Rangers, Devils downplay tensions going into Game 5


As the New York Rangers-New Jersey Devils series shifts to a pivotal Game 5 at Madison Square Garden, it’s hard not to wonder if there will be more “fireworks” after Monday’s memorable outbursts. Both teams shook off thoughts of emotions taking over, as Dave Lozo reports.

“It’s all forgotten. It’s the playoffs,” Martin Brodeur said. “I think you need to put everything in check, and what happened in one game usually doesn’t carry in the other ones. But we know that it’s going to be emotional. It’s a hostile environment in the Garden.”

When asked about the verbal confrontation with John Tortorella, Devils head coach Peter DeBoer said he believes “emotion takes over.” That’s essentially the same explanation Mike Rupp gave for his run-in with Brodeur and the scuffles that ensued.

“I just responded in that moment,” Rupp said. “That was that. Nothing else going on there besides that. Those things happen in this game. There’s really not much more than that. In those two seconds, no, I don’t have time to think about anything. It’s just a reaction.”

In other words, players seem to believe that any exchanges will happen organically; they won’t need history to steer violence. Then again, that might also be a personal thing. Certain players seem to have developing beefs, which might be most noticeable in the mini-feud between bit players Stu Bickell and Ryan Carter.

Both teams would be wise to keep cool heads in Game 5 because a bad penalty or two could turn the tide of that contest (and perhaps the series).