New York Knicks, Rangers, Islanders, Brooklyn Nets and New Jersey Devils playoff divisive

A month ago, five New York area teams began their playoff journeys, and it brought back memories of 1994.

It’s not because of any of these teams that the all-time greats for their respective franchises, like the Rangers and Knicks, played until deep into June 1994.

That was because New York had not had five playoff teams make the playoffs in the same season since 1994. Back then the Rangers and maybe the Knicks should go the distance and win a title, the expectations for a title this year weren’t as high, although some were attached. The Rangers as potential Stanley Cup champions.

About a month later, the extravaganza of five teams each making the playoffs officially came to an end. The end came in Miami when the Knicks lost 96-92 in Game 6, ending a second-round series that brought back memories of the four times these teams played in the postseason when they combined for 24 physical, low-scoring games. The final four seasons of Patrick Ewing’s tenure from 1997 to 2000.

Although Miami emerged from those memorable battles with three championships and seven Eastern Conference appearances, Friday night ended a memorable 47-win season for the Knicks, who got their superstar in Jalen Brunson, whose 41 points nearly led them to victory. Game 7.

After all, the Knicks’ demise led to a Game 1 loss at home and their first two losses in Miami when the Heat appeared to play more like they wanted it more, a remark noted by Julius Randle, who played through a sore ankle and then opened the sequel. round of talks about his future in some circles.

The end of the Knicks’ most successful season since 2012-13 came about 24 hours after the Devils saw their pleasantly surprising season come to an end with a Game 5 overtime loss to the Carolina Hurricanes. The loss ended a season in which Jack Hughes emerged as a superstar as the Devils used their speed to make their first playoff run since 2018, scoring often and playing differently than the three Stanley Cup winning teams and the 1994 the team that nearly thwarted Ranger. ending their 54-year drought.

Before being swept by the Hurricanes, the Devils swept the Rangers in an odd seven-game home opener. It was the sixth Battle of the Hudson, but it was a series that produced no classic games and wouldn’t lead to books being published years later.

Instead, the Rangers looked like the right choice for a championship team as they started the series with a 5-1 streak. Then Dougie Hamilton scored in overtime, the Devils won the next two games to set up a classic series finish, except the Rangers extended it with a 5-2 victory before falling in Game 7.

The impact of getting a lead in the seventh led to the bench. Rumors about the possibility of Gerard Gallant becoming a former coach began shortly after the teams clicked, and the possibility grew when he expressed frustration at being asked about the topic on parting day. Around the same time, the Heat were in the second half and on their way to knocking off the Knicks, Gallant was ejected in a back-and-forth.

The reckless exit capped a season in which the Rangers failed to meet high expectations after a surprise run to the Eastern Conference finals ended June 10 at Tampa Bay, preceded by a pair of seven-game winning streaks.

Rangers finished three days after the Islanders, who were swept to eventual champions in 1994 after four games. This time, the Islanders didn’t get crushed, just couldn’t get enough offense to work, creating little margin for error, as evidenced by the Hurricanes’ three one-goal losses, which also beat them in 2019.

The Islanders saw the end on April 28 with Paul Stastny’s goal six minutes into overtime. It was a bad corner goal that came right after the Mets saw a 4-0 loss to the Braves cut to five innings due to heavy rain and scoring. 88 minutes delay.

The longtime rivals stayed further away than the Nets, who four months ago looked like they might be in the Eastern Conference Finals. Then they won 12 in a row, 18 of 20 and 29 of their first 42 with their best frontcourts featuring Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.

A month later, the Nets were forced to turn around because of trade requests and retool the roster, adding Mikal Bridges, Spencer Dinwiddie, Cam Johnson and Dorian Finney-Smith in trades for the superstar duo. The realignment sent the Nets spiraling up the standings, but it set them up for a date with the 76ers, where the first-round series was crucial for them to take a game or two against them.

There was no answer until April 22nd, as a lack of offense led to the Nets’ demise and their third opener in 4 seasons.

It was the first of five selection days in the spring round of the playoffs, yielding a total of 40 games. It wasn’t as memorable as the 76 games played over two months by five teams in 1994, but it was certainly eventful and did enough to capture a region that had last seen a title in four major sports swept by the New York Giants in the 2012 Super Bowl. .

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