On December 23, 1979, one of the most infamous moments in Madison Square Garden history happened when members of the Boston Bruins went into the stands at MSG.
In the December 24, 1979 edition of NY Times, Jim Naughton writes that the brawl began when Rangers goalie John Davidson and Bruins forward Al Secord were having an argument about Secord tripping Ranger Ulf Nilsson.
Secord said in 2009 that he hit Nilsson at the end of the game because Nilsson had “sucker punched” him earlier in the game.
While the argument on the ice was occurring, fans in the nearby sections started to throw food onto the ice and scream at the Bruins players. Around this time, one of the Ranger fans at MSG reached over the glass and punched Bruin Stan Jonathan in the face and grabbed his stick.
When his stick was grabbed, Johnathan, along with Terry O’Reilly, Craig MacTavish, Peter McNab and Mike Milbury climbed over the boards and began to fight with the fans. Eventually the entire Bruins team except for one player was in the crowd.
The fighting lasted for around five minutes before it was broken up by MSG security.
The article notes that around 200-300 “belligerent” people were waiting for the Bruins outside of MSG and rocking their team bus. The Bruins were held inside MSG until security could disperse the crowd.
On the 30th anniversary of the incident in 2009, Dave Seminara wrote in the NY Times that Stan Jonathan was was hit with a rolled up program that drew blood beneath his eyes.
Milbury was reportedly already in the Bruins dressing room when the incident started and then went into “full combat made” before entering the stands.
The end result ended up with every Bruins player being fined $500, except for Gerry Cheevers who was in the locker room, and an eight game suspension for Terry O’Reilly and six games for McNab and Milbury.
For more on Rangers/Bruins history, visit the NY Times and Daily News.
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While on the Michael Kay Show and Mike Francessa show yesterday, John Tortorella spoke about how he felt the Capitals did a lot of complaining about penalties in their first round series against the Rangers and how the Rangers did the opposite in shutting up and just playing the game.
Tortorella said today that he felt a big reason why the Rangers were able to beat the Capitals was because the Capitals spent so much time whining and complaining.
After game one, where the Rangers took 5 penalties, they took:
- 2 in game two
- 3 in game three
- 2 in game four
- 2 in game five
- 0 in game six
- 2 in game seven.
The Capitals were given the following number of penalties in each game:
- 4 in game one
- 3 in game two
- 6 in game three
- 4 in game four
- 4 in game five
- 5 in game six
- 2 in game seven
Capitals GM George McPhee said today, via Katie Carrera, that he doesn’t believe there is a conspiracy one way or the other, but that the officiating “it sure didn’t feel right.”
McPhee added, “we didn’t get many power plays during the series, I don’t know why. We had to kill too many penalties, I don’t know why. I didn’t think that part of the game from the league standpoint was all that good. I didn’t like the refereeing, but if you complain about it during the series and you’re accused of trying to gain an edge. If you complain about it after a series is over, then it’s whining and sour grapes.”
Alex Ovechkin told a Russian reporter yesterday that it seemed like there was a league conspiracy to get this series to at least game seven for HRR, ratings and because of the lockout that cost the NHL half of their season.
The Boston Bruins defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs in seven games to advance to the second round of the playoffs.
In their first round series, the Bruins
- scored 22 goals and allowed 18.
- had 300 hits in their series, the Rangers had 287
- blocked 92 shots, the Rangers blocked 161
- were 60% on faceoffs and the Rangers were 49.2%
- averaged 39 shots per game (#1 in the league) Rangers averaged 29.3 shots per game
- averaged 33.4 shots allowed per game (#12 in the league) Rangers averaged 32.3 shots against
- are 3 for 20 on the PP. The Rangers are 2 for 28
- are 16 for 21 on the PK. The Are are 13 for 16
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The NHL has officially announced that the Rangers will play two games at Yankee Stadium next season.
They will play the Devils on 1/26/14 at 12:30PM and the Islanders on 1/29/14 at 7:30PM.
Rangers GM Glen Sather said, “The New York Rangers are honored to participate in these two historic games at Yankee Stadium, bringing hockey into the home of another one of New York’s iconic sports franchises. Playing hockey outdoors takes the game back to its roots and reminds us all why we laced up our skates as youngsters. We are excited to be able to bring that experience and thrill to our fans and the city of New York.”
From the NHL release, “The innovative nature of the Stadium Series affords the opportunity to have all three NHL teams in the New York-New Jersey metropolitan area play, outdoors, at one of the most-recognized stadiums in the world,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said. “We’ll be able to create a multi-faceted, multi-day experience for our fans, and we thank the teams, Coors Light, the New York Yankees and Yankee Stadium for their support of this memorable NHL event.”
The Rangers are the road team in both games.
THIS SECTION is all about the games at Yankee Stadium.
Fans interested in receiving more information on ticketing, news and special offers around the event should register at http://www.NHL.com/2014NewYork.
Press Release below
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According to a tweet from Pat Leonard, Marc Staal, Ryane Clowe and Darroll Powe are not skating this morning at Rangers practice.
All other players are on the ice and practicing.
Katie Strang noted this morning that Christian Thomas, Brandon Mashinter, Ryane Bourque, Dylan McIlrah, Jason Missaien and Brandon Segal were all sent home. They were skating as a second group of players.
This follows the Rangers sending JT Miller home to rest his wrist.
The players called up who are still around are Cam Talbot, Stu Bickel, Kris Newbury and Michael Haley.
At NHL.com, their writers came up with a list of the three stars of the first round.
The player with the most points and ranked first was Henrik Lundqvist. Lundqvist stopped 214 of 226 shots faced in the playoffs and didn’t allow a goal in game six or game seven.
Of the nine writers who voted, Lundqvist was mentioned in the top three of at least seven of them. He was ranked first on five ballots, second on one and third on one.
In the Washington Times, Troy Brouwer said that Lundqvist won the series for the Rangers.
Karl Alzner said that Lundqvist was “great” and Alexander Ovechkin said that Lundqvist made some “incredible” saves against the Capitals.
Ovechkin told Katie Carerra, “In my mind it was Lundqvist. They have great team, no doubt about it but Lundqvist was unbelievable. Just unbelievable.”
The Bruins twitter feed says that Bruins defensemen Wade Redden, Andrew Ference and Dennis Seidenberg are the only players not taking part in Bruins practice today.
Redden and Ference didn’t play in game seven against the Maple Leafs while Seidenberg was injured early in the game.
Their lines are:
- Milan Lucic, David Krejci, Nathan Horton
- Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, Jaromir Jagr
- Rich Peverly, Chris Kelly, Tyler Seguin
- Danielle Paille, Gregory Campbell, Shawn Thornton
The Rangers practice at 12PM
In the first two games against the Capitals, Derick Brassard was held without a point.
In the next five games, Brassard had two goals and seven assists to help lead the Rangers past the Capitals.
Brassard averaged 17:31 in the first round, had 11 shots, 18 hits and is 52% on faceoffs.
John Tortorella has repeatedly said that Brassard has been playing “very well” in the playoffs.
On his play at MSG, Brassard said in the NY Post, “I play with emotion. I play with passion. It’s a lot easier when you are playing at home.”
During the playoffs, when asked about being a Ranger, Brassard said “I’m having fun. They’ve showed a lot of confidence in me and I’m just trying to help the team. I know I can bring some offense.
Rick Nash, who spent five years with Brassard in Columbus said that he is proud to see Brassard grow up from a first round pick to the player he is now. Nash said that when you watch Brassard, you can see all the talent that he has, it’s just a matter of seeing him bring it out.
Carl Hagelin told the Sporting News that Brassard is in the NHL because he knows how to make plays.
In the NY Times, Tom Pedula writes that when the Rangers and Blue Jackets were discussing a trade for Marian Gaborik, the Rangers insisted that Derick Brassard be one of the pieces that they get in return.
Yesterday, while a guest on the Mike Francesa show, Tortorella said with a laugh that Brassard is having so much fun playing in the playoffs that he doesn’t realize how much pressure there is. Tortorella added that he wished more of his players could be “as free” with their play as Brassard is.
Adam Rotter: You watch Brassard and he is doing the things and playing the role that Brad Richards is supposed to have. You want to see players reach another level in the playoffs and Brassard is doing that. It’s always interesting when you acquire a player like Brassard, a solid NHLer but one who hasn’t lived up to all of his potential, and see where their career goes. With Brassard, his career is going in the right direction and into a long-term piece for the Rangers.
While holding a press conference yesterday, Boston Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli was asked about the Rangers.
Chiarelli said that “they play like us, these guys. Maybe a little different now that they don’t have Marian Gaborik, they might be a little deeper, but not as dynamic. They play a heavy game like us.”
He added that the Rangers don’t have a veteran defense in the sense that their players are old, but in the sense that they are experienced.
Chiarelli says that the Rangers have a “terrific….terrific” goalie and while they are deeper at forward, they don’t have as much game breaking ability.
One difference that he noted between the Rangers and Maple Leafs, who the Bruins beat in the first round, is that the Rangers are not as fast as the Leafs but that the Rangers play just like the Bruins day, “these guys, they play like us, they play like us.”
Joe Tortorella said on The Michael Kay Show and on Mike Francesa that the Rangers and Bruins employ very similar styles and that the series will be played on the boards.
Prior to the playoffs, in the NY Post, Brad Richards spoke with Larry Brooks about what his and the Rangers mindset was heading into the second season and what lessons they learned in their run to the conference finals last year.
Richards said that the team learned about how hard it is to close out a game/series and that a team like the Rangers should grow from what they went through last year.
He then added that while the focus is on game one and going one game at a team, there is a bigger picture he is thinking about, “with the goaltending we have and the people we have, I go into this thinking we have a legitimate chance to win the Stanley Cup.”
Richards said, “I like our chances as much as anybody.”