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Your Call: Which Ranger will step up like Messier did?

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TSN.ca Staff
5/24/2012 3:34:54 PM
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It just couldn't be written any better.

With New Jersey up 3-2 in the series, Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final between the Rangers and Devils is on Friday - 18 years to the day that New York captain Mark Messier made his legendary guarantee that his own Rangers - also down 3-2 to the Devils - would win Game 6.

"I remember being on the bus, and guys were saying, 'Hey, did you see what Mess said?'" former Rangers defenceman Doug Lidster once told The Sporting News.

"We all thought it was him just stating, as a matter of confidence, 'Hey, we're going to win the game.' I don't think he came out with cockiness."

After the first two periods of Game 6, Messier's words didn't hold much value as the Rangers were down by a score of 2-1.

 "I remember (coach) Mike Keenan coming around and kind of patting you on the knee, saying, 'Hey, come on, let's go, let's dig down,'" Lidster told The Sporting News. "I was thinking, That isn't working for me, Mike. You haven't done that all year long. Now that it's almost screwed up, you're turning to us and trying to motivate us that way? But you could always look across the room and know Mark was there. He'd have that look in his eye...and then he turned it on. What he did on the ice is history."

In true storybook fashion, Messier scored a natural hat trick in the third period en route to a 4-2 Rangers win and a Game 7 victory in double overtime two nights later.

"When I was faced with the press the day before the game, I thought 'what a great idea it would be for the players to wake up the day of the game and find out how much I believed in us and how I thought we could go in there and win that game,'" Messier said in a Canadian Press interview from 2008.

"My oversight was 14 million other New Yorkers and the New Jersey Devils were going to read the same article. I was so focused in, I thought only the 20 players on our team were going to read that paper."

Now fast forward to the present day - are current Rangers captain Ryan Callahan and his teammates ready to make any declarations going into their own Game 6?

And if no one is willing to give a quote for the New York papers, which Ranger do you think will step up with that Messier-type performance needed to win Game 6? Will it be Callahan? Star sniper Marian Gaborik? How about Brad Richards, Brandon Dubinsky or Brandon Prust? Or will the Devils be the ones stepping up and shutting the Rangers down?

As always, it's Your Call!

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