There are certainly some people who believe New York Rangers rookie Matt Rempe is a dirty player. Whether that actually is the case is a matter of debate. What's undeniable, though, is that the young Blueshirts forward has quickly become a fan favorite. On Friday night, Rempe explained why the feeling is mutual.

The Rangers defeated the Florida Panthers in overtime on Friday night. New York has now tied the 2024 Eastern Conference Finals after a loss on Wednesday. Late in the game, Rempe received shifts in crucial moments. Fans saw him skating during the third period and overtime. Everyone knew what Rempe's role was, and thanks to the fans, he was more than motivated.

“The fans here are by far the best. I don’t want to let them down. I love them so much. Like no matter what, they’re chanting. I gotta go out there and I want to make them proud. I want to go out there and do something, do something every shift. How can you not have energy when they’re chanting like that?” Rempe said, via The Athletic's Michael Russo.

Matt Rempe reacts to late shifts

New York Rangers center Matt Rempe (73) reacts after a play during the third period in game two of the Eastern Conference Final of the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Florida Panthers at Madison Square Garden.
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Rempe is not a player who is relied upon when the team needs a goal. In fact, during his 17-game stint in the regular season, the 21-year-old averaged less than six minutes per game. His average ice time is north of six minutes during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but he has just one goal in eight games.

The Blueshirts rookie is there to give his team a spark. Head coach Peter Laviolette calls upon him to get into the other team's grill and throw his weight around. So his involvement late in the game came as a bit of an eyebrow-raiser to some. But Rempe had a good time with it, and shared his hilarious reaction to hearing his name called.

“I heard Lavi call my name with like 2 minutes left and I was like, ‘Oh my God, let's go! Jiminy Crickets, let's go!' I was thrown out there and I just tried to buzz around and do my job,” he said, via New York Post reporter Mollie Walker. Rempe played 10 minutes on Friday night, the second-highest amount of ice time he's received in his game this season.

Rangers rookie hypes overtime hero

Matt Rempe did not score the overtime game-winner on Friday night. That honor went to veteran forward Barclay Goodrow. Goodrow's shot beat Panthers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky to end the game and tie the series. But Rempe certainly had a good view of the game-winning goal in Game 2.

The Rangers rookie was asked about Goodrow's game-winner, and he provided his reaction. “Oh my gosh, that was unbelievable,” Rempe said, via SNY Rangers. “It was great. All the D-Zone draws, the penalty kills, does all the greasy things. To see him score a huge overtime winner was unbelievable. Goody's that guy.”

Rempe was far from the only New York player to praise Goodrow after the game. For instance, Igor Shesterkin was asked about the goal given Goodrow's ups and downs during the year. But the Rangers goalie hit back at the notion of Goodrow having had an up-and-down campaign. “Maybe for you he’s up and down, but for me he’s always on the top,” he said, via The Athletic's Peter Baugh.

The Rangers have gained momentum in the 2024 Eastern Conference Finals. Rempe and Goodrow are major reasons for Game 2's outcome. It'll certainly be interesting to see how they impact the rest of this series against the Panthers.