice OT winner.

 

Game 5 Lemaire goes back to Brodeur who pitches a shutout (22 saves) and then goes back to Terreri in Boston Garden and he played very well for the clincher.

 

I don't know if the Bruins were as ferocious as you paint them out to be Jason. They had guys like Glen Murray and Czerkawski and Stumpel but they hadn't really come into there own yet. Plus guys like Casey and Blaine Lacher really let them down. Devils got some soft goals in their favor in 94 and 1995. They also weren't all they physical up front. Steve Heinze, Brian Smolinski, Mats Naslund, Ted Donato. The Devils just beat the hell out of those guys

 

By 1995 the Bruins were icing a done Kasatonov, Jon Rohloff (who committed the gaff that led to the McKay goal) they just weren't that good or that physical on D. And the NHL pendulum was swinging towards hard hitting clutch and grab defense at that point

Edited by '7'

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Claude was key both years as he pestered the hell out of a hobbled Neely and picked up a bunch of points in both series

 

the 1994 Bruins were poised to pick us off. We were coming off of a 7 games war with Buffalo and hadn't gotten our second wind yet. They squeaked by us in game 1 and Marty played an awful game in game 2 (ot loss, what a surprise) Game 3 Lemaire goes to Terreri and the Devils fall behind early but claw back for the win. Game 4 they fall behind early again (I think) but Terreri shuts the door and plays brilliantly. Richer had a nice OT winner.

 

Game 5 Lemaire goes back to Brodeur who pitches a shutout (22 saves) and then goes back to Terreri in Boston Garden and he played very well for the clincher.

 

I don't know if the Bruins were as ferocious as you paint them out to be Jason. They had guys like Glen Murray and Czerkawski and Stumpel but they hadn't really come into there own yet. Plus guys like Casey and Blaine Lacher really let them down. Devils got some soft goals in their favor in 94 and 1995. They also weren't all they physical up front. Steve Heinze, Brian Smolinski, Mats Naslund, Ted Donato. The Devils just beat the hell out of those guys

 

By 1995 the Bruins were icing a done Kasatonov, Jon Rohloff (who committed the gaff that led to the McKay goal) they just weren't that good or that physical on D. And the NHL pendulum was swinging towards hard hitting clutch and grab defense at that point

 

I was very young at that point and didn't really watch hockey the way I did now, I'm not even sure Devils games were televised in Canada until the Rangers series. It's an interesting revisit but their shots for/against ratio is dynasty like strong. Our best Devils teams were far less than that ratio.

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I don't know what to really make of the whole shots for/against ratio. Those were good Bruins teams, but they were never dominant on the ice. Plus they played in the same division as a historically bad Ottawa team (and everybody fattened up on Ottawa those days) so maybe that skews the #'s a bit?

 

Plus Boston Garden was a very small rink. Shot totals were always very high there.

Edited by '7'

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Its amazing just looking back at the 93-94 team and how we had three hall of fame defensemen in Stevens, Niedermayer, and Fetisov

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Answer: the team that turned the lights off for good at the Boston Garden. Question: who are the 1995 New Jersey Devils

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What people remember those years is losing to NYR in the conference finals and beating the juggernaut Red Wings in the finals but what people seem not to remember is ruining Bourque's best chances at winning the cup and arguably the top two strongest possession teams of the last 25 years. They had a 10+ shot for/against differential both years which is remarkable.  To beat that same team two years in a row isn't really stressed enough around here.

 

The thing about Ray Bourque and possession is that he took so many goddamn shots.  He basically averaged 4 shots a game for a decade.  His shooting percentages are also laughably low, considering that - he has a career shooting percentage of 6.6% when league average SV% through his career was probably around .900.  Wouldn't be surprised if Boston's percentages suffered because of Bourque alone. 

 

Still, 95 at least is a classic example of one team (the Bruins) just going utterly cold or a goalie playing out of his mind - can't really remember that series all that well + didn't know much about hockey back then.

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1995 was an utter whitewash. Neely was disintegrating and they had nobody else who could scare you goal scoring wise.

 

The entire Bruins attack was funneled through Bourque for a long time. He stayed out there for the whole PP...he would regularly shoot the puck on net from center ice (not just at the Garden) or from beyond center ice

 

I think what happened is that early in his career he surprised a few goalies and decided that would just be his game from then on.

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Some observations/memories by someone who did watch both of those series (I had tix for the first two rounds in '93-'94, and tix for the last two rounds in '95, but watched every game):

 

'93-'94:  Terrific coaching by Lemaire, especially the way he handled the goalie situation.  Marty looked very shaky in Game 2 of that Boston series, but had clearly become the Devils' #1 goalie by that point (starting every playoff game), and it would've been understandable if Lemaire had decided to stick with him (he had been terrific in the three previous games, including Games 6 and 7 against Buffalo).  Terreri had obviously had a strong year that season, but it still took balls on Lemaire's part to go to him.  I'm not knocking Brodeur here one bit, and it was still early in Marty's career, but it's clear when you read Marty's book that Lemaire was clearly in control when it came to Marty.  Lemaire didn't think anything of sitting him, pulling him, etc.   

 

'95:  Devils just completely stuffed them.  Those first two games were frighteningly dominant...at the time, I was blown away by what I was watching, and by Game 2, it was obviously the Bruins were coming apart mentally, getting frustrated, etc, though they did recover somewhat.  I remember regular season games where Neely would get the best of Lemieux, but that definitely was not the case in this series. 

 

In both series, the Devils had key OT wins that kept the Bruins at bay...if the Devils lose Game 4 in '94, they're down 3-1, and if they lose Game 4 in '95, it's a tie series and Boston would've won two in a row.  Those OT wins were huge, and help to show that, even in a 5-game and 6-game series, these series can often come down to a goal or two.  

 

I don't know what to really make of the whole shots for/against ratio. Those were good Bruins teams, but they were never dominant on the ice. Plus they played in the same division as a historically bad Ottawa team (and everybody fattened up on Ottawa those days) so maybe that skews the #'s a bit?

 

Plus Boston Garden was a very small rink. Shot totals were always very high there.

 

It's going back a ways, but I kind of remember the Bruins teams of that era being a bit mentally fragile (that doesn't come through in stats), despite the good to very good regular season records they usually put up.  In '92-'93, they went on a tear to end the season and jump into first place almost at the wire...then promptly got swept in the first round by the Sabres. 

 

And yeah, the Devils clearly had the edge in goal in both series.  Jon Casey could occasionally play pretty well, but was usually ordinary.  Blaine Lacher was actually quite good in '95 (he kept his team in Games 3-5), then completely fell to pieces.     

Edited by Colorado Rockies 1976

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Remember both series well. In the 1994 series, i think that 2-0 hole was a direct result of coming off that Buffalo series. The Devils played a 4OT game, game 7 and the first 2 games against Boston in a week's time. Even though the Devils were an OT goal away from being down 3-1, they really weren't outplayed. People forget that Boston did not have Neely, either. FWIW...Buffalo was probably the worst first round opponent they could have drawn that year. Hasek was not of this planet and that alone was enough to scare you. They were also without LaFontaine. Looking back, you've got to wonder do the Devils win either series if Neely and Lafontaine were playing.....

 

Blaine Lacher was hot garbage in 1995. The Devils played their system perfectly jumping on them off the bat exposed them. I always disliked Raymond Bourque and remember him (i think game 2?) fumbling a pass on a PP and Richer beat Lacher like a rented mule. Richer and Lemieux were awesome that series.

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The 1994-95 playoff team was a juggernaut to the point that, without looking it up, it probably is  in the top five in fewest playoff games needed to win the Cup since the 4 rounds best of 7 series format started.  The Philly series was mildly competitive, but that was it.  It takes more than just getting hot at the right time to utterly dominate like that, and it was a lot more than other teams just underestimating them, or "the trap". 

 

ADDENDUM:  And even though the team didn't make the playoffs the following year, even though their record was quite respectable, the Devils were a consistent 100+ point team after that without the benefit of shootouts.  When you think of it that way, it should be the teams that beat the Devils in the playoffs between 97 and 99 that ought to be impressed with themselves. 

Edited by Daniel

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The 1994-95 playoff team was a juggernaut to the point that, without looking it up, it probably is  in the top five in fewest playoff games needed to win the Cup since the 4 rounds best of 7 series format started.  The Philly series was mildly competitive, but that was it.  It takes more than just getting hot at the right time to utterly dominate like that, and it was a lot more than other teams just underestimating them, or "the trap". 

 

ADDENDUM:  And even though the team didn't make the playoffs the following year, even though their record was quite respectable, the Devils were a consistent 100+ point team after that without the benefit of shootouts.  When you think of it that way, it should be the teams that beat the Devils in the playoffs between 97 and 99 that ought to be impressed with themselves. 

 

I've pointed it out before, but what was weird about the '95 team was that they played like the '96 team for much of the regular season, then played like the '94 squad once the playoffs started.  The '94 team was clearly the second-best team in the NHL that season, and as we saw, was just barely behind the NHL's best.  That '94 team could score, and after being inconsistent offensively during the regular season in '95, from Game 1 of the playoffs, they started scoring like the '94 bunch.   

 

 

Blaine Lacher was hot garbage in 1995.

 

This isn't really true...he had a very good rookie year, and the Bruins thought he was going to be their guy going forward.  But he absolutely lost it the following season...he got off to an awful start (.845 save% in 12 GP) in '95-'96 and never recovered. 

Edited by Colorado Rockies 1976

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I kind of feel the same about the 03 team.

 

When I told my friend the Devils would play the Lightning that year, he said "congratulations on making the third round". I kind of agreed. I felt going into Ottawa the Devils had gotten some lucky draws that year.

 

But the year after Boston finished first in the East and Tampa won the cup. Both teams had the same leadership group and star players as the year before. Don't have the possession numbers to back it up, but their results in 04 year made me rethink the Devils first two rounds the year prior.

 

And as a Devils fan I feel like we've been through our fair share of 'could've beens' since the first lockout. In 2010 when we lost to Philly obviously a lot of people thought the Devils underachieved, but then Philly goes a game or two from winning the cup and you had to wonder.

 

It's easy to look at the teams we had since '05 and say we underachieved. On the other hand, when we HAVE made the playoffs we've lost to some pretty good teams. Every team but the '08 Rangers made at least the conference final.

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The '94 series against Buffalo was draining......that game 7 could have gone either way. I have it on DVD and watched it a couple years back........Brodeur made some absolute sick save mildly late in Game 7 where all the Sabres in the screen had their sticks in the air.

 

and I remember Game 2 v. the Bruins when I believe it was Driver tied the game with :03 left........and of course the Devs promptly lost the game in OT.

 

...and for months I had the radio or TV call of Richer's breakaway goal ( I think it was Doc) in Game 4 that crushed Boston, as my answering machine message....lol.

 

Shame how it all turned out.

 

Good days, finally actually winning playoff games. Different then the early '90's   (not speaking of '88)

Edited by Jimmy Leeds

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I was at the Driver game...funny thing was a lot of fans had started to leave and were filtering out...they all came rushing back in.  When they lost, I admit it, I didn't think they would come back to win the series. 

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