New York Rangers center Derek Stepan scored a highlight-reel marker in Sunday’s 6-1 win over the Florida Panthers:
The goal was noteworthy for a couple reasons. One, Stepan walked around fellow youngster Erik Gudbranson, the third overall pick at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.
Two, Stepan broke out the bow and arrow celebration.
Normally this wouldn’t be a big deal (Vancouver’s Alex Burrows does it often, a nod to the late Luc Bourdon) but the timing was interesting given what transpired Thursday against the Lightning. Stepan’s teammate, Artem Anisimov, drew the ire of Tampa Bay captain Vincent Lecavalier with this gun-shooting celebration:
These “shooting” celebrations could be purely coincidental (and — some would argue — completely unrelated, as Stepan didn’t direct his toward the opposition like Anisimov did) or part of a larger issue. The New York Daily News wrote about a possible personality change with the HBO 24/7 cameras in-house.
On the ESPN-1050 radio side, between the second and third periods, Albert suggested Anisimov was “playing up to the HBO cameras.” Why else would there be such a personality change? After all, this is a player whom coach John Tortorella described as a “solid, solid guy,” and a “good kid.”
Still, one never knows how someone will react when those HBO reality-show cameras are following you. That clearly was on the mind of Al (Wiggie) Trautwig during the postgame program. Trautwig contended the Rangers “lately” have become a “feisty” team that has engaged in “a lot” of first-period fights.
“Are they overreacting to these HBO cameras that are around?” Trautwig asked Micheletti?
“You certainly would have to consider that (they are overreacting). They (the cameras) are around, the Rangers know what this 24/7 and all this is all about,” Micheletti said. “It’s not Anisimov’s personality to do what he did.”
Tortorella acknowledged the HBO presence and didn’t mince words about how it made him feel.
“Oh, it’s a pain in the (butt). There’s no question, I can’t stand it,” Tortorella said. “Once you get going, once you’re — and listen, let me make sure — they’re good guys. They’re good guys. I just don’t want people in our locker room, but I know we have to do it.”