There is no reason why hockey should be lagging in popularity behind so many other sports in the United States. The game literally has it all; some of the best athletes in the world, precision play, exciting action, and some of the best brawls in sports—and they're just expected to happen!
Other sports try to shy away from the violent aspect of their game (yes, you NFL), but not hockey. They know how pumped up these guys get. The league understands the intensity that flows through the bodies of these finally tuned machines. Rather than force these guys to bottle it up and do something really dangerous, the league allows them to do what men do when they get mad.
Now it is true that these guys can get out of hand with it from time to time, but for the most part the guys will have their fights and go on and play the game. That’s exactly what the New York Rangers did when they faced off against their long-hated rivals, the New Jersey Devils Monday night.
Within seconds of the opening face-off it looked like a scene from kung-Fu fighters on ice at Madison Square Garden. When the puck dropped so did the gloves as three fights broke out. Cam Janssen and Eric Boulton (from the Devils) traded blows with Brandon Prust and Mike Rupp (from the Rangers).
The fight to watch though was between Rangers Stu Bickel and New Jersey’s Ryan Carter. Carter appeared to get in the better hits, but he went down bleeding first. Bickel did a number on him after he went down too. Carter bled enough that the ice had to be scraped and shoveled off before the game could continue.
What was kind of funny when the fighting was all done was that Bryce Salvador of the Devils got a 10-minute misconduct penalty when he tried to pull Bickel off of Carter (the other guys only got five minutes for fighting).
What the H?
For Rangers fans it ended up being the perfect night. After getting their blood pumping with the early brawls they got to watch their boys get back on the winning side of things with a 4-2 victory over their despised rivals. The win ended a two game losing streak for the Rangers and made them the first team in the Eastern Conference to lock up a playoff spot.
Article by Travis Pulver