“Hatred building” in Rangers-Devils series

27 Comments

According to New York defenseman Michael Del Zotto, we could be in for some fun tonight when the Rangers and Devils resume the Eastern Conference finals in Newark.

“You can sense the hatred building from the last game, especially with some of the big hits,” Del Zotto told The New York Post yesterday. “It feels like there’s something building.”

And after Sunday’s regular-season contest in Los Angeles, some intensity would be nice. What with a trip to the Stanley Cup finals on the line and all.

The most publicized bit of nastiness in Game 3 was Brandon Prust’s elbow to the head of Anton Volchenkov that earned the Rangers forward a one-game suspension, but as The Post’s Larry Brooks points out (shortly after making a rather unexpected Beverly Hills, 90210 reference), it wasn’t the only contentious hit.

What was plain and simple is the unpenalized Prust elbow at 2:38 of the second period came between the unpenalized Dainius Zubrus right elbow to Anton Stralman’s face that drew blood at 8:00 of the first period and the unpenalized leap from behind by Zach Parise onto Michael Del Zotto’s head when the Blueshirts defenseman was in pursuit of the puck with 6:22 remaining in the third period.

In yesterday’s chit-chat with reporters, Rangers coach John Tortorella also noted the Zubrus and Parise hits.

“Maybe if our players stayed down on the ice, we’ll get something,” Tortorella said in a not-so-subtle dig at the Devils.

Hatred.

Building.