Rangers’ Matt Rempe learning the highs and lows of the NHL

New York Rangers center Matt Rempe (73) celebrates a goal that was later overturned by replay during the second period against the St. Louis Blues at Madison Square Garden
Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

On February 18th, 2024, New York Rangers forward Matt Rempe became the first NHLer to make their debut outside. One second into his first shift, he and Matt Martin dropped the gloves sparking “Rempemania.” In two of his next three games, Rempe would drop the gloves two more times and score his first NHL goal.

The league and NHL media fell in love with Rempe’s story and couldn’t get enough of the 6’8.5″, 21-year-old. But things quickly changed after he was suspended four games for elbowing Devils defenseman Jonas Siegenthaler.

While Rempe brings an aspect of the game the Rangers have missed on their fourth line, he has some questionable aspects of his game.

Matt Rempe reflects on his four-game suspension

When watching the hit back, it seems as if Siegenthaler is trying to avoid contact by slowing down. Rempe realized this and started to brace himself for the contact he was going to make with the boards. Unfortunately, Rempe chicken-winged his elbow and caught Siegenthaler in the face.

While both can be true, it was still a reckless play nonetheless and the suspension was worthy. But once back from his suspension, Rempe made sure to share what he learned and what needs to be worked on to maintain cleanness to his game. The rookie phenom had this to say:

“More control of my body, just stuff like that. If a guy is pulling out of a hit, just got to be careful. It was an accident. I thought I was going to hit the wall… Never want to see a guy get hurt or anything”

via Mollie Walker of the New York Times

Rempe plays a very physical game, and he’s kept it clean since arriving in the NHL. He made a dangerous play and reaped the consequences. He learned when it’s the right and wrong time to fight. Now he has learned when the right and wrong time to make a hit.

Rempemania takes the league by storm

Rempe’s three of his first four NHL games were spent sitting in the penalty box. In his first four NHL games, he racked up 27 penalty minutes. He only logged 9:15 of actual ice time.

However, when the staged fights were over with, Rempe was able to show what he could bring to the Rangers’ fourth line: a physical specimen, who could skate, and bring some offense.

In the offensive zone, Rempe is a force to be reckoned with. At 6’8.5″, he is the perfect net-front presence. And weighing in at 241 lbs, it’s hard to move him once he’s parked in front.

Once the fans saw everything he could bring, they fell more in love with Rempe. Rangers head Coach Peter Laviolette even refuted the fans’ opinions, saying:

“That’s part of the reason he’s [Rempe] here is because he can bang bodies. He’s also been a good hockey player for us, as well. When he does come back in the lineup, we’ll look for those same elements.”

via Mollie Walker of the New York Times

Rangers fans want more Rempe

During their 4-0 win over the St. Louis Blues on March 9th, Madison Square Garden erupted with “Rempe” chants.

They did the same thing on March 20th, in their 4-2 loss to the Winnipeg Jets. This time the Garden erupted in “We want Rempe” chants.

With the play style Rempe brings to the Rangers’ lineup, and the fans falling in love with him, it’s going to be hard for Peter Laviolette and company to leave him out come playoff time.

Mentioned in this article:

More about: