Not sure I can remember a game with so many blood boiling incidents go against the Rangers. Between the Cam Janssen goal, Marc Staal having to leave the game with an apparent concussion and the non tripping call on Miller less than a minute before Michael Ryder gave the Devils a late lead, most Blueshirts fans had to be kept away from sharp objects after New Jersey's Eric Gelinas scored the game winner in overtime.
So let's get morbid this morning and break down each play.
Get ready to hate me. According to NHL rules, that was a legal goal. You may not like it, but it states…
According to Rule 49.2 "A puck that deflects into the net off an attacking player's skate who does not use a distinct kicking motion is a legitimate goal."
Did Janssen use his skate to purposely redirect the puck into the net? Absolutely. Was it due to a "distinct kicking motion"? Nope.
Just ask yourself this, did Janssen either swing his leg back or forward to kick the puck? If you're being honest with yourself, you know the answer is no. The rule was implemented to cut down on players whose stick was tied up in front of the net from dangerously using their skates to kick at a loose puck.
The problem I have with the rule, is that it is left up to interpretation by Toronto. What they think is a kick, could be different from what I think is a kick, which could be different from what you think is a kick.
It should be everything deflected off your body counts or nothing does. Needs to be cut and dry.
And for those of you attempting to compare this to JT Miller's waived off goal in Philadelphia earlier this season, sorry, not even close. Miller unintentionally swung his entire leg forward in a "distinct kicking motion" before striking the puck. I have a full breakdown of that incident here.
The Hit on Staal
Watching Staal walk towards the locker room and slam down his helmet after taking a Reid Boucher shoulder to the jaw made me sick to my stomach…
Making it even worse was the Rangers absolutely disgusting and embarrassing lack of response to the hit. Yes, I know the hit was legal and the game was tied, but who cares. The Rangers just sat there and watched a player with multiple concussions get absolutely blasted without a single "teammate" feeling it was worth the effort to skate over to Boucher and get in his face. Gutless.
After the game, Alain Vigneault said this about Staal's status (via Blueshirts United)…
"He took a shoulder to the chin and didn't feel quite right so they are evaluating him now and we'll have an update tomorrow."
His status for tonight is very much in doubt.
In the first period, Staal was planted into the boards from behind by Ryder (again, no response) and his face hit the dasher. After the play Staal was seen on the bench where he looked a bit dazed and actually missed putting his mouthpiece back into his mouth. Not good.
I guess we can stop with all the Michael Del Zotto trade rumors now, because he is going to counted on to be an integral part of this team going forward if Staal is going to miss a significant amount of time.
Unpenalized Trip on Miller
And the final blow was the unpenalized trip on JT Miller in the third period as his legs were absolutely taken out from him while driving to the Devils goal. You could even see Miller plead with the ref after the play for a penalty. And as is always the case, less than a minute later, Ryder did this to J. Moore and the Rangers…
Thankfully, there's a game tonight as it'll make it that much easier for us to put all this behind us by focusing on Washington.