View Full Version : Devils' Rupp has a fighting chance

09-24-2008, 06:38 PM
Just because the Devils' Mike Rupp took boxing lessons during the summer doesn't mean the big winger was expected to go looking for a fight in Monday night's preseason loss to the Philadelphia Flyers.
Then again, it probably wouldn't have hurt his cause since coach Brent Sutter singled out rookie Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond's willingness to drop his gloves twice while "getting involved in the game."

Letourneau-Leblond earned another look in Wednesday night's exhibition meeting with the Rangers at the Prudential Center while Sutter seemed less than pleased with Rupp's preseason debut.

"Certain guys need to play well and did. Certain guys you thought would play well, didn't," Sutter said. "Certain guys have a role to play. I hope they didn't forget it during the summer."

He didn't mention Rupp by name, but it was somewhat clear.
Mike Rupp, right, of the
Devils battles for the
puck Monday night in Philadelphia

"I'm not happy with the game I played," Rupp said. "It was an ugly game in my behalf. I was chasing the puck all night. I have to put it behind me."

Letourneau-Leblond is still a long shot to make this team, but Rupp is aware of what he must do. With Arron Asham now in Philly and Cam Janssen in St. Louis, Rupp will be counted upon to do a lot of the Devils' fighting.

"I understand and know where my game needs to go to play here," Rupp said. "I paid attention to that. If it means providing more (fighting), I've prepared myself this summer."

He took boxing lessons back home in Ohio.

"There were fights last year when I was thinking too much," Rupp explained. "I want it to be natural. I found a trainer back home and took some boxing lessons."

The biggest part of his game is finishing his checks, punishing opponents with his size.

"It doesn't mean I have to go out and fight every night," Rupp said. "I need to become more disliked by the other team."

It's a role that falls to Rupp almost by default.

"I can count on five fingers how many fights (David) Clarkson was in," Sutter noted. "Bryce (Salvador) is a tough customer and there is Ruppy. We'll see if any kids step up.

"I don't like having someone sitting on the bench just to fight. To some extent I think it hurts your team. I'd like to have team toughness. It has to be a pack mentality in the dressing room and on the ice."


09-25-2008, 02:09 AM
I miss Jim Mckenzie, that guy kicked the crap out of everybody when he was with the Devils!

09-25-2008, 07:30 PM
I miss Jim Mckenzie, that guy kicked the crap out of everybody when he was with the Devils!

I miss Cam Janssen. He was a real ***** kicker but he didn't fit into Sutter's plans. Well at least we got Salvador in return.

Jersey Mike
09-27-2008, 03:56 AM
can anyone say "stevens" !?! I miss him!!!!!!