Boston native Jimmy Vesey starred as the New York Rangers beat the Bruins
With no New York Rangers hockey until January, we will try to give all Ranger fans a taste of hockey by reliving the best moment on this date over the last five years.
Wednesday, November 8, 2017 has to be one of the best nights of Jimmy Vesey’s career. He grew up in Boston and attended Harvard University, but ended up in New York City playing for the Rangers as one of the most highly sought after NCAA free agents. What could be better for a Beantown native than scoring two goals against the Bruins?
The Bruins came to New York sporting a 5-5-3 record, but had lost only once in regulation in their last eight games. For the Rangers, they were riding a four game winning streak. The score was tied at one when Vesey potted two goals in 29 seconds in the first period. That was nowhere near the franchise record of two goals in eight seconds set by Pierre Jarry in 1971 and equaled by Don Maloney in 1987. It was the two fastest goals by a Ranger in 11 years since Jaromir Jagr did it in 26 seconds in 2006.
It wasn’t the most in Vesey’s career as he went on to get a hat trick later that season against the Hurricanes, but beating the Bruins with two quick goals including the game winner had to be sweet for him.
Pavel Buchnevich had given the Rangers the 1-0 lead, beating Zdeno Chara and Tukka Rask. It was an impressive effort by the Russian as he drove to the net for the goal.
Buchnevich was in the midst of the hottest goal scoring streak of his career as this was his sixth goal in seven games.
They enjoyed the lead for all of 21 seconds when Patrice Bergeron scored to tie the game.
That’s when Vesey stood up, scoring first at the 14:41 mark and then again at 15:10.
The weren’t pretty goals, but hey went in and that’s all that mattered. On the first, Vesey corralled a bouncing puck and put it in and on the second he was able to beat the Bruins to the rebound off a Kevin Shattenkirk point shot.
The Rangers held off the Bruins in a scoreless second period. In the third period Bergeron scored again to make it a one goal game, but Rick Nash clinched the win with an empty net goal.
Henrik Lundvist stopped 31 of 33 shots including this stop on the doorstepin the third period.
With the win, the Blueshirts improved their record to 8-7-2.
This was the season of “The Letter” and if you were watching the Rangers in November and December, a wholesale sell-off of talent and a rebuild were the farthest thing from anyone’s mind. The Rangers went 9-3-0 in November and followed that with a 7-3-3 record in December.
From mid-December the Rangers slumped and won only six of 20 games, prompting Glen Sather and Jeff Gorton to send out the letter and commit the team to a rebuild.
But at this point in the 2017-18 season everything was positive and playoff dreams still existed. How quickly that would change.