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.
Tortorella's remarks, Rick Nash rests, quotes from NYR practice
Game 4 peek-ahead stats first:
The PP? 1-for-13. The PK is 8-10. Blueshirts are 39-32 all time in G4.
More in my preview along with Henrik Lundqvist's thoughts on Game 4 in tomorrah's paper. My partner on the bumpy stagecoach ride this series, Anthony Rieber, has a piece on the growth of John Moore coming up as well.
Here's a taste of what Lundqvist said after practice, then you can peruse Tortorella's comments:
Lundqvist, who seemed very composed to me today, said:
"It’s first to four, I’m already thinking about tomorrow. When you face a lot of skilled players, you can’t give them a lot of room, a lot of time….It has to be the same approach…The last two games felt we did a lot of good things…"
Asked about whether he gives directions from behind the mask: "I’m not a big talker back there, sometimes I think I could be better at that, try to communicate a little more, help them out."
The talker, really, is Mr. Biron. What a beauty. We were discussing Ottawa and Jason Spezza today and he recalled a game as a Flyer when he shoved and baited Spezza in the crease after a prolonged goal celebration into a frustrating spear of a defenseman. "My inner Hextall," he said.
Back to Lundqvist: "It was a must-win for us, now it’s a fresh game, I'm not going to change my approach.."
And then this comment on Arron Asham:
"Every time he gets a chance in front of the net, I’m pretty confident. We talked about it, when he was younger, he was a good scorer and then he kind of adjusted his game, but he can really shoot the puck. When he got that chance yesterday, I was pretty confident. It’s a real challenge for me in practice when you face guys like that who can really rip it that hard and accurate."
OK, you probably already know from the torrent of tweets that Rick Nash (treatment) and Darroll Powe (presumed concussion) didn't skate. I expect Nash in tomorrow, not Powe, so Taylor Pyatt should get more PK time.
Ryane Clowe took a step closer to a return, battling for pucks with contact for the first time in practice. Now it's wait and see.
“I felt pretty good and we’ll see how the rest of the day goes....You want to get tested in some sort of battles. I don’t know if that was holding me back necessarily but it might have been a part of it. I was hopeful for Game 2, that’s just how I think. But if you asked around, people who know me, I don’t like missing games. If I’ve got the opportunity I’m going to play. I’m not holding out or trying to save it. There’s nothing to save at this time of year. But I don’t want to end up playing a period or a few shifts and something happens and you’re out again."
Chris Kreider, keep your phone handy.
OK, drum roll please, the coach:
On John Moore: “He’s understanding as far as stick on puck, just to use his range to the best of his ability because he takes up a lot of space. Understanding how hard he has to be in the corners? He still has a lot of improvement there. I think he’s picking those things up, and just positioning, period, quick thoughts, quick reads.”
On aggressive play at the blue line: “I think part of our game, not just starting in the playoffs, the last 10-15 games, we felt we were coming off the blue line too early and not allowing us to create opportunities. Especially a guy like him and a guy like (Ryan) McDonagh, if they get caught for some reason, they can recover. All D, we’ve tried to keep them on the blue line longer so we can create offense longer. We want it more aggressive than just backing off.”
On Brian Boyle: “You could see right away early in the game he was ready to play. It gives you a deeper lineup. He played 20 plus minutes, he was good on faceoffs (14/21) he blocked some shots. A number of guys in second, third, fourth line situations played well, for both teams.... The one thing about Brian, he’s played well in the playoffs. Right now that’s very important for us. Forget about the regular season, he has played well in the playoffs. Before he got hurt (in the first-round series against Ottawa last spring) he was one of our best performers. That’s a really good sign for the position we’re in now.”