The New Jersey Devils’ Mike Rupp — shown above, tangling with the Rangers’ Colton Orr last month — expressed frustration to the Star-Ledger’s Rich Chere that even after wacking Dalla’ Steve Ott in the neck (twice) last night, the Stars F (still recovering from a broken hand earlier in the season) declined to drop his gloves.
Rupp said Ott had taunted the Devils’ bench earlier in the match.
“When you’re calling to the other team’s bench, I think you need to step up to the plate,” Rupp said. “He clearly has no interest in doing that. He made a little signal after he ran around for a shift.
“That’s how he is. He’s been like that forever. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of guys like that in the league now. It’s a shame. He just runs his mouth.”
Ott claimed he is an even more effective agitator since he has stopped fighting because of the broken hand he suffered Nov. 22 against the Ducks.
“My game isn’t going to change one bit,” Ott said. “Maybe I’m even more effective this way because I can’t fight.”
Ott went for a big hit on Rupp with 9:22 left in the game, but the Devils’ forward dodged him.
“He clipped me,” Rupp said, “but there wasn’t much impact.”