It's safe to say the New Jersey Devils and New York Rangers don't like each other. Off the opening face off of Monday night's nationally televised affair between the two cross-Hudson rivals, six players dropped the gloves at once.
"Hockey" was not on the agenda for these guys. As soon as the puck dropped, they squared off, and NBC Sports Network didn't have a wide enough angle to catch it all. Luckily, we have the Internet. It lets us rewind and replay and stuff.
You shouldn't click through if blood makes you queasy. Then again, you wouldn't be reading this if blood made you queasy.
Rangers coach John Tortorella and Devils coach Peter DeBoer were jawing at one another before the game, perhaps as a result of the lineup card handed in by New Jersey. Nevertheless, when the lineups came out for each team, New York had an equal amount of firepower ready:
- Devils: Eric Boulton, Cam Janssen, Ryan Carter, Marek Zidlicky, Bryce Salvador
- Rangers: Brandon Prust, Brandon Dubinsky, Stu Bickel, Mike Rupp, Marc Staal
That's a good way to assure some bloodshed. The players all knew what they were out there to do, the fans knew it was coming, and everybody watching at home knew what was coming. Then, it happened.
Bickel went with Carter after taking the face off (note: Bickel is a defenseman). Boulton went with Rupp. Janssen went with Prust. The rest were spectators just like the rest of us.
Janssen and Prust both love to fight long, and that they did, dancing to a draw well after the other four combatants had completed their work. The camera angle wasn't perfect on Rupp vs. Boulton, but it looked like Rupp got in plenty of shots and came out on top.
The most intriguing of the three fights was between Bickel and Carter. It looked as though Carter opened up Bickel first, but the Ranger quickly grabbed the upper hand and landed a punch as Carter was falling to the ice. That's the one that led to some serious blood spatter on the ice, and it sent Carter back to the locker room for repairs afterwards. Bickel threw a few more punches while Carter was on the ice and Salvador earned a 10-minute misconduct for trying to peel him off his teammate.