As we get set for Game 4 …

45

… on a rainy Newark afternoon …

I figured you needed a new thread by now, after the chat … and realized I hadn’t posted my story from The Journal News and LoHud.com today.

So here’s the story:

By Rick Carpiniello

NEW YORK — Let the gamesmanship begin.

The coaches of the two Eastern Conference finalists haven’t given us any reason to think they like one another, or even respect one another.

And now they’re going at it again, with words and expressions.

On Saturday evening, after the Rangers’ 3-0 win had given them a 2-1 lead in the series, Devils coach Peter DeBoer called Brandon Prust’s elbow to the head of Anton Volchenkov “head-hunting, pure and simple.”

On Sunday, while Prust was having his hearing with the NHL, Tortorella was almost asked the question about that comment. But before the question was completed, Tortorella cut it off and said, “The head shot?”

Then the Rangers’ coach, who has been quite chatty the last four days — and he does have spells where he’s quite good in interviews, for those just tuning in to hockey — went into a bit of a riff about that incident and others.

“Prust has played probably 300-plus games without any hearing, anything going on with him. He’s probably one of the most honest players,” Tortorella said.

“I look at (Dainius) Zubrus’ elbow to (Anton) Stralman. I look at (Zach) Parise launching himself at (Michael) Del Zotto. Maybe if our players stay down on the ice, we’ll get (a penalty or a suspension). We tell our players: Don’t stay down on the ice; get up. I hope … I’ll leave it at that.”

He had more. Tortorella claims — and his players have argued — that the Devils set illegal picks on faceoffs to try to get Ilya Kovalchuk away from the Rangers’ shot blockers, especially on the power play.

“(Illegal) picking on the power play, set plays … if we want to start discussing officials with the media, I have a long list here,” Tortorella said. “That’s a set play by Jersey, picking so we can’t get to Kovalchuk to block a shot.”

He was asked if that’s what Dan Girardi was arguing about after Kovalchuk’s wide-open power-play goal in Game 2, and said it was, and that it also happened to Ryan Callahan in the series. And he indicated that he’s discussed it with officials already.

“So there’s some gamesmanship right there, huh?” Tortorella said.

DeBoer, who had words via the media with Tortorella over a couple of regular-season games that started with line brawls, was asked about Tortorella’s claims Sunday.

“Comical,” he said.

DeBoer is too busy shuffling his lines and his lineup again, after being shut out twice despite outplaying the Rangers for long stretches in all three games.

Tortorellla’s right about his guys not staying down, though. Brian Boyle was concussed by Chris Neil in the Ottawa series, and not only got up and skated off, but also returned to the ice for a shift.

“I don’t know if anybody’s not told (to get up),” Brad Richards said. “I mean, most hockey players, most don’t dive. I don’t know. I can’t speak for any other team. But most teams, any team I’ve played on, most guys don’t lay on the ice when they get hit.”

Game 4 is tonight in Newark. This will be the Rangers’ seventh chance in these playoffs to go two games up in a series, and they have yet to do it once.

“We’ve got to realize where we are and the opportunity we have to take a 3-1 series lead,” Richards said. “We got away with kind of that roller-coaster ride we’ve been on. Hopefully the third time we realize — I don’t know if we’ll win, but at least come out with a really good effort, give ourselves the best chance to win.”

******************************************

Also, here’s my story on the Brandon Prust suspension.

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45 Comments

  1. GregM_section403 on

    Carp, BTW, I just received this message from your servers (and i’m not joking):

    “You are posting comments too quickly. Slow down.”

    Seriously! Tell your IT folks it’s a game day. They need to be on the top of their game. If they can’t keep up, there’s plenty of talent in the farm system ready to take their spot!

  2. CTBlueshirt on

    Who’s hoping they make this game tonight Parise’s last home game as a Devil?

  3. CTBlueshirt – YES!!!! Love that line of thought…

    Looking forward to a good one tonight and expect our boys to rally round the prust regardless of whether he’s wearing the sweater or a suit.

    Out of curiosity and not to be surly, but is there some prize other than being universally recognized as the “least busy throughout the day”, for posting first and using said platform as an opportunity to re-state the obvious?

  4. ZzZz NYR ZzZz© " Don't stepan the logo!!!"...says Greg L. on

    Just win baby , is all I ask, Great article Carp . This series is really turning out to be a really ring-a-ding-dong dandy!!!!

  5. ^ Classic ^

    I love Prust but with out struggles at getting a two game lead in a series, wonder if having another cause to rally round might not add to urgency in the locker room. Say what you want about “if you need help getting up for a playoff game” but the guys in that room love Prust and I’ll look at it as a plus, for now.

  6. I just finished saying to somebody that the Rangers usually respond to adversity … and they will use this. They rallied around Boyle … though in that situation they were facing elimination so really didn’t have much choice.

  7. Great point, Carp! I didn’t think of it that way. Great way to spin the game. Hope Torts shows them the video of the Zubrus hit on Strahlzyman and gives them the, “this league is against us” speech.

    Awesome, point. (And, for once I am not kidding)

  8. Please , just no Renney-esque feeling out the other team early tonight. Come out of the
    blocks with the afterburners on. Right from the opening faceoff. It’s about will now. Impose
    it.

  9. I just saw on the local news that four really TOUGH male Devils fans at The Pebble beat up a Rangers fan – a twenty-three year old GIRL.

  10. boxcareddiehospodar on

    JPG,

    thanks for the post.

    watching those shots again only proves Shanahan and the NHL are clueless.
    BTW did doan receive any suspension?

  11. We caught a break yesterday when LA lost. Who would of thought couple of days ago that the Rangers could be going home up 3-1 and LA going on the road 3-1. All for naught if we don’t produce tonight . Another biggest game of the yr.moments.

  12. I know Carp but it always feels it day of. Pretty huge though. Can the Rangers stand prosperity?

  13. Carp

    In the old days, there used to be momentum from on playoff game to the
    next. You are certainly correct that it ain’t happening now. But I remember the
    Bob Brooke OT goal against WASH in ’86, after the NYR came back to tie after being
    down two goals very late in the game, and they ran the rest of the table in that
    series. Interesting how it has changed.

    Even if the Rangers thrash the Devils tonight, I don’t think that would have any
    impact on Wednesday night. Just as if the NYR were to lose a tough one tonight,
    I am sure they will appear in the next one without any scars.

  14. Am I the only one that thinks Torts is 110% right on this? I am astonished that anyone could think he is a jerk..the man is a saint.

  15. Johnny"embarrassed to believe"boy on

    Anyone know if Torts used his cone of silence with Tampa?

  16. will Torts throw a flying elbow to the head of Pete Deboer? and will it start the Boer war all over again?

    maybe they should have Schony behind the bench tonight in case Don Koharski decides to have another McDonut.

  17. JimboWoodside on

    Greetings, Heads! I definitely am hoping, as someone said up-thread, that tonight is not only Parise’s last home game as a NJD, but *also* that tonight’s game will be the last one played at the Pebble this season!

  18. Tortorella’s honesty is what drives Bettman and the NHL crazy. It’s no surprising that he’d require his players to play an honest game.

  19. LUNDQVIST THE KILLER

    He came dancing across the water
    With his galleons and guns
    Looking for the new world
    In that palace in the sun.

    On the shore lay Montezuma
    With his coca leaves and pearls
    In his halls he often wondered
    With the secrets of the worlds.

    And his subjects
    Gathered ’round him
    Like the leaves around a tree
    In their clothes of many colors
    For the angry gods to see.

    And the women all were beautiful
    And the men stood
    Straight and strong
    They offered life in sacrifice
    So that others could go on.

    Hate was just a legend
    And war was never known
    The people worked together
    And they lifted many stones.

    They carried them
    To the flatlands
    And they died along the way
    But they built up
    With their bare hands
    What we still can’t do today.

    And I know she’s living there
    And she loves me to this day
    I still can’t remember when
    Or how I lost my way.

    He came dancing across the water
    Lundqvist, Lundqvist
    What a killer.

  20. Who do you people think you are? It’s time to read the kids the lorax and then watch the boys bring it home.

  21. JimboWoodside on

    So, as usual in this playoff season, the cameras and the league officials only see NY Ranger infractions that are suspendable offenses – nothing on the NJD head-hits, leaping board checks, et al?

    What a byfugliening *joke*!!

  22. Salty love love love the Hank to Neil Young. What a killer. Luv the Live Rust version. Rust never sleeps Marty always eats.

  23. Rangers are a below average team with a great goalie. Hank gives up more of those, we are golfing QUICK

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