Maybe it’s the fact that the two teams have made so many trades. Perhaps it’s just the frustration that comes with some physical hits. Either way, things are getting pretty nasty between the Columbus Blue Jackets and New York Rangers on Saturday.
Things began to heat up when Lee Stempniak received a charging penalty for this hit on Artem Anisimov. Scott Hartnell “decided to return to the favor” (according to the Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline) with this check on Stempniak:
The Rangers faced an injury scare when Mats Zuccarello seemed to injure his shoulder delivering a check on Hartnell. He returned for the second period, yet things really took off when Jack Skille landed a hit on the Norwegian forward. Chris Kreider received a slew of penalties, including a game misconduct, for challenging Skille to a fight:
Here’s video of Skille’s hit on Zuccarello and the resulting fight:
The Blue Jackets enter the third period with a 3-1 lead, so there’s still time for more fireworks between two teams with clearly heightening animosity.
Just in case you think it’s all rough stuff, this Sergei Bobrovsky save is a sight to behold:
Update: The Blue Jackets ended up winning 5-2, and head coach Todd Richards didn’t deny the building tensions: