The hate started to build between the New Jersey Devils and New York Rangers entering Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Final. After the Devils built a 3-0 lead in the third period, both teams sent out their muscle for a center-ice faceoff. That's when Rangers forward Mike Rupp went on a search-and-destroy mission that included a booming hit on Pater Harrold, a shove on his former teammate Martin Brodeur and an attack on Ryan Carter.
And that's what led to some chaotic moments, and an all-out shouting match between Devils Coach Pete DeBoer and Rangers Coach John Tortorella.
Hell of an effort there by Steve Bernier, attempting to distract all involved with a pratfall.
Rupp was given a double-minor for roughing and a 10-minute misconduct. Stu Bickel was given a roughing minor and a 10-minute misconduct. Ryan Carter was given a 10-minute misconduct for the Devils.
The scene was reminiscent of the regular-season "staged fights" off the opening faceoff between the teams, which sparked a war of words between DeBoer and Tortorella that had the Devils coach calling Torts a hypocrite and Tortorella saying "fighting's part of the game, but it doesn't need to be manufactured," before saying they both needed to "shut up."
Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Final had plenty of chippy-ness, including an Ilya Kovalchuk speak to the Ryan Callahan's gut. Now it's looking a little more like Rangers/Devils.
UPDATE: Brodeur discussed what he called a "punch" from Rupp, and even getting a little lighthearted about it: