I hate the Rangers basically on principle. I don't hate them because they're in the our division, I hate them because of their fans and how their organization is run. Their fans have a sense of entitlement, not unlike Toronto or Montreal fans, acting like they deserve Stanley Cups despite only having one since modern hockey started. Their organization thinks they can buy Stanley Cups still. Really, I guess it's not so bad: You get to rub Ranger fans smugness in their face and their organization continues to give lucrative contracts to hockey mercenaries and building no team chemistry whatsoever.
This game was just another reason to hate the New York Rangers. Sean Avery being Sean Avery, Donald Brashear being Donald Brashear, crying like bitches instead of just taking their thumping like men, it had it all.
People want to pretend like this all started because of Matt Cooke's hit on Artem Anisimov. This is a ridiculous claim. This all started with Sean Avery going after Sidney Crosby. The puck is gone from Crosby's stick for about three seconds and Avery still tries to go in at him high. It's too damn bad that Crosby is actually aware of himself and ducks the check before Avery can get him. Cooke is responding to that, there was nothing on the ice before this...well...except the Penguins beating the Rangers senseless already at that point.
No one for the Rangers stepped up. There's no Jordan Staal to save Artem Anisimov from getting wrecked by Matt Cooke. The Rangers just let him skate slowly to the bench, clutching himself and doubled over. That team sure is going places.
Well, maybe they still are. By which, of course, I mean going to the penalty box. What is Donald Brashear thinking? Honestly. If anything is in cement in the changing roles of enforcers, it's that you cannot get the guy and be allowed to go unless you get him right after the fact. Brashear takes a terrible and stupid double minor because of it.
Not only is Brashear being an idiot, but Linesman Derek Amell gets caught up in it. How Cooke is suspended two games for his hit, but Brashear isn't suspended for injuring an official is beyond me. Absolutely terrible. However, Brashear does take four minutes of penalties. How do you feel about drawing him into that, Cooke?
I thought so.
Cooke eventually paid his dues when he was ready to and wasn't being jumped. Cooke might not fight a lot, but he steps up when he has to and when the team wants to respond. Callahan challenges Cooke, they both take their lids off, and they start throwing:
It was a solid, honorable fight where everyone got out the animosity that had grown throughout the period, and the Rangers got some respect back. That SHOULD have been the end of it. Sean Avery, however, wasn't done. In between shifts that included running away Mike Rupp and Eric Godard for earlier transgressions, Avery was trying to get himself thrown out of the game so he wouldn't have to deal with it. He finally just gave up on it and pulled a Todd Bertuzzi on Ruslan Fedotenko:
Wow, what a solid player he is. This is another clear case of punishing the outcome rather than the action. Sean Avery essentially does to Fedotenko what Todd Bertuzzi does to Steve Moore, he grabs him from behind and takes a swing at him. However, Ruslan is able to stay up and come back, leaving Sean Avery's face bloody at the end of it to add insult to injury. Maybe that's why he wasn't suspended? Getting bloodied when you jump another guy from behind is embarrassing enough on its own. This picture was earlier in the game, but basically tells us all how Avery's game went:
Cry some more. Thanks for a seven minute power play.
By the way, Rangers, how did taking all those penalties work out for you?
Well...shit, better luck next time.