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.
Dan Girardi: 'We need a good hard start'
And a better finish against Winnipeg tomorrow, if I might be so bold to add...
After all, the Ranger lost a 2-1 lead in the third in Ottawa and and faltered in the third period in Montreal.
To be fair, Girardi, who was back after absorbing a booming shot from P.K. Subban with his right foot on Saturday that left him in major suffering (I thought a bone might be broken) said that the Rangers had to tighten up defensively with a lead and play more emphatic in the beginning.
Forward Darroll Powe, who practiced for the first time since Feb. 17, might be able to help with that part. Powe said he "was out for a bit (unconscious)" after hitting his head on the ice, but felt "pretty good" and had been skating for several days. Expect to see him in the line up Tuesday; Christian Thomas was returned to Hartford after one game. And Michael Del Zotto (right leg) made it through practice
Coach John Tortorella, who tossed around a few colorful phrases on the ice, still believes the team needs to play harder defense in order to create offense. "The message to the team is don’t panic," he said. "The last 10 games we're 5-3-2..."
He did note that the team feels the pressure of expectations from the outside and inside: " If you don’t handle the pressure the proper way, you get in the way, it binds you. I think this is a team that needs something good to happen to it and try to gain some confidence back... We need to make bigger plays at key times…Our power play needs to be better, and that's the top guys. I’m not trying to shoulder it all on them, I see glimpses of them coming out of it."
There's plenty more in my story on the injury situaton, which will be on newsday.com shortly...More in a few...