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The Wessex Wire

The Wessex Wire

Deja Vu from the 1994 sports season in the Big Apple

Photo courtesy of Tongxin Liu (CC BY-SA 4.0 DEED)
Madison Square Garden furthers its legacy of hosting memorable sports games like the Rangers and Knicks.

It would be every New York sports fan’s dream for this sports season to have the same outcome as the one in 1994, and the parallels between the two seasons have come so close that it is understandable for fans to feed into these delusions. The New York Rangers’s fans have embodied the spirit of the 1993-1994 season as they continue to be a contender to win the Stanley Cup. 

The Rangers have had an incredible season so far, leading the NHL with the most regular season wins and acquiring the Presidents’ Trophy. Similarly, the Rangers took home the trophy in 1994. Capping off on this memorable 2024 season, the Rangers set new franchise records for points (114) and team wins (55). Coincidentally, the ‘94 Rangers also broke franchise records. In the offseason, the Rangers hired head coach Peter Laviolette, and in his first year with the team, he has done a remarkable job. Similarly, before the 1994 season, the Rangers hired head coach Mike Keenan who led the team to the greatest accomplishment for a hockey team, the Stanley Cup.  

The Stanley Cup Playoffs are no joke to any hockey fan, so when they see all of the similarities to the historic season from 30 years ago, hope for a similar outcome this season almost feels guaranteed. In this year’s playoffs, the Rangers started the playoffs hot, sweeping the Washington Capitals and took an early 3-0 game lead against the Carolina Hurricanes. The last time the Rangers took a 7-0 lead at the start of the playoffs was in 1994. Rangers star Artemi Panarin is known for his efficiency on the rink and became the first Ranger since the 1993-1994 season to score four game-winning goals in a single postseason since Mark Messier and Brian Leetch. In that same season, Messier scored a single-period hat trick exactly like how left-wing Christopher Kreider carried the Rangers to victory against the Hurricanes in game six. 

However, the history does not stop on the ice rink. The New York Knicks had a good run in the playoffs, polishing up their historic season. The Knicks were the number two seed in the NBA playoffs, and they also had secured the second seed in the 1994 playoffs. The Knicks battled the Indiana Pacers in the second round and had a strong 2-0 start, but were defeated in the next two games. The same outcome happened in the 1994 conference finals against the Pacers, where the Knicks won two and then lost two. Unfortunately, the New York Knicks fell short this year and ended their season in game seven of the second round, but still, this does not take away from the similarities to the ‘94 season that is exciting fans. 

The New York Giants will head to Germany to play against the Carolina Panthers this season. The last time the Giants played in Germany was 1994. As more of these surprising examples flood social media pages, the New York sports world continues to be convinced that this year is not just any other season.

Aside from sports, New York City itself has also seen quite a few events that mirror the past. On Sept. 5, 1994, the city was hit with a 5.9 magnitude earthquake. On April 5 of this year, a 4.8 magnitude earthquake hit Tewksbury Township of New Jersey that spread to New York.  

To add to this, OJ Simpson has also come back into news stories because of his death due to cancer on April 10. Barely less than 30 years ago, OJ Simpson was also in the news for his iconic chase from the police in his white Ford Bronco on June 17, 1994.  

New York sports fans have lived in a fantasy that the 2024 season will reflect what went down in 1994, and it has become hard to blame them when they have gathered much evidence to back up their “this is our year” talk.  

Photo credit: “The en:New Orleans Pelicans play the en: New York Knicks at en: Madison Square Garden on October 5, 2018” by Tongxin Liu is licensed under (CC BY-SA 4.0 DEED)

Behind the Byline
Ava Belli
Ava Belli, Sports Editor
Ava Belli is a 2024-2025 Sports Section Editor for the Wessex Wire. In her free time, she loves to hang out with her friends and family and watch her favorite Disney Channel throwback shows. She spends her summers in Lavallette, N.J., where you can find her favorite ice cream spot, Iceberg. 
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