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Rangers, Devils engage in three fights in first three seconds

Mar 19, 2012, 8:59 PM EDT

This is the last time the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils will meet this season, but if they face off in the playoffs, they won’t need to reach deep into the history of their rivalry to fuel some hate. The two teams’ coaches were jawing each other from the start and, as it turns out, for good reason.  (Devils coach Peter DeBoer did a great job of capturing the hate.)

Three different fights took place three seconds into the game – totaling in 40 penalty minutes. You can witness the carnage in the video below, highlighted by the blood oozing from Ryan Carter‘s head:

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Stu Bickel, Carter, Brandon Prust, Cam Janssen, Eric Boulton and Mike Rupp were involved in the fight, with Bickel getting a game misconduct.

A history of violence

Dropping gloves off the bat isn’t exactly uncommon between these two teams. I looked back at the box scores to chart the history of violence in the season series, with an emphasis on early tussles.

Dec. 20 (at New Jersey): Rupp and Janssen fought three seconds in; Boulton, Clarkson, Brandon Dubinsky and Ryan Callahan were involved in fights 1:47 in as well.

Jan. 31 (at NJ): Pacifism!

Feb. 7 (at Madison Square Garden): Rupp, Janssen, Boulton and Prust dropped the gloves two seconds in.

Feb. 27 (at MSG):  Pacifism – until the second period, when Clarkson, Boulton, Prust and Rupp mixed it up.

March 6 (at NJ): They took a little longer to “warm up” or get on the ice, as Carter and Dubinsky fought three minutes in and John Scott fought Cam Janssen midway through the first.


As you can see, early fights aren’t unusual – they’re practically like filing paperwork. Still, three fights at the three-second mark? That’s a heck of a finale.

  1. bcjim - Mar 19, 2012 at 9:48 PM

    Janssen = goony goon.

    • ajg314 - Mar 19, 2012 at 10:21 PM

      Go Rangers!!!!

  2. rodgy10 - Mar 19, 2012 at 10:39 PM

    Love it! Hope they never take fighting out of the nhl , this is not soccer !

  3. jkay1818 - Mar 19, 2012 at 11:03 PM

    Bickel got a game misconduct?

    • bigedpvd - Mar 20, 2012 at 11:08 AM

      NBC, not knowing a whole lot about hockey probably thought a 10 minute misconduct was a game misconduct.

  4. hanktheking - Mar 19, 2012 at 11:31 PM

    No Bickel never got a game, he played the rest of the game. It was nice to see actual tough guys out there throwing them, not wannabes like DAVID CLARKSON.

  5. jond86 - Mar 20, 2012 at 6:27 AM

    Bickle is a joke. Way to pound the back of a dudes head when he is down on the ice.

    • michiganhockey11 - Mar 20, 2012 at 10:58 AM

      The replay didn’t show him pounding the back of his head when he finally went to the ice….

      • jond86 - Mar 20, 2012 at 12:31 PM

        …yes it does

      • michiganhockey11 - Mar 20, 2012 at 1:02 PM

        No it doesn’t, it shows Bickle giving him maybe a punch or forearm to his back or shoulders because he’s on top of him and doesn’t really have a good angle to hit him in the back of the head.

  6. whatswiththehate - Mar 20, 2012 at 8:52 AM

    So let me see if I get this straight, fighting in baseball, football, basketball is bad and unexceptable but fighting like a bunch of barbarians is more than welcomed in hockey.

    And they call basketball and football players “thugs.” Okay

    • bcjim - Mar 20, 2012 at 10:36 AM

      Your grammar in unexceptable. Okay

    • michiganhockey11 - Mar 20, 2012 at 10:42 AM

      When basketball players don’t require a stretcher to take them off the court when getting a poke in the face, then the stereotype of being soft might die down. I always thought players in other sports get called names like that for what they do off the court/field.

    • bigedpvd - Mar 20, 2012 at 11:06 AM

      Funny, haven’t heard of many NHL players doing things like Ray Lewis, Rae Carruth or Glenn Sharpe. Or bringing guns to night clubs like Plaxico Burress. or Pacman Jones. Or being like Gilbert Arenas and pulling a gun on a team mate in the locker room. But yet you think because two guys settle things like men on the ice in a fist fight, they are thugs. Hmmmm…

      • michiganhockey11 - Mar 20, 2012 at 11:25 AM

        Hockey had Probie and his drug issues (God rest his soul) which was 17-20 years ago and you had Patrick Kane (young d-bag move that he did) punching a cabbie over 60 cents.

        Oh and maybe Dion Phaneuf and Sean Avery passing around Elisha Cuthbert like she was yesterday’s sloppy joes.

        Compared to Football and Basketball, I’d say that’s pretty darn good.

        Fighting is nowhere near as violent as a big defenseman going for an open ice check. Football/Basketball fans that have never been to a hockey game have no idea the speed of it from watching it on tv.

  7. martysbetter - Mar 20, 2012 at 11:13 AM

    Look for this to be referenced in the coming weeks by lazy journalists who feel the need to champion a cause, perched above on their ivory iTower typing away with hands softer than play-dough, pontificating about how progressive and forward thinking they are because they don’t condone fighting in the NHL.

    Yuck, who cares?

    Two teams who HATE one another want to try and punch each other in the face on ice skates, and somehow this is more violent and detrimental to the league than a 190lb+ defensemen throwing his entire body weight into someone on open ice going mach 3?

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