If the New York Rangers were looking to ramp up the rivalry between themselves and the New Jersey Devils, they should look no further than the Canada-Russia Super Series that's going on. Canada has dominated the first two games, aside from the opening minutes of Game One. Physically, they have hammered the Russians with their aggressive play, and this is a Sutter-coached team trait.
However, the Rangers may also have another reason to be unhappy with the Sutters. Brent's son, Brandon, ended Alexei Cherepanov's Super Series with a monster check in the defensive zone in Game Two. Cherepanov will miss the remainder of the series with a concussion, and that can't make Rangers' GM Glen Sather very happy.
Now, granted, the hit by Sutter was a charging penalty, and he did spend two minutes in the penalty box for the hit. However, if you're a Rangers' fan, this may get you a little steamed. Brandon Sutter is a Carolina Hurricanes prospect, so the Rangers could get a healthy dose of Sutters next year. It will feel like the early 1990s all over again along the east coast.
Seeing as how Canada won Game Three by a 6-2 margin, it appears that the Russians may be running out of steam and running out of bodies. The Russian team is also saying forward Egor Averin is out for the remainder of the series. There's also a report that Artem Anisimov of the Rangers may be done for the series after he and Colton Gillies of Canada got tangled up. Two Rangers prospects have gone down already, one of which was expected to challenge for a roster spot.
If you're a New York Rangers fan, get used to this kind of treatment at the hands of the team from down the turnpike. Brent Sutter will have his team motivated while playing hard-hitting, uptempo hockey. It's the only way he knows the game, and the New Jersey Devils will be a reflection of him.
I'm looking forward to an exciting Atlantic Division this year. Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, the New York Rangers, and New Jersey should all provide many highlights on nights they play. Perhaps even more highlights when they play each other.
Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!