By Eric Bancker
Rick Rypien has been the talk of the NHL for the past few days and it’s not for a good reason. Rypien was heading to the dressing room after an on-ice skirmish with the Wild’s Brad Staubitz when he grabbed a fan in the stands. He was then pulled off the fan by his teammates and security and he then walked down to the Canucks locker room.
The next day Rypien was suspended indefinetley by the league and had to wait to see what his punishment would be. That punishment came down today and he will be suspended for 6 games. This suspension was lighter than everyone, including myself, figured it would be. The consensus was that it would be about 10 games since putting your hands on a fan is a big no-no in the NHL or in any sport.
Rypien’s actions were very immature considering the fan didn’t throw anything at him, all the fan did was say something to Rypien and he went off. You can clearly see the fan clapping as Rypien heads to the locker room but thats it. When a bull sees red they attack, so maybe when Rypien sees people clapping he attacks or maybe someone clapping tore his family apart as a kid and he just wasnt going to let that guy clap because it conjured up bad memories, I don’t know. We all come to points where we are heated and when someone says something we feel as though we could go over the edge but as a professional hockey player, and I use the term “professional” lightly when I speak about Rypien, but you cannot put yourself in a situation like that when you are in the spotlight.
Rypien’s suspension should have been a bit longer but its a good enough suspension so that he can learn his lesson. Colin Campbell is sometimes shaky with the suspensions he hands down, but this one he got right.
Here’s a video of the altercation:
The Rangers came into Toronto having lost three straight since their win opening night in Buffalo. They were also six days removed from losing to Toronto on their home opener in overtime. Even though that game ended in overtime the Leafs dominated the Rangers in every phase of the game. The Rangers were looking for redemption and they played the best game of their season and came away with a much-needed win.
The Rangers put together a complete 60 minute effort last night, they put on a shot blocking clinic as they blocked 30 shots and the defense looked great. Biron wasn’t called on time after time to make big saves like Henrik Lundqvist has been over the past few games but when Biron was needed he stepped up big. His biggest save came about a minute after his shutout bid had ended. The Leaf’s Kris Versteeg came in on a breakaway and Biron made a big right pad save to preserve the Rangers lead.
With the losses of superstar Marian Gaborik(2-4 weeks, separated shoulder), captain Chris Drury(6 weeks, fractured finger), and veteran forward Vaclav Prospal(6-8 weeks, knee surgery) the Rangers have big holes in their offense and are looking for their secondary guys to step up. Ruslan Fedotenko, who spent last season with the Pittsburgh Penguins and made the team through an invite to training camp, scored his first goal as a member of the New York Rangers in the 1st period of last nights game. Fedotenko charged the net and shoveled home a loose puck to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead. 61 seconds later the Rangers, Artem Anisimov, took a nice feed from Michal Rozsival and got the Rangers out to an early 2-0 lead. The play was setup by a nice back pass by Ryan Callahan to Michal Rozsival, Rozsival then sent a perfect pass into the crease for Anisimov to snap home.
The Rangers are now 2-2-1 heading into Boston tomorrow to take on the Bruins. These games are always fun and they are always low scoring affairs. Henrik Lundqvist will be back in net on Saturday and he is always dominant against Boston, in his career he has compiled a record of 13-4-2 with a 1.39 goals against average and four shutouts. Those stats are just incredible, Lundqvist probably wishes he could play against the Bruins 82 times a year. Nevertheless, the Rangers will be looking to build on this good game in Toronto. They are in a three-way tie for third in the Atlantic Division with New Jersey and Philadelphia and if we have learned anything about the Atlantic division, it’s that its one of the most competitive divisions in hockey so getting points now is vital. The Rangers don’t want to get caught in a situation like they did last year where they lost in their last game of the season to the Flyers and they missed making the playoffs by one point as the Flyers captured the 7th seed in the conference, the Flyers also made it to the Stanley Cup Finals last year from that 7th spot.