Matt Rempe and Kurtis MacDermid

Matt Rempe and Kurtis MacDermid


Matt Rempe, New York Rangers & Kurtis MacDermid, New Jersey Devils

Wednesday night’s contest between the New York Rangers and the New Jersey Devils was a grudge match – literally.

Tensions reached a boiling point between the Metropolitan Division rivals as their fourth and final matchup of the season began with an all-out brawl off the opening face-off.

While the brawl involved all 10 players on the ice, the main event was the fight at center ice between Rangers center Matt Rempe and Devils winger Kurtis MacDermid; the two have history dating back to New Jersey’s last visit to Madison Square Garden on March 11 and continued to exchange blows even after the four other fights had ended.

In addition to Rempe and MacDermid, four players from each team received game misconducts and were ejected just two seconds into the game – Rangers defensemen Jacob Trouba and K’Andre Miller and forward Barclay Goodrow, and Devils defensemen Kevin Bahl and John Marino and forward Chris Tierney. All 10 players also received five-minute fighting penalties.

New York’s Will Cuylle also fought New Jersey’s Dawson Mercer at the 4:27 mark of the first period after Cuylle hit Devils defenseman Brendan Smith into the boards. Through the first 20 minutes of play, both teams amassed a whopping 162 penalty minutes.

Rempe Finally ‘Answer[ed] the Bell’ against MacDermid

With both Rempe and MacDermid on the ice for the opening face-off Wednesday, fireworks seemed inevitable. The pair had beef to settle after the teams’ last meeting on March 11, when Rempe refused MacDermid’s offer to fight early in the game in retaliation for the hit on Nathan Bastian that earned Rempe a match penalty during their Feb. 22 matchup.

“There’s a bit of a code, and I thought he would’ve answered that,” MacDermid said to reporters after the game on March 11. “I don’t know what he was told, but he said no. After a hit like that, it goes without saying you should answer the bell in some way, be a man about it.”

Matt Rempe has spent more time in the penalty box than on the ice against the Devils.

Later in the March 11 contest, Rempe knocked Devils defenseman Jonas Siegenthaler out of the game with a dangerous hit, and MacDermid tried to fight him again before the two were separated by officials. Rempe was subsequently suspended four games for his actions.

Speaking to the media after his ejection from Wednesday’s game, MacDermid changed his tune now that he finally had a chance to settle the score with Rempe for his prior offenses.

“It was great to see the team responding that way and having each other’s backs out there,” said MacDermid, who hadn’t played the past four games for New Jersey but was on the ice for the opening face-off against the Rangers. “l have a lot of respect for [Rempe]. He’s a young kid trying to do his thing. I understand that.”

Rempe’s ejection was the third of his 14-game NHL career; all three have come against the Devils.

Animosity Between Rangers & Devils Reaches New Heights

Rempe and MacDermid’s fight could have been anticipated; the rest of the scuffles, however, were a bit more surprising.

“I had no idea that was going to happen,” MacDermid said of the five simultaneous fights. “It was a spur of the moment thing.”

Even the bench bosses got in on the action, with Rangers head coach Peter Laviolette and Devils interim head coach Travis Green jawed at one another on the bench while the their teams brawled on the ice.



“It was just emotion more than anything,” Laviolette said during his postgame media availability. “I think the guys battled hard for each other.”

New York won the game by a final score of 4-3, but the extracurricular activities were the main focus in the matchup between a Devils team on the way to being eliminated from playoff contention and a Rangers squad vying for the President’s Trophy as the top regular-season team in the league.

With the win, the Rangers completed the season sweep of the Devils and earned two critical points in the standings. They now lead the league with 106 points on the season, giving them a three-point advantage over the Dallas Stars and Boston Bruins.

Emma Lingan covers the National Hockey League and Major League Baseball for She has covered the NHL in multiple capacities since 2018, including as a senior content manager and beat reporter for the Nashville Predators and a team site editor for The Hockey News. More about Emma Lingan

Also Read More: World News | Entertainment News | Celebrity News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

China, US defence chiefs hold first substantive talks in nearly 18 months | Military News

Lloyd Austin and Dong Jun talk South China Sea, Taiwan, North Korea…

Why are South Asians going to fight in the Russia-Ukraine war? | Russia-Ukraine war News

Young men from South Asia joined the Russian army in its war…

Bulgaria and Romania partially join Europe’s Schengen area | Migration News

After a 13-year wait, Bulgaria and Romania have partially joined Europe’s Schengen…

Trump opposes Arizona Supreme Court ruling on pro-life law

Former President Donald Trump is speaking out against the Arizona Supreme Court’s…