Special Sub-Topic: Rangers First 20 Years: 1926-46
|The first year of their existence, 1926-27, the Rangers boasted the top point scorer in the NHL in whom?|
Bill Cook. Bill Cook joined the team along with his brother, Bun, from the Western league. He scored 33 goals and 4 assists to accumulate 37 points in 44 games (the length of the season then). His scoring also allowed the Rangers to win their division, an unprecedented feat for a first-year team. Only two of the players mentioned were actually Rangers. Billy Burch played for the Americans and Herb Gardiner for the Canadiens.
|Everyone knows that Bernie "Boom-Boom" Geoffrion invented the slapshot, but what Rangers' great was the first to intentionally leave the puck behind him for a trailing teammate, a move later termed the "drop pass". Who was this?|
Bun Cook & Fred Cook & Cook & Fred & Bun & Frederick Cook & Frederick. This technique was highly successful for the Rangers top line of Bill and Bun Cook and Frank Boucher. As most teams generally kept up foward momentum upon entering the enemy zone, the backwards movement was confusing for opposing netminders and defensemen.
|The most memorable moment of the 1927-28 playoffs was the incredible performance of the Rangers manager/coach Lester Patrick, taking over between the pipes for injured goalie Lorne Chabot. However, the most satisfying moment had to be the 2-1 Game 5 Finals victory that netted the Rangers their first Cup. Who was the hero that scored the game-winning goal in that pivotal game?|
Frank Boucher. Boucher actually scored both goals in the game against the Montreal Maroons. Boucher had also contributed earlier in the series when his OT goal in Game 2 snapped a 1-1 tie. His timely playoff scoring capped off an incredible year in which he scored 35 points with just 15 PIM, an effort that won him the first of seven Lady Byng trophies as the NHLs most gentlemanly player.
|Although the line of Bill Cook, Frank Boucher, and Bun Cook had been playing together since 1926, they weren't officially given the moniker "The Bread Line" until 1928-29. Which one of these was not an achievement by one or more of the players on that line during the 1928-29 season?|
Finished 1-2-3 in scoring. This remarkable trio was able to keep up production despite what has been termed the Year of the Goalie. All three members had double-digit goal totals and Frank Boucher led the league in assists (16) while also claiming his second Lady Byng. None of the three led in scoring, however, as Toronto's Ace Bailey and Detroit's Carson Cooper filled in the top two spots.
|The Rangers finished third in 1929-30 but were knocked out early in the playoffs by the Canadiens. Despite the premature end to the season, Frank Boucher led the NHL in what category?|
Assists. Boucher again led the league in assists and set a record with 36 helpers. His altruistic playing earned him his third straight Lady Byng.
|The 1930-31 season marked the introduction of the first NHL All-Star squad. The Rangers have the proud distinction of having had a member on this first team. Who was it?|
Bill Cook & Cook. Bread Liner Bill Cook was selected as the All-Star right wing along with Howie Morenz at center and Aurel Joliat at left wing. The defense featured Eddie Shore and King Clancy with Charlie Gardiner in goal. Left out was Frank Boucher who received his fourth straight Lady Byng.
|Frank Boucher's claim to the Lady Byng ended in 1931-32. His loss seemed to be the Rangers gain as they accomplished something they had not done since the 1926-27 season. What was it?|
Won their division. They finished 23-17-3, first in their division, a feat they had not duplicated since their inception into the league in 1926-27. Despite Bill Cook's 34 goals, the scoring crown went to Busher Jackson of Toronto and the Lady Byng to Joe Primeau, also of Toronto.
|The Rangers rebounded strongly in 1932-33. They made strong acquistions in Babe Siebert and Andy Aitkenhead, and the Bread Line rose to the occasion in both the regular season and the playoffs. They opposed a familiar face in the Finals against Toronto. The Stanley Cup win came at the expense of one who was once one of their own. What former Rangers goalie was in a Toronto uniform in 1932?|
Lorne Chabot. Bill Cook scored the game-winning goal vs. Chabot in Game 4. Chabot had been traded to the Leafs in 1928 when the Rangers installed John Roach as the netminder. The year was a spectacular success for the Rangers. Bill Cook was the leader in goals (28) and points (50), Frank Boucher led in assists (28), and reclaimed the Lady Byng for his fifth win of the trophy. Their lineup featured five future Hall of Famers in Ching Johnson, Frank Boucher, Bill Cook, Babe Siebert, and Lester Patrick.
|1933-34 was an unproductive year for the Rangers, as they fell to third place and lost in the first round. The next year (1934-35) saw the Rangers improve some, but still get knocked out early. The team that beat them, the Montreal Maroons, only had to win one game to do so.|
t. The NHL at the time used a two-game total goals format in the semi-finals. Montreal won 2-1 and then tied 3-3, giving them the edge in goals scored 5-4 and the series win. As an aside, new Ranger Cecil Dillon was second in the NHL with 25 goals, and Frank Boucher led in assists (again) with 34. He also received his seventh Lady Byng (his sixth was in the previous year). The NHL decided to commission a new trophy and give him the old one because he had won the award so many times.
|The NHL was having a bad year in 1936-37. Canadiens great Howie Morenz died at age 34 after suffering a shattered leg, Detroit's ace netminder missed most of the playoffs with a serious injury, and Toronto star Joe Primeau retired. The Rangers too, saw an old friend go as they started the season without what long-time winger?|
Bun Cook. The Bread Line was broken in 1936 as Bun Cook did not enter the season with the Rangers. All was not lost however, as a new "brother" act was in town, Neil and Mac Colville. Also, Rangers goalie Dave Kerr had the second best GAA (goals-against average) in the regular season and a stellar postseason with six wins, four shutouts, and a 1.11 GAA.
|The 1937-38 season saw the two New York franchises (the Americans and Rangers) meet in the playoffs for only the second time in history. The Americans win over the Rangers seemed to cap off a poor season for the Rangers. How many Rangers were in the top five penalty minute leaders that year?|
4. Art Coulter (90), Ott Heller (68), Joe Cooper (57), and Babe Pratt (56) were all in the top five PIM leaders. Overall, the team spent too much time in the box instead of scoring.
|The Rangers featured two top lines to replace the Bread Line in 1938-39. These lines helped the Rangers into second place in the NHL and the playoffs. Even with the added scoring, the Bruins ousted the Rangers on three overtime goals. Who was the Boston player that scored all three?|
Mel Hill. Mel "Sudden Death" Hill scored in the OT of Games 1,2, and 7, during the 1939 semi-finals. Goalie Bert Gardiner was the victim for two of Hill's overtime tallies. The new top lines for the Rangers that year consisted of Mac Colville, Alex Shibicky, and Neil Colville for the first line and Phil Watson, Bryan Hextall, and Dutch Hiller for the second line.
|1939-40 was a good year for the Rangers. They finished second behind Boston as Dave Kerr was exceptional in net, the Colvilles and Bryan Hextall were scoring left and right, and, of course, they came away with the Stanley Cup. In addition to the ultimate award, what two other pieces of NHL hardware did Rangers players take home that year?|
The Vezina and the Calder. Technically, only four of the six mentioned trophies actually existed at the time. The Art Ross wasn't introduced until 1947 and the Norris until 1953. The two awards nabbed by Rangers players were the Vezina by Kerr (outstanding goaltender) and the Calder by Kilby MacDonald (rookie of the year).
|The 1940-41 season for the Rangers didn't go so well. With the imminent departure of players to enlist in the armed forces and the threat of WWII ever-present, the team dropped to fourth and were defeated in the quarterfinals by the Red Wings. The one bright spot was the Rangers outstanding right winger. Who was it?|
Bryan Hextall & Hextall. Hextall scored 26 goals to lead the league again and earned an All-Star berth. His prolific scoring could not overcome a weaker Rangers defense that allowed 48 more goals than in the previous season.
|It was an up and down year for the Rangers in 1941-42. They finished first in the NHL for the first time in their history and had a potent scoring line. However, they were upset in the semi-finals by the Toronto Maple Leafs, and lost a key member of the team to retirement. What goaltender hung up his skates for good in 1941-42? |
Dave Kerr. Dave Kerr played 11 seasons and led the Rangers to the Stanely Cup in 1939-40. "Sugar" Jim Henry was called up to replace Kerr but couldn't get the job done against the Leafs. The Rangers scoring line of Lynn Patrick, Phil Watson, and Bryan Hextall, just couldn't produce despite leading the NHL in all three scoring categories (Hextall in points, Patrick in goals, and Watson in assists). Hextall won his only scoring title that year.
|WWII was in full swing in 1942-43, and the Rangers were hit hard by players joining the armed forces. One of the biggest blows was the loss of goalie "Sugar" Jim Henry. After running through several second-rate netminders, the Rangers settled on Steve Buzinski. Like "Sugar" Jim Henry, Buzinski received a nickname as well, but one that was not so sweet. What name was he tagged with?|
Buzinski "The Puck Goesinski". Despite consistent production by right wing Bryan Hextall (27g, 32a, 59pts), the Rangers lack of likewise consistent goaltending left them out of the playoffs. They actually started training camp without a goalie until they found Buzinski in the Saskatchewan Intermediaries. He posted a 6.11 GAA in nine games. The Rangers subsequently finished last.
|The Rangers tanked in 1943-44. They were still without a major-league goaltender and they lost Phil Watson to the Canadiens for the season. The Rangers allowed a number of "worst" records, both team and NHL that season. Which of these wasn't one?|
Least goals scored for. The new goalie, Ken "Tubby" McAuley, posted a 6.22 GAA, the worst in the NHL since 1919-20 and allowed 310 goals. The 6-39-5 record the Rangers compiled was the worst in team history. The most lopsided defeat occurred on Jan. 23, 1944, when Detroit drubbed the Rangers 15-0. The Rangers didn't stop there. They also allowed the fastet goal ever scored by a rookie (15s by Gus Bodnar), and the first single player six-goal game in 23 years (Detroit's Syd Howe).
|The 1944-45 season was one of degredation for the Rangers. The next year (1945-46) saw the return of players that had served during the war. The Rangers reunited the line of Mac Colville, Alex Shibicky, and Neil Colville but to no avail. Another team, the Boston Bruins, also reunited a line that had been broken up by the war, but their results were exactly the opposite. What was this famous Bruins line?|
the Kraut Line. The Kraut Line (renamed the Kitchener Kids due to WWII) consisted of Milt Schimdt, Bobby Bauer, and Woody Dumart. They had been serving in the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF). They helped Boston to a second place finish. Toronto's Kid Line included Charlie Conacher, Busher Jackson, and Joe Primeau (1930s). Montreal's Punch Line had Maurice Richard, Toe Blake, and Elmer Lach (1940s). The Triple Crown Line was a Los Angeles Kings combination of Charlie Simmer, Dave Taylor, and Marcel Dionne, the first line to have three 100-point scorers on it.
|With the reunited Colvilles and Alex Shibicky not producing in 1945-46, it was left up to others to take up the slack. The only one who did so was rookie Edgar Laprade. He was the team's second best scorer. What two other Ranger greats made their debuts with the Blueshirts in 1945-46?|
Tony Leswick and Chuck Rayner. Goalie Chuck Rayner had formerly played with the New York Americans franchise before it folded. He would lead the league in losses but only get better and better. At the same time, left wing Tony Leswick began to display some signs of greatness, showing an ability to score while also irritating other top fowards. Jean Ratelle would not join the Rangers until 1960, Rod Gilbert also in 1960, Andy Bathgate in 1952, and Anders Hedberg not until 1978 (becoming one of the first European players to have an effect on the NHL).
|The last year of the first two decades (1946-47) continued in the downward trend of the last several years. The Rangers again finished out of the playoffs. But in a satisfactory ending to those first 20 years, the Rangers still had one bright spark left to light their way into the next 20, goaltender Chuck Rayner. What category did he lead the NHL in in 1946-47?|
Shutouts. Although the Rangers did not earn a postseason berth, Chuck Rayner had five shutouts and led the league in that category. The Rangers were set to (hopefully) begin climbing back up into the ranks of NHL contenders.
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