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Rangers’ Stepan misses practice after “cheap, dirty” knee-on-knee hit

Apr 6, 2012, 12:11 PM EDT

Stepan Knee

The fallout continues from Brooks Orpik‘s knee-on-knee hit on Derek Stepan.

The day after Rangers head coach John Tortorella blasted Orpik for his “cheap, dirty” play, Stepan was held out of practice — though he was in attendance for New York’s annual team picture.

From Andrew Gross of the Bergen Record:

In the line rushes today, Stepan’s spot with Artem Anisimov and Ryan Callahan was not filled and John Scott, who, likely would be the player entering the lineup if Stepan cannot play — given that there were no call-ups from Connecticut (AHL) this morning — was skating as an extra on the fourth line of Mike RuppJohn MitchellBrandon Prust.

Most likely, a day of rest for a sore Stepan.

Oprik was given a five-minute major and game misconduct for the hit, which forced Stepan from the game.

As for reactions, Tortorella wasn’t the only person from the Rangers upset the Pens defenseman went knee-on-knee.

“It was gutless, dirty,” goalie Martin Biron said. “That guy [Orpik] is known for sticking his leg out. He’s going to continue to do that unless somebody either gets him with a suspension or whatever.

“It’s very dangerous.”

  1. pkswally024 - Apr 6, 2012 at 12:23 PM

    The Filthy Franchise.

    • miketoasty - Apr 6, 2012 at 1:34 PM

      Alright, who here mentioned the Oakland Raiders.

  2. jaybaileys - Apr 6, 2012 at 12:36 PM

    The hit was a reflex kind of thing. I still think it deserves a 1 game suspension. I think he had him lined up to crush him and the guy tried to get out of the way. Still knee-on-knee is a bad hit. But Rupp’s hit earlier this year did take out Jordan Staal with a knee-on-knee hit for 20 games. Slightly different circumstances but he was out for awhile. Rupp was not suspended.

    • phillyhatesyou - Apr 6, 2012 at 1:14 PM

      so sticking your knee out is a reflex? what kind of dumb sh!t is that? this was a blatant knee on knee and the penguins have now taken out 3 players from playoff teams in their last 3 games. i love how you pens fans are blaming it on stepan for doing what he should have done. a suspension is well deserved to send a message to the penguins that this crap has no place in the NHL. 3 games sounds about right

      • miketoasty - Apr 6, 2012 at 1:27 PM

        Watch the video, his leg doesn’t extend until Stepan runs into it (Force causing it to extend).

        No suspension necessary. Oh and it is a contact sport, so taking out 3 players from clean hits can happen, look at the stats for last/this season and see who has the most man games lost.

      • miketoasty - Apr 6, 2012 at 1:33 PM

        Sorry everyone, I didn’t know logic was means for a down thumb.

      • phillyhatesyou - Apr 6, 2012 at 1:59 PM

        you truly are an a$$hole. all three hits that took players out were knee to knee and not a single one of them was clean. this hit being the worst of the 3. if this hit was so clean why did he get a 5 minute major and a game misconduct?

      • homelanddefense - Apr 6, 2012 at 2:11 PM

        while I agree with your overall point I really hope you arent including the Boychuk hit as one of those three. Boychuk was the one who threw the hit, and Im a Bruins fan

      • brycewest - Apr 6, 2012 at 2:12 PM

        All three hits were knee-to-knee, huh? So Vitale’s hip check on Briere was a knee-to-knee hit? I guess you could have a knee on your hip, with your head up your ass!

      • kitshky - Apr 6, 2012 at 3:48 PM

        First of all no ones blaming Stepan, and secondly It’s not just Pen’s fans that are trying to explain that it wasnt an intentional knee. It is however Flyers fans refusing to see any logic outside of their blinding red hatred of the Penguins that makes it impossible for them to give the benefit of the doubt to a historically clean player reacting to a shifting forward and contacting his knee.

        I dont have any love or animosity to the Pens or Flyers, but the fact of the matter is it was a bang bang play that’s happened since the beginning of time.

      • phillyhatesyou - Apr 6, 2012 at 4:32 PM

        brycewest i love when idiots like you respond. i was talking about the grossmann hit, which was knee to knee, and not the briere hit. know what you are talking about before making dumb a$$ comments you clown

  3. richie500 - Apr 6, 2012 at 12:41 PM

    Mike Rupp took out Jorden Staal for six weeks this season, How quickly the Rangers forget.
    I’m tired of all this whining by the Ranger and Flyers trying to influence the refs before the playoffs.
    Everyone forgets the biggest cheap shot of all on Crosby! Yea that hit was cheap and not a peep out of the pens.
    Get a SACK, Rangers and Flyers!

    • gallyhatch - Apr 6, 2012 at 2:06 PM

      Yeah, if I was a Penguins fan I would be upset about other teams trying to influence the refs too.

      Hey, how’s Letang doing after that vicious high stick in Boston the other night? He was in some serious pain after that, I hope he’s okay for the playoffs.

  4. iluvwikileaks - Apr 6, 2012 at 12:48 PM

    Rangers suck. What a pack of pansies. Boys trying to play a man’s sport. Crying like little babies. Just like the Flyers (who haven’t won a Cup since gas was .44 cents a gallon.).

    • miketoasty - Apr 6, 2012 at 1:32 PM

      You know Rangers are fighting for the President’s Trophy right (The top spot in the league)? I don’t think they suck too much.

      • brycewest - Apr 6, 2012 at 2:15 PM

        They don’t suck at hockey, they just generally SUCK.

  5. miketoasty - Apr 6, 2012 at 12:50 PM

    Interesting, while watching the game last night, maybe 5 minutes after the hit, Stepan was on the bench smiling, and even mouthed the words “I’m fine” to one of the coaches. Now he is being “Held out” of practice? Sounds like the coaches are trying to draw a suspension to me, if he sits out on his own that’s one thing, but having the team tell him to not practice just sounds fishy.

    • iluvwikileaks - Apr 6, 2012 at 12:52 PM

      Tort taught him how to be a sissy. Afterall, Tort is the Master.

    • psujay - Apr 6, 2012 at 1:47 PM

      You’ve apparently never played sports if you don’t know the day of the injury is never as bad as the day after, and tomorrow would be the worst day, most likely.

  6. snoop0323 - Apr 6, 2012 at 1:02 PM

    Everyone who is defending this hit needs to watch the video again. First, Stepan clearly dropped the puck off, so any contact by Orpik was late. Second, Stepan is peeling off to his left and Orpik sticks his right leg out, but also his right shoulder. He was clearly not try to avoid contact on a player without the puck, but initiate it. Now, it appears Stepan wasn’t injured on the play, and if the Rangers needed that game, or this last game, he would probably be on the ice. That being said, in my opinion, Orpik needs to be suspended because the intent to injure was there. Stepan was lucky he wasn’t injured.

    • miketoasty - Apr 6, 2012 at 1:30 PM

      Okay, go skate full speed going forwards, then stop in a millisecond and move 3 feet one way or the other, can’t do it? Nah, neither could Orpik.

      • snoop0323 - Apr 6, 2012 at 1:38 PM

        Go watch the video again. Stepan tries to avoid contact, Orpik tries to initiate it. It is as simple as that.

      • brycewest - Apr 6, 2012 at 2:24 PM

        A defenseman..trying to initiate contact? My God! Alert the press! And on the blue line no less. Sack up, Rags…it’s playoff time. You have the biggest guys in the East, sizewise..who game after game, throw those big bodies around with every intent to “initiate contact”. Do you think the Rangers picked up John Scott because he’s such a good defenseman? He sucks, but when you’re 8’10” and weigh 260, you sure can lay siege to a guy on the boards. Stepan got was knee on knee. It was Brooks Orpik, one of the league’s most physical and consistently clean-checking defenseman. The hit was unfortunate, but that’s it…get over it. Playoffs in like 4 days…if you can make it that long.

    • johninpa - Apr 6, 2012 at 11:48 PM

      Now, look even closer. Orpik’s knee makes contact with Stepan’s thigh. not knee to knee. I’m sure it hurt, but not a suspendable hit.

  7. biffnasty - Apr 6, 2012 at 1:04 PM

    Funny how the pens fans call the rangers sissys when u have Cindy playing for your team. Guy is the epitome of a pansy who will dive even when untouched

    • miketoasty - Apr 6, 2012 at 1:31 PM

      Oh, sorry, I didn’t know we were watching film from Crosby’s rookie year. Welcome to 2012 biffnasty.

    • spydey629 - Apr 6, 2012 at 2:11 PM

      Humor me for a second…

      If you just had three of your teeth cross-checked out of your gums by a guy twice your size, right in front of the ref, wouldn’t you ask why he didn’t call anything?

      That’s what Sid is guilty of. THAT is what got him labelled a “whiner”. Even the guy who said it (Ken Hitchcock) has said he never should’ve uttered those words.

  8. mclovinhockey - Apr 6, 2012 at 1:28 PM

    @richie500. What are you talking about? Rangers and Flyers trying to influence the refs?? Pens are playing dirty, get over it. What hit on Crosby was dirty?? If you mean the hit where Crosby got hurt then you would be talking about when Sid skated into another players area. Sid turned and got hurt, he should have been called for interference on that play.
    If you mean when Schenn pushed Sid it was a 2 minute and it was called. It was not as dirty as the 2 broken sticks on slashes and a punch in the face Sid gave and was not called. Or the Malkin cheap shots to the back of girouxs head after Malkin took him down from behind. Stop being a homer and watch games for the sport, not for the team.

  9. pdmjr - Apr 6, 2012 at 1:57 PM

    First of all you dont get suspended or fined for knee on knee hits, second it was knee on thigh. Stepan looked pretty happy on the bench with his goofball “look at me” coach

  10. nhstateline - Apr 6, 2012 at 1:59 PM

    Two words sum up everything you need to know about what the Pens really believe: Matt Cooke (maybe all you Pens fans should go ask Marc Savard about concussions on cheap hits instead of whining about poor Sid). Yeah, they’ve kept him under wraps this year but look over that career and it’s obvious what he and the rest of that team are currently about. Despite their whining to the contrary, look who they employ and it’ll tell you what they believe so something like this is no shock really.

    • pdmjr - Apr 6, 2012 at 2:13 PM

      Matt Cooke begged the Pens and Mario to keep him, he has done a complete 180 with regard to his actions on the ice.

      This has nothing to do with Cooke, Savard suffered greatly and the Pens have acknowledged that.

      The Rangers should look at themselves if they want to define whining.


    • brycewest - Apr 6, 2012 at 2:33 PM

      nhstateline, who’s your team? I’m curious. A Rangers fan sure would be a hypocrite, if they lambasted the Penguins organization for Cooke, and didn’t bother to acknowledge Sean Avery. Avery, a guy so deplorable a human being that the Dallas Stars disowned him. A guy so despised by the league that the ONLY team that could take him back was the Rangers. A guy so hated by his OWN teammates, that they couldn’t and wouldn’t defend him.

  11. kcredneck - Apr 6, 2012 at 6:19 PM


  12. firemarshal1 - Apr 6, 2012 at 9:32 PM

    Opik, no suspension. It’s the S.Crosby free pass rule by the NHL.

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