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Rangers Matt Rempe Offers First Comment Following Line Brawl with Devils Kurtis MacDermid

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New Jersey Devils
(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

The opening faceoff line brawl between the New Jersey Devils and New York Rangers has hogged up all the oxygen around the NHL.

Everyone tuned into Wednesday night’s Fight Night, and if you didn’t, you’ve at least seen the clips circulating social media.

Eight game misconducts were assessed as a result of the chaos and all eight players had to watch the rest of the 59:58 from the locker room.

Therefore, not everyone was available to speak.

Devils forward Kurtis MacDermid was made available for comment after the Devils’ 4-3 loss, however, and explained his actions plus his view of Rempe after the altercation.

“I’m always going to have a lot of respect for him,” MacDermid explained to New Jersey Hockey Now. “He’s a young kid just trying to do his thing to stay in the league and I understand that”

MacDermid’s tune has certainly changed after saying he “lost respect” for Rempe following their last meeting on March 11th.

The Rangers did not make any of their brawlers on Wednesday night available postgame. However, Matt Rempe did offer his first comments at the lightly attended Thursday morning Rangers skate.

“MacDermid was like, ‘We’re going right now,’” Rempe explained to attending media in New York. “I’m like, ‘Yeah, I know. I think there’s a reason why we’re starting.’”

The Rangers rookie then went on to praise MacDermid’s size and strength, and admitted he was the “biggest and strongest” of any opponent he’s faced in a fight yet this season.

“He’s a real tough customer,” Rempe went on. “That guy is a big boy. Strong, [has] been one of the toughest guys in the league for a long time, and he has his job to do. You gotta respect that.”

For reference, Rempe’s fought some of the NHL’s toughest already such as Matt Martin, Ryan Reaves, Nicolas Deslauriers, and Mathieu Olivier

It sounds like the Devils and Rangers enforcers have each gained their respect for one another.

The Devils and the Rangers don’t meet again this season, therefore, the brawling has come to an end, for now.

Still, after last night, it sounded like Devils interim head coach Travis Green threw some shade at Peter Laviolette, insinuating a planned attack that New Jersey didn’t see coming.

Yet, the Rangers head coach doubled down on Thursday morning that he was just as unaware of what was about to transpire as Green was.

“We had no idea that was happening,” Laviolette explained. “We assumed that there would be one fight, so whatever came from the other side, came from the other side. Our guys were ready to battle.”

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