Steve Zipay takes you inside the locker room, home and on the road, with the New York Rangers, and also writes about the NHL, off and on the ice.
Brodeur clams up on game days
Hello, hockey fans. I'm back from another afternoon at the Rock, where the Devils had a team meeting but did not skate. That sort of thing happens a lot at playoff time, when fresh legs are paramount.
This was Day Two of my mission to become the first person since World War II - as far as I know - to cover an entire NHL conference final entirely by train, including practices and morning skates.
The only thing that could throw me is if one of the night games goes into triple overtime, causing me to miss the last train home for the night, thus causing me to get a cab or hitch a ride out of downtown Newark or something. We shall see.
Below is some stuff from the interviews after the non-practice practice that were not included in the story I wrote for the newspaper. That story is about how the Devils were asked for the second time in 14 hours or so about the Rangers' maddening ability to block shots. It should be posted elsewhere on Newsday.com sometime soon.
Here are the leftovers:
Coach Pete DeBoer was asked whether Martin Brodeur perhaps was bumped by Derek Stepan on the Rangers' first goal Monday night.
"Looked like a bump to me," he said.
Then DeBoer was asked about an apparent but uncalled infraction by Michael Del Zotto for closing his hand on the puck and then passing it. "Yes, it looked like a hand on the puck," he said.
Martin Brodeur was asked about his recently implemented policy of not speaking to reporters after morning skates on game days. He said he instituted it during the first-round series against the Panthers because he was tired of negative questions about the team when he wanted to focus on happy thoughts.
"On game days I don’t need to have that aggravation in my hyead because of these types of questions that were asked," he said. "I figured I’d let it be for the time being on the morning skates. It’s been working out good. I’m a lot more positive."
I asked Brodeur whether he likes the fact that during Rangers-Devils series the players get to practice at home and live at home.
"It's definitely different," he said. "You're used to going for four days at least once in the series . . . It makes it a lilttle different but it's great for us. It’s a long year so it’s nice to break it up and be able to play almost like seven home games."
Center Jacob Josefson skated and said he hopes to return later in this series from the left wrist fracture he suffered in early April.