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Devils Travis Green Throws Shade at Rangers Peter Laviolette Following Fight Night

Devils Travis Green took exception to Peter Laviolette’s starting lineup prior to the impending line brawl.



New Jersey Devils

BROADWAY — Amid the line brawl that started an emotional, physical battle between the New Jersey Devils and New York Rangers Tuesday night, the respective head coaches had a war of words behind the benches.

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

Only the coaches, players, and TNT analyst Darren Pang — who was between the Devils and Rangers benches — know what was said in the heated exchange.

“There was a lot going on. Obviously, there were five fights to start the game,” Devils interim head coach Travis Green explained. “I don’t know if anyone was expecting that. It was an emotional game.”

Green wouldn’t disclose what was said between the two but did explain he was surprised to see the Rangers head coach jawing off at him and this all could have been avoided in the first place.

“As far as Peter and I go, I look over and he’s yelling, talking to me. I’m more than willing to go and talk to him. And I have no idea why Peter [Laviolette] was mad. I mean, to be honest for two reasons. For starters, their players were lining up fights before the faceoff. And, none of this would have happened, which we all know why it did happen tonight, but none of it would have happened if something [hadn’t] happened in the game before which was obvious that they didn’t want to happen that game. So I have no idea why Peter would have been upset. And again, that’s not on me why he’s upset.”

Green was clearly citing Rangers forward Matt Rempe turning down a fight with Devils forward Kurtis MacDermid, twice, as a result of some questionable hits the rookie has thrown in previous games.

From the Rangers’ perspective, Laviolette explained he was just caught up in the heat of the moment.

Green isn’t the most firey guy. If you google heated exchanges involving Travis Green, you’re not likely to find many, if any, moments where the Devils interim head coach has shown an outpouring of emotion. In fact, he typically presents himself in a calm, cool, and collected manner.

That all went out the window just two seconds into Wednesday night’s game.

“I have no problem with it. But if you’re gonna start yelling, you’re gonna get it back,” Green asserted. “And like I said, none of this could have happened if there was one fight in the game before.”

Rempe’s lack of willingness to oblige MacDermid’s offer to fight, followed by an illegal check to the head of Devils defenseman Jonas Siegenthaler on March 11th certainly had many anticipating the two enforcers to come to blows.

However, not many expected it to turn into an all-out brawl involving all 10 skaters on the ice.

In fact, Green threw some shade at Laviolette in his postgame presser, insinuating a planned attack on the Devils who would have iced some different personnel had Green known there was an impending royal rumble.

“I wasn’t expecting it,” Green explained. “I mean, we’re the visiting team. They get to decide who starts for their team [second.] And I don’t think you would have seen John Marino on the ice if we were anticipating a five-on-five [fight], but our guys were more than willing. And I’m proud.”

However, the Rangers head coach insisted that he had no idea of the events that were about to transpire.

“No. Our guys were reacting to what was happening on the ice,” Laviolette said. “I thought they did a fantastic job, all five of them.

“There’s obviously a little bit between the two teams, I just think the emotions get in there. How’s that for vague?”

The emotional tilt ended in the Devils falling 4-3 to the Rangers and thus, their season series ends with it.

The Rangers swept the four-game season series which is almost certainly an emotional spillover from the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs, after the Devils eliminated the Rangers in the first round.

One would think that Wednesday’s brawl was the pot boiling over in the rivalry and when the two teams meet next season, things will have calmed down.

However, there’s a renewed fire between the Devils and the Rangers. Perhaps the book was written after Wednesday, or perhaps it was just another chapter in an unfinished Hudson River rivalry story.

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