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.
The afternoon report: Lacing up for 6, aware of 7
Not six periods, like the last time we were here, but Game 6, haha...
OK, refueled; a couple of slices from Flippin’ Pizza down the hatch, and off we go….
First of all: Game 7, if necessary, would be Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and televised by NBCSN.
From the emails, and comments and twitter, I know many of you don’t want to go there, and neither do the Rangers. A bad bounce and you’re on the links after 103 games or whatever. Cruel, that.
Now, you know that the Rangers lead the series, 3-2, following that classic 3-2 overtime win in Game 5 on Monday at MSG. They did win Game 6 in Ottawa, but overall the Rangers are 15-17 all-time in Game 6s.
Coach John Tortorella said yesterday that the Rangers were not an over-confident team and that sentiment played out today. The Blueshirts were loose on the ice, but wary.
Henrik Lundqvist: “We know they’re going to come hard, but they’ve been playing hard every game. You don’t want to look beyond these 60 minutes or whatever it will be tonight, whether it’s the next round or another game.”
Translation: Don’t ask me about the Devils now.
Of course, the Caps would love to force another trip to Manhattan.
“It’s more serious today,” Karl Alzner told reporters after the Caps skated at their practice facility “Everybody, we realize how important this is and we’re making sure everybody’s on. It’s a do-or-die game for us, so we’re all pretty intense. Obviously we want to do and not die, so we’re ready for it.”
Ruslan Fedotenko, who didn’t even know that he had played his 100thpostseason match in Game 5, echoed what I reported yesterday from Mike Rupp: “I feel we should just initiate and go for it, not sit and weather anything.”
Anton Stralman (NHL leader among d-men with three goals) talked about balancing offense and defense, which I’ll have in a notebook later…
The refs tonight: Dan O’Halloran, Wes McCauley…Let ‘em play, I say….