Brendan Smith's parents had flown to New York to see their son play in the garden against the islanders on Monday.
What they could do for a second.
This is because after his first shift at 2:12 a.m., Smith received misconduct at 2:13 a.m. because he had fought a second fight with Matt Martin. The referees Frederick L’Ecuyer and Steve Kozari applied rule 46.7, which prescribes game misconduct "if a player imposes a greater penalty for the fight after the initial dispute".
The fight took place after Micheal Haley fought Ross Johnston at 2:12. When the teams lined up for the draw in front of the Islanders' Bank, Martin Smith engaged when line judge Tony Sericolo withdrew from dropping the puck to lure Greg McKegg out of the circle.
So instead of fighting in connection with the draw, the two combatants unintentionally violated the law. After a muddle with the line judges, the referees went to the police with broken windows. The thing is, she could still have excused Smith, since the rule does not give discretion over the misconduct of the game if a player is the clear attacker. That was Martin
"I don't blame Matt at all," Smith told The Post, who will get another shot at Martin and the islanders at the Colosseum on Thursday. "I know what he wants to do for his team to get momentum, but what choice do I have there? Either I get beaten up by not getting involved, or I get kicked out if I do.
"Matt tries to get a grip on me, he didn't want to keep up, and that's fine, but I have to be able to protect myself and react. He didn't know that the linesman would have the wrong drop there. It was an amicable struggle, no harm was done, it's not Matt's fault, but I think I've reached the short end.
"I think Steve and Fred unfortunately cost me a game."
And Smith's parents have a chance to see their son on the ice for more than a second.
Brendan Lemieux, who paused in the last eight games after contracting a broken left hand on December 27, attended training for the first time, but there is no schedule for his return. Lemieux has gone through his rehab process.
"He's just been cleared, every day," said coach David Quinn. "If we feel he's ready, he'll go inside."
Pavel Buchnevich, who was under the weather, missed the training but is expected to play on Thursday.
Quinn explained the organization's decision to send Libor Hajek to the AHL Wolf Pack on Tuesday. The 21-year-old defender suffered a right knee sprain on December 5, which paused him for 16 games and just over a month before a 1-game return in St. Louis last Saturday to replace injured Marc Staal. Hajek was a healthy scratch on Monday.
"He missed a lot of hockey and probably wouldn't play much during the break," said Quinn. “This gives him the opportunity to play in meaningful games and switch back to game mode.
“He has to get his confidence back. He puts a lot of pressure on himself. Every player is different, some boys will jump in and feel comfortable right away, but I think with Libor's situation it is better if he goes down and plays a few games for Hartford. "
You can find more information about the Rangers in the latest episode of the podcast "Up In The Blue Seats":