That’s what was needed on Valentine’s Day at Madison Square Garden. Two big rivals in the Metropolitan Division as the Rangers and the Flyers were going at it from start to finish. You already know this is a big game when a big two points are on the line on Garden Ice.
But the real discussion of this article is what happened during warm ups and the start of the game as some of the Rangers were looking to exact a little revenge on the Flyers as well as Wayne Simmonds for his sucker punch on Rangers Captain Ryan McDonagh.
There was already some chatter at center ice between Simmonds and Dylan McIlrath as the young defensive prospect had some words with Simmonds that he wanted to take him on and avenge the loss when McDonagh got sucker punched in Philadelphia. So thirty-seven seconds into the first period and both men dropped the gloves and got it on.
Simmonds had a very good start to the bout as he got a hard right into the face of McIlrath and stunned him, but not enough as the young Rangers prospect was able to stand his ground and was able to continue. Both exchanged punches, but at the end of the contest it was McIlrath who finished it off and cut Simmonds above his left eye.
But just before the first full minute of the first period was about to expire we saw Tanner Glass take on Ryan White and sadly White got his clock cleaned as Glass was able to deliver a strong message that no one is going to take advantage of the Rangers that evening. So after two fights inside of a single minute and the Rangers sending a clear message to the Flyers that they won’t be pushed around, Madison Square Garden was full of energy and the excitement of Old Time Hockey has made a return.
But the truth is this and once again we have to make people aware that if Stephane Quintal would’ve done his job and punished Wayne Simmonds properly for his cheap shot on Ryan McDonagh, maybe this wouldn’t have happened. But since Quintal & the NHL won’t do their jobs properly, it’s time to get rid of the instigator rule and allow fighting to come back in.
I don’t think we will ever get those big brawls back, but it’s time to allow the players to police themselves again and the NHL should stop trying to phase it out of the game. They have failed big time in these reviews or so called reviews when a proper punishment should’ve been warranted.
At the same time that also means to bring John Scott back to the NHL as he has shown to have some skill in that All-Star Game. After all while it was a bit of a farce in these write in votes for the game, it was a happy occasion after all and the NHL should be ashamed of themselves for forcing this part of the game to be erased from existence.
After all why is it we love that old Hockey Movie that starred Paul Newman called Slap shot. Because it was fun and it was the old story of a minor league hockey team trying to bring back any form of popularity back into an old steel mill town in Central Pennsylvania.
But once again the NHL has failed in the player safety department and the league has also failed trying to prevent a good man from earning his plaudits as a write in candidate for the mid-season festival. But back to a final thought on the Rangers side of things, the team did what they had to do to get revenge on Simmonds.
They said they wanted some form of revenge and got it the right way. McIlrath stood up for his fallen Captain who just started skating and is awaiting word from the Doctor if he can start contact drills in practice, if the NHL won’t punish those players who intentionally injure the players on the New York Rangers, then the Rangers are going to have to take care of business themselves.