Matt Rempe gives his honest opinion on being branded the villain of New York Rangers

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Washington Capitals at New York Rangers
Rangers' Rookie Sensation Matt Rempe courts controversy with aggressive play in NHL playoffs

In the heat of the NHL playoffs, rookie sensation Matt Rempe has found himself in the spotlight for his physical style of play. At 6-foot-7 and playing for the New York Rangers, the forward has been making quite a stir with his strong play on the ice, as many opponents find themselves bruised and battered when the youngster hits them.

In a recent interview with NHL reporter Mollie Walker, Rempe addressed the growing perception of him as the Rangers' resident villain. When asked about his feelings towards this label, Matt Rempe responded with characteristic candor.

“I got no issue with it, In New York, they love it when I’m playing hard. If we go on the road and they don’t like it, I mean, you’re playing hard, you’re playing physical. It’s good. I have no issue with that," Rempe said.

The most recent example of Matt Rempe's aggressive play came in Game 3 of the Rangers' first-round series against the Washington Capitals. With the Capitals already facing a two-game deficit and missing two key defensemen, Matt Rempe delivered a thunderous hit on defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk, forcing him out of the game.

The hit provoked a 2-minute interference penalty for Matt Rempe.

Van Riemsdyk out after hit from Matt Rempe; Capitals are under pressure

The Washington Capitals are facing a critical Game 4 with their backs against the wall, prompting head coach Spencer Carbery to prioritize rest and mental reset. Carbery emphasized the need for the team to recharge and maintain focus on the immediate task at hand—winning one game.

"I think the way that we'll handle it as a staff is let today the dust settle and really take advantage of tomorrow. Guys understand the messaging of the same way it's been for multiple months is for us finding a way to win one game, and being energized and excited about that," Carbery said (via

Key players Nick Jensen and Rasmus Sandin are recovering from injuries, but their availability for the next game is doubtful. Carbery takes a realistic stance, noting that if they're ready, they'll play; otherwise, the squad will stick with its current roster.

Defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk is out due to a big hit in the previous game, while Vincent Iorio is still recovering in a non-contact role.

The team faces a shortage of defensemen, with only one NHL-contracted player left in Hershey's Chase Priskie. However, Priskie won't be called up for Game 4. Instead, Hardy Haman Aktell will likely step in if needed.

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