May 7, 2014; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers center Derick Brassard (16) and center Derek Stepan (21) skate off after losing to the Pittsburgh Penguins in game four of the second round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. The Penguins defeated the Rangers 4 - 2 to take a 3 - 1 series lead. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Richards highsticks Derick Brassard (GIF)


The Stanley Cup playoffs are in full swing as we’ve reached the Finals in which the Los Angeles Kings and New York Rangers are going at it to see which of America’s two biggest markets will be crowned kings of hockey.

So far Game 1 of the Finals have been brutally phsyical as the West Coast Kings are not allowing the East Coast Rangers to come into Hollywood and strut their stiff like it’s Broadway. The fists are flying, bones are crunching and the series is taking off in a way hockey really needs it to.

Something hockey doesn’t need though is for this series to get too physical and out of control, and high sticking is one way to ensure more than a few people get enraged enough to do something stupid. Derick Brassard took a high stick from Mike Richards in the second period in what was likely a retaliatory hit for one Brassard laid out earlier.

highsticking

Brassard decked Dustin Brown and was called for boarding as a result, which likely in part led to Mike Richards not feeling all that bad about high sticking him. Still, neither of these teams can afford to make stupid mistakes, so the lower the sticks stay the better off everyone is.

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Tags: Los Angeles Kings New York Rangers