“I just saw Boyle on the ice after it, but some of the guys saw [the hit] and it sounds like a charge… His back is turned the whole way, and he’s just standing there freezing the puck. He takes a run at him. It seems cheap.”
-- Ranger defenseman Marc Staal
“There should have been a penalty called against Backstrom, but the greater misfeasance belonged to the Blueshirts, who seemed to freeze at the lack of a whistle, and presented no opposition to the ensuing winning play on which Alex Ovechkin’s beauty of a centering feed against the grain found Ward all alone to the goaltender’s left.”
-- New York Post columnist Larry Brooks
“I saw Boyler get hit and go down, and I kind of hesitated just to kind of see…I knew he was down, and I thought they were going to blow (the whistle)."
-- Ranger defenseman Ryan McDonagh
“I haven’t seen the replay but knowing Boyler, my guess is it was bad, and that allowed them to get that chance…If Boyler doesn’t go down, they don’t get that chance. It’s tough to take, the late goal, but it’s how it happened that’s tough to take.”
-- Ranger forward Martin St. Louis
"I'm not going to comment on the referees. Don't ask me about it…Ask me anything else, but don't ask me about that."
-- Ranger coach Alain Vigneault
To be fair about it, if that was Derek Stepan leveling Mike Green in the corner in that manner before a Ranger goal, a lot of Caps fans, players, and local journalists might be uttering words similar to those uttered after last night’s game. And, there are folks on the Ranger side of the divide who think the Backstrom hit was within the rules, a “hockey” play in the critical dying seconds of regulation time.
But this is the playoffs, and this is for the Cup. It was quite a finish to the start of this series between two teams and fan bases that need no further encouragement ramp up the intensity.