If you have been around and paying any sort of attention to hockey lately, then you’ve heard the varying scandals that the New York Rangers have apparently been instigating. Two offensive scandals have surfaced over the past day alone. First along came Derek Stepan’s not-really-broken jaw. Secondly, a “gentleman’s agreement” gone wrong with Ulf Sameulsson attending the Montreal Canadiens’ morning practice. If you’re a Canadiens fan, you must be asking yourself – when will the madness end?
Actually, if you’re a fan of the sport at all, you’re probably asking when this madness will end. Without paying attention to the cheap shot heard round the world (except for Montreal, apparently), the whining that has been happening so awfully frequently lately is exhausting. Let’s entertain the most recent issues that have the Canadiens locker room all up in arms.
First up: Derek Stepan and his scandalous jaw. After taking a suspendable hit from Brandon Prust during his first shift back at the Garden, Stepan first was knocked out on the ice, followed by a trip to the training room and eventually made it back to the ice. After the game, he was diagnosed with a fractured jaw and scheduled for surgery. Seems like an extremely painful situation, right?
Wrong. If you’re either Brendan Gallagher or Danny Briere, you’re not too convinced that Stepan’s jaw was really broken. I’ve heard some craziness in my day, but never in my life have I heard of made up surgery (a plate in Step’s jaw, no less) to… um…. well quite frankly I’m not sure what it would do. Pretty sure the Rangers aren’t looking to the Canadiens for get well soon cards. So what point is this group making, other than a discourse in complete unsportsmanlike behavior? It’s worth noting that both Doctors Gallagher and Briere were wrong, as Stepan is not playing tonight.
Samuelsson (and Sather, lol) visiting the Habs’ practice was confusing to me, only because I’m not quite sure what he was looking for. D-pairs? Line changes? Whatever. The point is that Michel Therrien got very upset (naturally) about their presence, citing a “gentleman’s agreement” which, according to Canaidiens personnel, did not exist. Furthermore, I’m fairly certain that with Therrien’s reputation, the word gentleman is not part of his vocabulary.
The point of this post, however, is not to rant on about the silly media tactics that have been apparently part of the Canadiens’ playbook this entire season. If you look at the Milan Lucic handshake-gate, you’d see several players saying that “what happens on the ice stays on the ice.” Is Lucic regarded by some as a piece of [work]? Yes. But do we know all that is said on that handshake line? Nope. And should we? Absolutely not. But we do, thanks to one Dale Weise, who spent approximately one second with the New York Rangers. And for reasons like that, we must ignore them.
The Canadiens are highly regarded for their speed and for their power play. The Rangers have proven to be the faster team through three games, and have held the Habs scoreless on their power play. As I said in my lovefest for AV last week, his quiet confidence seems to be getting things done. The reason the Rangers lost is because rookie goalie Dustin Tokarski stood on his head and shut down so many Martin St. Louis shots that it began to physically ache. They also lost Daniel Carcillo, who so many fans seem to have forgotten was a stud for the Rangers during the Philadelphia series.
In order for the Rangers to win, they need to focus on the ice. It is certainly hard to do when PK “give me all the respect but don’t look now cause I’m gonna slew foot Derek Dorsett after the whistle” Subban is acting up, something even the commentators called disgusting during the game, but I know that the Rangers are capable of it. As long as they focus on their game, they will throw the Canadiens off of theirs. It would be nice if Derek Stepan and his possibly broken jaw are able to come back for Game 5, and if Derick Brassard is able to come back tonight. What happens on the ice is what will win this series for the victor, not the complaints to the media."Let's take a moment to ignore the Habs",