So, when Mike Rupp shows up at MSG on a lazy Monday evening and is the number-one star on a night when both Crosby and Marian Gaborik have two goals, you know Rupp either gave some kid with AIDS a puck during warm-ups or he had an unreal game.
After getting boarded and seemingly injuring his knee, Rupp heroically returned to score the eventual game-winning goal, and then he added another one to complete the hat trick. With those three goals, Rupp bounces his goal total this season to 8, while not having scored more than 6 goals in any season prior to this.
But it isn’t just his goal scoring. Rupp is a boss. After someone douches one of his teamates, Rupp is the first one to stick up for him. Basically, Rupp is terrifying.
For the Pens, they take two straight games from the Rangers, not even allowing the Rangers to squeak out a point in overtime; a quick 8-point swing just like that.
After the jump, there is an actual recap.
And the truth behind the end of the Branch Bourque-Davidian standoff is revealed.
Speaking of coaches, this was Disco’s first time as Pens coach in MSG? Bizarre, but true.
If Madison Square Garden was located on Sesame Street and not 33rd Street, the first period would’ve been brought to you by the letters M, A, and F. He had to weather an unreal storm early on, a storm which consisted of Sean Avery trying to teabag him. Gonch and Orpik were all business.
It was good back-and-forth action, except there was no “forth.”
Some Ranger hits the pipe. The sound echoes in the dead MSG.
Dan Girardi goes to the box for a tripping penalty, but no go on the powerplay.
Malkin makes a sick feed to Guerin.
Rozsival is there with the toe save, somehow managing to take another minus from 2002 in the process.
Then an underrated play unfolded as Skoula breaks his stick trying to dump in the puck as the powerplay ends and the Rangers break the other way. He somehow materializes another stick out of thin air from the bench. It was seamless.
By the tail end of the period, the Pens found themselves with the lead in shots. But King Henrik was no joke.
Which New York State team would be more lost without their goalie — Buffalo or the Rangers?
Somewhere in there, Brian Boyle jobs Eaton. That started some chirping.
Godard and Rupp come out for the next shift.
Boyle shirks away from Godard.
Brashear was nowhere to be found.
Then Orpik love-taps Gaborik after a whistle.
Then Brashear makes an appearance, jobbing 4’7″ Tyler Kennedy.
Mario Lemeiux saved the Penguins franchise for the city of Pittsburgh and runs the Mario Lemeiux Foundation, a charity that does unbelievable amounts of good work.
Gretzky’s great after-hockey project? A winery. No joke.
Gaborik builds a condo in front of MAF. 1-0.
Then he does some unreal fist pump.
Three seconds later, it was tied.
The Guerin Play™, as he just one-touches the puck to a streaking Bing. 1-1.
Probably our desktop wallpaper for life.
Malkin gets tripped, Pens get a PP. Nope.
Crosby trips some joke, but it doesn’t get called.
The refs were aware and call some tacky call on Gonchar.
Gaborik would score on the consequent PP. 2-2.
Almost waiting for the inevitable MSG Penguins collapse.
The blood gets boiling about five or so minutes in when Dan Giradi boards Mike Rupp.
Obvious penalty to everyone in the building except John Tortorella, who started bitching about the call.
Rupp hurts his knee on the play. It didn’t look good.
The Pens powerplay didn’t look good, either.
They job around, and then Geno gets called for something.
It feels like another makeup call. Great job by Torts to buy it.
Bing goes after Gaborik when he takes a few extra whacks at MAF.
Orpik takes the feud to the next level, basically shutting down Gaborik’s life after that.
That is when the game took a playoff-like feel.
And that is when the Pens took over.
Jokimov, the guy Cooke jobbed, should have faked a concussion like other people we know, because he committed a terrible turnover, which let Rupp lead a four-on-two break.
Only thing left to see is if Rupp or Bing would get the HT.
Rangers pull King Homo, and Bing makes a terrible pass right up the middle in the Pens zone.
But it wasn’t terrible. He was just looking for Rupp, who sinks it from way downtown.
- Good to be back.
- Crosby on pace for 50 goals.
- Rupp on pace for 20 goals.
- We were rooting for someone to end Sean Avery’s career every time he touched the ice.
- Ovechkin kneed somebody and hurt himself. We’ll get to that eventually.
- And Keith Ballard destroyed Tomas Vokoun. Wow.