FTHN Interview: Metro News’ Denis Gorman
Game 4 is tonight at Madison Square Garden with a chance for the Rangers to put a stranglehold on the Eastern Conference Finals. Denis Gorman covers the Rangers for the Metro News and AP. He was at yesterday’s practice and media scrums. FTHN Magazine caught up with Denis to get his thoughts on the suspensions and the series.
FTHN: First off, thank you so much for your time. Let’s start off with your thoughts on the hit and suspensions?
DG: Initially I thought it was a bad hit because it was late, and that’s still my thinking. Every other aspect of the hit–full body contact, skates on the ice, head not targeted–was textbook.
With the NHL’s philosophy of judging the result of an incident, it was somewhat predictable Brandon Prust was going to be suspended after it was announced that Derek Stepan had a broken jaw.
I thought it was also predictable that Dan Carcillo was going to be suspended for elbowing linesman Scott Driscoll. Whether it was an accident or not–replays appeared to show it was inadvertent–a player cannot strike a linesman. So with that as the baseline, I do suspect that Carcillo will miss some time, even if Gary Bettman lessens the suspension.
FTHN: Do you think with head coach Michel Therrein’s prior history (Laraque Comments), he gave his guys direction to take out a Ranger?
DG: No. I can’t imagine any coach would demand that his players injure an opponent.
FTHN: What are your thoughts on the information that the league was only going to give Prust one game and only added one when they learned of the injury?
DG: I’m not sure that’s the case. Again, the NHL weighs the result of an incident, and once it was learned that Derek Stepan had a broken jaw, it was fairly predictable Prust would miss a couple games.
FTHN: After talking to the players in the locker room, what was the overall feeling on the suspensions?
DG: I think the Rangers have moved on from the incident(s). They recognize they’re in a series, and their goal is to win Game 4.
FTHN: Prust said he didn’t mean to do it and sent Stepan a text. Do you think the NYR players are buying it? Or even care?
DG: I think this is a group that knows who and what Brandon Prust is as a player and person, considering he was a Ranger for, what, two-and-a-half years? So I don’t think they are looking at him askew.
But as Derick Brassard said Saturday, they want to make the Canadiens “pay” by beating them in Game 4.
FTHN: Derick Brassard said he would be playing in game 4. Did he reveal any other info about the injury?
DG: Nope, and that’s part of the culture in the playoffs. No one talks about injuries. The only thing he said was that he wasn’t 100 percent for Game 3 and that’s why the decision was made for him to sit out.
* Brassard quote -“I feel great. I’m good to go. I’m going to be in tomorrow,” Brassard said. “The reason why I’m playing tomorrow is because I’m 100 percent.”
FTHN: If Stepan can’t play which is likely, who takes his spot and why?
DG: I think J.T. Miller will dress, and he’ll play on the fourth line. He practiced Saturday and, as a natural center, would seem to be a better lineup fit than Jesper Fast.
FTHN: Lastly, Carcillo has appealed. Do you think the league will reduce it to 3 games?
DG: Gary Bettman will hear the appeal, and I suspect the suspension will be reduced, but I couldn’t give you a number.
FTHN: Thank you again so much for your time, and keep up the great work.
HERE IS DENIS’ FULL ARTICLE!