Rangers & Devils a Crowd
It's not uncommon for a rivalry game to produce a couple of fights. Sometimes, for one of many reasons, those fights will take place on the opening faceoff. So what do you call it when the opening puck drop has six dance partners ready to go?
The puck dropped for the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils game and within seconds Brandon Prust squared off with Cam Janssen. At the same time, Eric Boulton and Michael Rupp's gloves hit the ice. Not to be outdone, Stu Bickel and Ryan Carter decided it's dance time.
Boulton vs Rupp was a true heavyweight fight. Both players threw and landed some heavy punches as Rupp used his reach, and Boulton counter-bombed at the end of Rupp's barrages.
Carter and Bickel were engaged in an entertaining, give-and-take affair that saw both men leave pools of blood on the ice as Bickel beat Carter into the ice.
Janssen vs Prust was a technical, locked-out bomb affair that ended as the linesman, braving punches still firing, jumped in and ended things. It was, predictably, the longest fight. They might still be trading punches if no one jumped in.
The rivalry these teams have doesn't make this much of a shocker. Earlier in the year, Michael Rupp and Cam Janssen decided three seconds was enough time and dropped the mitts for this entertaining scrap.
The last time there were this many fights so early in the game was February 3rd of 2011 when the Dallas Stars visited the Boston Bruins. There were three fights off of three separate faceoffs in the first four seconds of the game.
The last time we saw a trio off the face-off like lsat night was all the way back to March 22, 1996. The Montreal Canadiens and Buffalo Sabres threw down with only one second being taken off the clock. Craig Rivet and Brent Hughes wound up being the main event.