Did Columbus Wake A Sleeping Giant?
NEW YORK RANGERS: Rick Nash Pushes Back! Team Mates Rally Around Nash After He Retaliates Against Repeated Columbus Instigations.
Rick Nash finally played with fury. Columbus' repeated attempts to agitate the former Blue Jacket worked. And, may I add, thank you! Friday night's game could finally be what ignites, what otherwise has been a 212 pound teddy bear. It is my sincerest hope, Columbus has awakened a sleeping giant.
The Rangers and Blue Jackets entered the game tied with 78 points on the season. For the first two periods, Columbus did everything they could to get Nash out of his game, and off the ice.
At one point, Blue Jacket goalie Sergei Bobrovsky slashed Nash in the back of the leg. Nash retaliated soon enough, crashing the net on a scoring attempt, and putting a good shove into the goalie's chest when Bobrovsky tossed Nash's stick aside. That caused a melee in front of the net.
In the opening minute of the third period, Nash finally decided he had enough of their cheap shots, dropped his gloves, and went after Matt Calvert. They both incurred five for fighting, and the Blue Jackets scored shortly thereafter.
Within 44-seconds of Nick Foligno's unassisted goal, Derek Stepan tied the game. Nine minutes later, another former Columbus Blue Jacket, Derick Brassard put the Rangers ahead with a wrap-around goal under Bobrovsky - his 16th of the season. Lastly, Carl Hagelin scored on an empty net with 39-seconds left in the game.
Columbus then left the ice dejected. That's how it's done! In the immortal words of John Davidson - Oh Baby!
This was perhaps the Rangers grittiest game of the season. Even Benoit Pouliot dropped the gloves for the first time this season against Derek MacKenzie.
Defenseman, Fedor Tyutin is becoming notorious for taking cheap shots at his former club. Friday night, he zeroed in on Mats Zuccarello, and put him head first into the corner boards.
The Rangers needed this game. They needed all the instigation, and agitation Columbus threw their way. The Rangers finally needed to get angry. Columbus did the provoking, and the Rangers in turn buzzed them like hornets. Ever since the initial exchange of players involving Marian Gaborik and Derick Brassard, the further exchange of players has quickly turned this into a very heated rivalry.
Rick Nash additionally needed to hear all the booing, and finally stick up for himself. But, most importantly, he needed to finally unload.
The entire team should really be commended for the way they took care of business in Columbus Friday night.