1927-28 New York Rangers

Top Row (Left to Right): Ching Johnson, Billy Boyd, Paul Thompson, Lorne Chabot, Lester Patrick, Bill Cook (C), Taffy Abel, Sparky Vail, Bun Cook. Bottom Row (Left to Right): Harry Westerby (trainer), Murray Murdoch, Art Chapman, Leo Bourgeault, Laurie Scott, Reg Mackey, Frank Boucher, Alex Gray.

Fifth-Place Overall in 10-team NHL
Defeated Montreal Maroons in Cup Finals
19-16-9, 47 points
94 Goals Scored (3rd in NHL)
79 Goals Against (Tie-6th in NHL)

OPENING-NIGHT LINEUP   --   Coach: Lester Patrick
No. Player POS. Previous Team
1 Lorne Chabot G Rangers
3 Ching Johnson D Rangers
4 Taffy Abel D Rangers
5 Bill Cook RW Rangers
6 Bun Cook LW Rangers
7 Frank Boucher C Rangers
8 Billy Boyd RW Rangers
9 Murray Murdoch LW Rangers
10 Paul Thompson LW Rangers
11 Laurie Scott C N.Y. Americans (NHL)
12 Leo Bourgeault D Toronto-Rangers (NHL)
Healthy Scratch
2 Alex Gray RW Port Arthur (TBSHL)
Players at training camp in Springfield who didn't make opening-night roster:

Bill Kent, Frank Waite, Sparky Vail, Roy Goldsworthy, Abbie Cox, Bud Maracle, Patsy Callighen, Ludger Desmarais, Basil Harrington, Harry Foster, Harry Meeking, Clark Whyte, Art Chapman, Archie Briden
Affiliate: Springfield Indians (Can-Am)

Oct. 10 --
Stan Brown to Detroit for Harry Meeking and Archie Briden

Oct. 13 --
Cash to NYA for Laurie Scott

Nov. 1 --
Cash to Windsor (Can-Pro) for Art Chapman

Nov. 8 --
Reg Mackey to Boston for cash

Nov. 11 --
Ollie Reinikka to Stratford (Can-Pro) for cash

Fred Cook -- Bun
Clarence Abel – Taffy
Alex Gray -- Peanuts
Ivan Johnson -- Ching
Frank Callighen -- Patsy
Largest Attendance at MSG: 18,000
(Feb. 19, 1928: Rangers vs. Boston Bruins)
Largest Playoff Attendance at MSG: 18,000
(April 1, 1928 Rangers vs. Boston Bruins)
NHL Average Crowd for 1927-28: 5,938
MSG Average for 1927-28: 11,300 (approx.)

(4 players for total of 19 Rangers Debuts through 1927-28 season)
Laurie Scott – Nov. 15, 1927 Patsy Callighen – Nov. 20, 1927*
Alex Gray – Nov. 17, 1927* Joe Miller – April 10, 1928
* -- Denotes NHL Debut 1927-28 Final Regular-Season Stats
Five Things You Should Know About The 1927-28 Season

Hockey on Christmas

Ever since the early 1970s, the NHL has shut down for the Christmas holiday, but that wasn’t the case for much of the Rangers’ history. After avoiding Christmas Day action in 1926, the Blueshirts played their first Christmas game at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 25, 1927. They beat the Chicago Black Hawks 2-0 that night in the first of 14 historic Christmas Day Rangers games at MSG. The Blueshirts went 11-2-1 all-time in home games on Christmas, including nine consecutive wins from 1931 to 1957. The last Christmas game at MSG was played in 1960 -- a 4-1 win over the Canadiens. The last Rangers game ever played on Christmas took place in 1971 at Minnesota.

Growing Crowds at The Garden
Only two years into the Rangers’ history, hockey was among the fastest growing sports in the United States, and Madison Square Garden crowds were a big part of that growth. Among the 10 NHL teams, only the Montreal Canadiens and Montreal Maroons outdrew the Blueshirts in 1927-28, and this was before the Rangers would go on to win the Stanley Cup – thereby taking the popularity of the sport up another notch. Unlike the previous year, when the Americans were the major draw, Rangers fans came out in greatest numbers to watch the Blueshirts play the Boston Bruins, who had ousted them from the playoffs in the previous season and were their primary rivals for American Division supremacy. It was the start of a Rangers-Bruins rivalry that continues to this day.

Underdogs Win Championship
It was almost unfathomable for a second-year NHL expansion team to win the Stanley Cup, but it was even more amazing that the Rangers did it after barely squeaking into the 1928 playoffs. The top three teams in the Canadian and American Divisions went to the postseason that year, and the Rangers bhad arely edged the Pittsburgh Pirates for second place in the American, finishing with 47 points to 46 for Pittsburgh, which beat the Blueshirts in the final game of the regular season. If Detroit had finished with two more wins that season, the Rangers would not have even qualified for the playoffs. When the Rangers beat Pittsburgh, Boston and the Montreal Maroons en route to their first Stanley Cup, they became the first U.S.-based NHL team and the first team outside the top two NHL regular-season finishers to win the Cup. No team ranking as low as fifth in the regular season would win the Cup for the next 10 years. The victory seemed even more impressive because the Blueshirts had to play all five Stanley Cup Finals games on the road, winning the best-of-5 series in Montreal’s rink because the circus was taking place at Madison Square Garden.

Lester Patrick in Goal
One of the most famous moments in Rangers history took place on April 7, 1928, at the Montreal Forum, when 44-year-old head coach Lester Patrick donned the goalie pads to finish Game 2 of the 1928 Stanley Cup Finals. Patrick was forced to take over in goal for the start of the third period after Rangers starter Lorne Chabot was hit in the left eye by a Nels Stewart shot late in the second. In an era when goalie masks were still unthinkable, Chabot was badly cut. He bled all over the ice and was rushed to the hospital for medical attention. The officials brought an early end to the period, saying that the third period would begin when teams returned from the dressing rooms. In this era, teams did not dress or carry backup goalies. Left without another netminder, Patrick immediately asked if the Rangers could use Ottawa star goalie Alex Connell, who happened to be at the game. The Maroons, however, refused to let Connell play. Back in the dressing room, Patrick realized he had no choice but to put the pads on himself, thereby rallying his team The game was scoreless when Patrick went into the nets, but only 30 seconds into the third period, Bill Cook gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead. Patrick was working on a shutout until the 14:20 mark, when Nels Stewart tied the game to force overtime. The Rangers won 2-1 when Frank Boucher scored at 7:05 of the sudden-death overtime, which would have continued until someone scored, lacking the breaks that occur after every 20 minutes of OT play in today’s NHL game.

Minor-Leaguers Have Success, Too
Hard-core Rangers fans’ fascination with prospects in the Blueshirts’ system probably goes all the way back to the team’s first two years. In both 1927 and 1928, the Rangers’ top minor-league affiliate -– the Springfield Indians -– managed to win the Canadian-American League championship. They won it outright in 1927 and shared it with Quebec in 1928 after the four-game championship series produced a 2-2 split. Despite their success in the minors, none of the members of the 1927 or 1928 Indians saw very much action with the Rangers and none became NHL stars in New York because the nucleus of the Original Rangers was too strong a lineup for any of these players to crack.