Stepan scores beauty, does “bow and arrow” celebration…but doesn’t shoot opposition


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.”

Commodore rips into Babcock on social media

Mike Commodore
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Former NHL defenseman Mike Commodore may have been coached by Mike Babcock, but that doesn’t mean he’s a fan of Mike Babcock.

Commodore played in just 17 games for the Detroit Red Wings during the 2011-12 season and that was enough for him to muster up some pretty harsh feelings toward his old coach.

As Babcock’s new team, the Toronto Maple Leafs, were being spanked in Detroit on Friday, Commodore took to Twitter to show fans just how much he was enjoying his former coach’s struggles.

Things got especially interesting after Red Wings rookie Dylan Larkin scored just 20 seconds into the second period to give Detroit a 3-0 lead.

“3-0 nothin Babs you posing arrogant piece of (bleep),” said Commodore via his Twitter page. “Welcome back to the rink where everyone that met you hates you.”

Commodore wasn’t done there:

And there was much, much more.

To get a look at all of Commodore’s Babcock-bashing tweets, click here.




Friday’s loss serves as ‘harsh lesson’ for Blue Jackets

Jasper Fast, Nick Foligno, Henrik Lundqvist
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Late in the third period of Friday’s game against the New York Rangers, things were looking good for Columbus.

Brandon Saad, who the team acquired from Chicago this off-season, scored his first goal of the season to give his team a 2-1 lead with under four minutes remaining in the contest.

Unfortunately for the Jackets, that’s as good as it would get.

The Rangers responded with three unanswered goals from Oscar Lindberg, Kevin Hayes and Mats Zuccarello to spoil Columbus’ home opener.

“When something like that happens at the end, I think we’re gonna be a better team because of it,” defenseman Ryan Murray told reporters after the game. “It’s a harsh lesson, but it’s a good one.

Luckily for Columbus, they won’t have to wait very long to try and get their revenge.

The Blue Jackets and Rangers will finish off their home-and-home series at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night, which might not be such a bad thing for Columbus.

“It’s good that we get another chance tomorrow,” Saad said after Friday’s game. “We were high on emotions (after the go-ahead goal) and they scored and it took the wind out of our sails, but we have to keep playing. We have to learn to keep doing our thing, regardless of the score.”