Every fan of the New York Rangers should have a dartboard with Justin Williams face planted on it
Mention Justin Williams to any Rangers fan and you will get the same reaction. A grimace followed by nausea. When we talk about players who have been the nemesis of the New York Rangers the usual suspects come up. Denis Potvin, Marty Brodeur, Brad Marchand, Bobby Clarke et al. But recently, it’s Williams who we love to hate.
We’ll have more on the Rangers’ history with Williams in a bit, but first, here’s one reason that he is on our enemies list. After Saturday’s game, a smug Williams made a point of criticizing the fact that they played the Rangers’ goal song when the good guys scored.
“Aren’t we the home team? I didn’t care for when their goal song came on when they scored. I didn’t care for that. Other than that, we had our music at home. We had our music for warm up.”
— FOX Sports Carolinas (@CanesOnFSCR) August 1, 2020
We have to point out to Justin that there are no home or away teams here for the purposes of engaging fans. The reason a team is designated as the home team is so they can get the last change and on occasion, decide where faceoffs will be held. Goal songs are played for the fans and with none in the building, what is the harm?
If he hadn’t noticed, there are advertisements on the boards for both New York and Carolina companies and the only fan-related concession to the fact that the Hurricanes were designated as the home team was the the Hurricanes fan who sang the national anthems (on tape).
So, let’s be assured that the Rangers want to wipe that smile off his face on Monday.
Williams gave us yet another reason to dislike him on Saturday when he got into a fight with Ryan Strome less then three minutes into the game. He took on Strome after the Ranger had laid a big hit into Martin Necas right after Jesper Fast had been injured.
Justin Williams vs. Ryan Strome.
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) August 1, 2020
We would argue that Strome got the better of Williams in the fisticuffs, but it was the Ranger who had to leave the ice for some repairs.
Williams is the spiritual leader of the Hurricanes and their oldest player at age 38. He’s not a dirty player and is not known for fighting, but he knew that someone had to stand up to the Blueshirts and send a message and Williams took that mission on with relish.
How much the fact that he stood up for his younger teammates and fought mattered is a question we will never answer, but you have to give him credit for knowing that someone needed to do that and he stepped up. And that’s another reason why we don’t like Justin Williams, because he is a winner.
As a King
And that brings us to the real reason we hate Justin Williams. The 2014 Stanley Cup Finals. In that five game series, Justin Williams was a Ranger killer, winning the Conn Smythe Trophy in the process. He had a point in all four games the Kings won.
His overtime goal won the first game of the Finals, a game that set the tone for the entire series. He also assisted on the tying goal after the Kings had clawed back from a two goal deficit.
In the second game he had three assists in the Kings double overtime win including one on the disputed goal scored by Dwight King that got Los Angeles within a goal in the third period.
He had the primary assist on the first and game winning goal in Game Three, a backbreaker scored by Jeff Carter with only one second left in the first period.
In the Cup clinching win, Williams got the Kings on the scoreboard with their first goal. In five games he had a goal and six assists.
Williams has scored 40 goals in 155 playoff games and he is known as “Mr Game Seven.”
Worst of all, Justin Williams has won three Stanley Cups, two with the Kings and one with the Hurricanes. That’s one Cup more than the Rangers team have won in 79 seasons.
So, let’s just say that we hate Justin Williams, but we also respect him. Now, the Rangers have to beat him.