With the New York Rangers on the brink of advancing to the Stanley Cup Finals, what better time for the New York Post’s Zach Braziller to distract Mets radio voice Howie Rose from his miserable full-time gig with memories of his most fateful piece of hockey commentary, which celebrates it’s 20th anniversary tomorrow night. To wit, Stephane Matteau’s double OT goal that gave the Rangers a Game 7 victory over the New Jersey Devils in the 1994 Eastern Conference Finals :
“It’s a moment that a lot of broadcasters work their entire careers for and never get,” Rose said before calling Monday’s Mets-Pirates game at Citi Field on WOR 710 AM. “Particularly now, with the 20th anniversary [on Tuesday] and the Rangers on a pretty great run, there are even more reminders today than the last couple of years.
“For it to have endured for 20 years, it’s pretty neat. I will say that I don’t think it would have taken on the apparent life it has had they not won the Cup.”
“The overriding thing I felt was the pressure to get every single play right,” the two-time Emmy Award winner and member of the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame recalled. “Your focus as an announcer is so intense. My attention to the puck was so acute and fixed, and a lot of it had to do with the location where we broadcasted at the Garden [above the tunnel where the teams entered and exited].
“It wasn’t an ideal location for hockey. In a perfect world, you like to be higher up, but in that particular case, the vantage point made it easy for me to keep my eyes glued to the puck. It was almost magnetic. [My eyes] were almost attached to the Rangers’ crest on the puck. There wasn’t any deliberation, any guesswork. It was the product of just basically reporting what I saw, which was reporting Matteau scoring the goal.”