Friday, April 27, 2018
Sports

Game 6: Same but different

NEWARK, N.J. — Eighteen years ago, Mark Messier set the stage for one of sports' most dramatic moments.

On the eve of the Rangers' must-win Game 6 against the Devils at New Jersey in the 1994 Eastern Conference final, Messier guaranteed his team would force a deciding contest at Madison Square Garden.

The Rangers not only won, Messier had a hat trick.

Fast forward to now. The teams once more head to a n East final Game 6 in New Jersey with the Rangers down 3-2, needing a win to stay alive.

That's where the similarity ends. There is no Messier in the Rangers' locker room to will his team to victory after predicting it. And New York isn't the star-laden team that ended the franchise's half-century Stanley Cup drought in 1994.

Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur, 40, is the only player remaining on either team from the 1994 series. "I don't see anything that is similar," he said Thursday. "It's different teams and a different way of playing the game. That's 18 years ago. That's a long time. I know I'm feeling a lot different."

Follicley challenged New Jersey coach Peter DeBoer, 43, was on the verge of starting his career behind the bench at the time and said his only memory of the guarantee was that he still had hair 18 years ago.

Rangers coach John Tortorella said his players were not even thinking about the comparison. "Not to disrespect what happened, but that has nothing to do with how we're preparing, I guess, is the best way to put it."

Around the league: Canucks coach Alain Vigneault confirmed reports that goalie Roberto Luongo has asked to be traded. "This is what he wants now," Vigneault told Canadian TV network TVA Sports. "And what we must do is (make the best decision) for our organization." The Lightning is among the teams to which Luongo will accept a trade, according to the previous reports. Luongo's contract has 10 years left and pays $6.714 million the next six. … Coyotes defenseman Michal Rozsival has no structural damage to his right knee, which appeared to be injured on what looked like a knee-on-knee hit by the Kings' Dustin Brown in Game 5 of the West final Tuesday, general manager Don Maloney said. Rozsival, who was on crutches, has a knee/thigh bruise, Maloney said. The hit came late in overtime, 12 seconds before Dustin Penner scored to clinch the series for Los Angeles. No penalty was called.

Comments
After first round, here are 10 names to watch for Bucs at No. 38

After first round, here are 10 names to watch for Bucs at No. 38

The first round of the NFL draft is complete, and the Bucs held off on trading back up, leaving them with three second-round picks Friday night.Their own pick is No. 38 — the sixth pick of the second round — and they added two more —...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Softball: Plant City perfect in district finals with Ashley Bullion on mound

Softball: Plant City perfect in district finals with Ashley Bullion on mound

PLANT CITY — Plant City softball coach Ashley Bullion is 4-for-4 after Thursday night.Four years at the helm, four district titles.The latest championship came in a 4-1 victory over East Bay in the Class 8A, District 6 final, a victory highligh...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Softball: Recent momentum carries Mitchell past Sunlake

LAND O' LAKES — Despite being on the wrong end of two lopsided outcomes to Sunlake during the regular season, recent events gave Mitchell hope in its Class 7A-10 district final rematch with the Seahawks.Just two days prior, the Mustangs be...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Softball: Robinson makes it 10 straight wins vs. Jefferson

TAMPA — For the Robinson softball team, the perfect 10 was complete.The top-seeded Knights defeated No. 2 Jefferson for the 10th consecutive time Thursday and claimed their fifth district championship in a row, a 12-2 five-inning victory in the...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Softball: Itís April, so Chamberlain is winning

TAMPA — Coach Bob Diez and his Chamberlain Chiefs have always believed in this motto: "Be good in April."This is their season.The Chiefs added another Class 7A-8 district title Thursday against Gaither with a 7-0 victory.With the win, the ...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Softball: East Lake is aggressive from the start

TARPON SPRINGS — If strong pitching and defense are the bellwethers of a deep playoff run, consider East Lake ready.Playing second seed Pinellas Park on Thursday night for the Class 8A-7 title, the host Eagles (22-3) used that philosophy to mak...
Updated: 1 hour ago
NFL draft: Chargers take FSUís Derwin James with No. 17 pick

NFL draft: Chargers take FSUís Derwin James with No. 17 pick

Former Florida State safety Derwin James fell farther than expected Thursday in the first night of the NFL draft before being chosen by the Chargers with the No. 17 overall pick.James became the fifth former Seminoles defensive back ever drafted in t...
Updated: 1 hour ago
NFL draft: Patriots pick Lakewood alum Isaiah Wynn at No. 23

NFL draft: Patriots pick Lakewood alum Isaiah Wynn at No. 23

Lakewood High alumnus and former Georgia offensive lineman Isaiah Wynn was drafted No. 23 overall Thursday by the Patriots.Wynn becomes one of the highest drafted offensive linemen in Tampa Bay history and the first Pinellas County player to go in th...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Bucs trade down with Bills, take strongman DT Vita Vea No. 12

Bucs trade down with Bills, take strongman DT Vita Vea No. 12

TAMPA — Vita Vea loves to tell the story about the trip he took to French Polynesia with some University of Washington students and the group coming upon some enormous rocks."So over there, their strongman competition is they have a tradition w...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Another reason the Bucs took defensive tackle Vita Vea at No. 12

Another reason the Bucs took defensive tackle Vita Vea at No. 12

TAMPA — The selection of Vita Vea is a move the Bucs made for the present and the future. While Gerald McCoy remains a dominant defensive tackle, he turned 30 in February and is due to make $12.3 million this season and $13 million in...
Updated: 1 hour ago