Originally posted on The Rangers Tribune  |  Last updated 5/22/12

It's incredible to think how differently two separate minds could interpret one single series of events.

What occurred late in the third period of last night's Game 4 match between the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils has been portrayed by the media in two distinct ways. There is the group of analysts of the situation who believe that the Rangers' purpose in riling up their opponent was to send a message in a game in which they were dominated from start to finish. Then, on the flip side of things, you have the other set of analysts who claim that the Blueshirts uncharacteristically lost their composure and completely unraveled their emotions. 

A legitimate case could be made for either, I suppose, but what happened last night in the third period was done knowingly. This wasn't a matter of the Rangers boiling over from frustration and losing their cool as some claim, and quite honestly, for those who do see it that way, they have obviously not followed this hockey team all too closely this season. And excuse my side rant here for a second, but is there anything more annoying than members of the media who did not follow the Rangers all year, now inputting their opinion just because it is the Conference Finals? You don't know this team, so shut your mouth. 

Anyway, as I was saying, Mike Rupp sparking a near brawl in the third period was not a decision made on impulse. There's a reason head coach John Tortorella had him out on the ice, along with Stu Bickel, at that point in the game, because it was crucial for the Blueshirts to, in some way, shape or form, prove that they were not going down without a fight. Whether or not punching Marty Brodeur in the face was the correct way to go about doing that is beside the point, it's more about the reasoning behind it that counts. 

This, in turn, is why Devils coach Pete Deboer was irate after the incident. He knew that the Rangers knew exactly what they were doing and why they were doing it. It's a cheap but effective tactic, basically.

Did the Rangers create a distraction in the game? Yes. Did they give the media something to write about other than how poorly they performed in the actual game? Yes. Did they get the Devils to lose their cool? I would say so, since Pete Deboer was practically leaping up and down behind the bench, screaming at John Tortorella before the two finally met face-to-face with NBC analyst Pierre McGuire standing in the middle of it. 

Ponder this: Had the Rangers not sparked some fireworks there late in the game, their evident fatigue, lack of speed and inability to establish a forecheck would make up a majority of the focal point in this series right now. But now, with how they've created a sideshow here, there is some anticipation leading into Game 5 in regard to how each club will respond to what occurred and if either coach got to the other's head. 

What should be the focus right now is how the Rangers have become the underdogs in this series. But it is not, so in the minds of the Rangers, despite the loss, they must be thinking "mission accomplished" here with how this has all been played out and blown up. 

The Rangers didn't lose their composure late in Game 5 - they simply did the only beneficial thing they could've at that stage of the game. 

DUBINSKY, ZUCCARELLO SKATE IN PRACTICE

The report from Rangers practice this afternoon is that forwards Brandon Dubinsky (ankle) and Mats Zuccarello (wrist) are both skating with the team. While that doesn't guarantee that either will be ready to suit up for Game 5 on Wednesday, it is at least a good sign for a team that needs any fresh legs they can get right now. 

Stu Bickel also skated in a red defenseman jersey. 

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Kimbo Slice’s son set to make MMA debut

Did Bell miss drug tests due to changed phone number?

Brian Cashman defends A-Rod despite season's struggles

Report: Charles’ workload won’t be limited if healthy

Report: Westbrook doesn’t want trade, will think about extension

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Chargers don’t know if Joey Bosa will report to camp

Report: RG3 to be given four out of five first-team reps

Report: Peterson likely entering last season with Vikings

Cubs trade for Chapman a risk, but potential payoff too hard to ignore

Wisconsin kicker will wear 27 to honor Nebraska's Sam Foltz

Dennis Schroder wears disguise to play in German streetball tournament

Von Miller has some wild thoughts about human evolution

Blue Jays agree to acquire Melvin Upton

The crowning achievement of Sasha Banks

Six best QB battles to watch during training camp

Kobe Bryant called ‘a–hole’ in LeBron James-produced show

Top five storylines heading into MLB trade deadline

Chris Sale’s so-called ‘apology’ was anything but

Ten hottest golfers heading into 2016 PGA Championship

Five NFL sophomores poised to break out in 2016

Tre Mason's family concerned about RB's mental health?

Dion Waiters' deal signals the end of the 2016 money grab

Tom Jackson could leave ESPN after almost three decades

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

QUIZ: Name every city to host the NBA All-Star Game

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker