Tricky times for Brodeur
Lance Hornby, QMI Agency
|Ruslan Fedotenko #26 of the New York Rangers celebrates his third period goal against Martin Brodeur #30 of the New Jersey Devils in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Final during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Prudential Center on May 21, 2012 in Newark, New Jersey. Jim McIsaac/Getty Images/AFP
NEWARK - Imagine Martin Brodeur’s surprise to be in the running for a Gordie Howe hat trick.
The future Hall of Famer was “minding my own business” Monday night, when an out-of-control Michael Rupp of the Rangers nearly knocked him over with a gloved fist to his upper chest as he was being led to the penalty box for some late-game mayhem in New Jersey’s 4-1 win over the Rangers.
“I guess he was a little pumped up and wanted to get somebody,” said Brodeur. “I was the first target. It’s part of the game I guess. I never really yap at anyone, especially him. He’s so big. It’s unfortunate that someone has the right to go out and just sucker you like that, but who cares, he got a penalty and it killed time for us to win the game.”
That incident brought on a mini-scrum and set New York coach John Tortorella against New Jersey’s Peter DeBoer in an animated shouting match across the broadcast pit between the benches. Those two don’t need much gasoline to start a fire.
During the game’s final minutes with the Ranger net empty, Brodeur assisted on Zach Parise’s goal, his fourth helper of these playoffs, an NHL record in one spring. One of the record’s co-holders was Glenn Healy, who was in his usual Hockey Night In Canada spot, which became No Man’s Land when the Tortorella - DeBoer war was set off by the Rupp hit.
Tortorella claimed the whole mess wouldn’t have started if Rupp had not been called for what he thought was a legal hit on Jersey’s Peter Harrold. Rupp was slow to emerge from the Ranger room to give his side of the story.
“That’s playoff hockey,” said Ranger captain Ryan Callahan. “It’s going to happen. We’re going to be in each others faces.”