matt rempe

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen someone captivate New York the way Matt Rempe has since he’s been inserted into the lineup against the New York Islanders at the Stadium Series. Rempe has not only taken New York by storm but hockey fans everywhere with his hard hitting in your face old school style of play.

Having been at MSG in person on Saturday night against the Blues, it became the Rempe show early. It started during warmups when he was shown on GardenVision, well before puck drop. I’ve been going to games for a very long time and I’ve never seen a fourth liner receive a standing ovation from the fans during warmups before.

In fact, anytime he was on the ice he was hearing the crowd chant his name. Whenever he was in on the forecheck, the crowd was on the edge of their seats waiting to cheer for the smallest thing he would do. Rempe controls the entire fanbase just with his mere presence on the ice and it’s truly something to behold.

Even though his goal on Saturday night didn’t count, the Garden crowd absolutely exploded like it was a series clinching goal in the playoffs. While it does shock me to a certain extent, it definitely isn’t the first time something like this has happened.

New Yorkers were engulfed 12 years ago when Jeremy Lin took New Yorkers on a ride with Linsanity. New York fans have also always had a soft spot for players like Rempe who play with an edge and have a blue collar attitude. John Starks, Ryan Callahan, Brandon Dubinsky, Sean Avery, Charles Oakley are all names that come to mind immediately with Matt Rempe.

Matt Rempe took the league by storm with his ability to not only give a punch, but take a punch, and actually play the game of hockey at a high level. Not just a fighter, he’s also a viable fourth liner and can add more to a lineup than just his throwing haymakers.

His skating ability is extremely impressive for a guy his size. He’s a hound on the forecheck and forces mistakes with his known hitting ability. After the fighting show to start his NHL sting, Matt Rempe is really beginning to benefit the Blueshirts.

Saturday night it became very noticeable that he’s starting to get into opponents heads when he’s bearing down in the offensive zone. Torrey Krug was noticeably affected on multiple occasions by pivoting late when he realized Rempe was on the prowl. It led to two turnovers from Krug that turned into Ranger chances. That’s the kind of production that will go a long way in helping the Rangers advance in the playoffs.

Matt Rempe is clearly becoming a cult hero around Madison Square Garden. If he keeps his play consistent then this kind of love is here to stay. The fact that Rangers fans are already buying Rempe jerseys and chanting his name in warmups shows that he’s already solidified himself as fan favorite.

One can only imagine what could happen if he becomes a primetime playoff performer. RempeMania very well could be here to stay for a very long time.


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