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GOTTA SEE IT: Devils Kurtis MacDermid, Rangers Matt Rempe Feature in Line Brawl at Puck Drop

Kurtis MacDermid called out Matt Rempe’s antics in the last meeting between the Devils and Rangers, advising the New York rookie to, “Be a man.”



New Jersey Devils

BROADWAY — The moment both New Jersey Devils and New York Rangers fans have been waiting for finally arrived, and absolutely no one had to wait.

Devils forward Kurtis MacDermid and Rangers forward Matt Rempe got a hold of each other in the final tilt of the regular season between the Hudson River rivals as soon as the puck dropped at the start of game No. 76.

Not only did MacDermid and Rempe drop the mitts, but every single starting skater did as well. MacDermid vs. Rempe. K’Andre Miller vs. John Marino. Chris Tierney vs Jacob Trouba. Curtis Lazar vs. Jimmy Vesey. Kevin Bahl vs. Barclay Goodrow.

Everyone in the brawl was ejected from the game aside from Lazar and Vesey as they were declared the first fight in the brawl.

The tilt between MacDermid and Rempe has been brewing for a while. Rempe made his NHL debut at the NHL Stadium Series when the Rangers faced the New York Islanders in outdoor action. The Rangers rookie fought Isles forward Matt Martin and since then, has dropped the mitts with some of the NHL’s toughest such as Ryan Reaves, Nicolas Deslauriers, and Mathieu Olivier.

However, the tilt with MacDermid and Rempe was much different. Instead of sizing up the enforcers around the league, Rempe needed to answer the bell for his actions.

On Feb. 22nd when the Devils hosted the Rangers, Rempe participated in his first rivalry game with New Jersey. Just 2:25 into the first period, Rempe received a match penalty for a hit on Nathan Bastian who left the game but returned, yet hasn’t played since.

MacDermid wasn’t even on the Devils yet, however, general manager Tom Fitzgerald phoned Colorado Avalanche GM Chris MacFarland to acquire some muscle. MacDermid knew his role from the very start.

In the following meeting between the Devils and Rangers, MacDermid tried to lure Rempe into a fight in the first period of play. Rempe denied MacDermid and later received another match penalty and a four-game suspension after he illegally checked Jonas Siegenthaler with an elbow to the head.

To add insult to injury, Rempe taunted MacDermid on his way to the locker room.

“I thought he would have answered [in the first period], but I don’t know what he was told and he said ‘no,'” MacDermid explained. “After a hit like that [to Bastian], it kind of goes without saying you should answer the bell in some way and be a man about it. And then the game goes on and he throws another hit like that gets you kicked out and a possible suspension. So there’s a right way to go about things and a wrong way. I kind of lost a lot of respect for him tonight.”

Thus, Wednesday night’s events transpired in the highly anticipated matchup between the Devils and Rangers. Despite the Devils’ playoff odds being buried and the Rangers comfortably in playoff position, this was a game the rivals had circled on their calendar since March 11th.

Perhaps both sides got the closure they needed as a result of the tilt.

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