It’s not exactly bulletin-board fodder, but a couple surprising zingers were tossed around yesterday on the eve of Game 1.
Michael Neuvirth, who will start for the Capitals in Game 1, concedes that the Rangers have the clear advantage in the crease, but not on offense.
Asked about Henrik Lundqvist, the rookie netminder said: “He may be the best goalie in the world, but I think our shooters are better than theirs.”
On the Rangers side, Marian Gaborik who has struggled with injuries all season and hasn’t scored in nine games, fired his own shot across the bow. The winger said he thought the Caps preferred to play Carolina, not the Rangers in the first round.
Artem Anisimov’s outlook on the playoffs has changed drastically. After a full season in Hartford, the young Russian center was summoned for the Game 7 loss to the Capitals in 2009
“I get called up and I’m in,” recalled Anisimov, who recalled that he was incredibly nervous until he got on the ice. “I didn’t know anybody, or feel part of the team. Then I was okay; I was just out there to give the top guys a rest, two or three shifts.”
With 18 goals this season, and a far better grasp of both the Rangers system and the English language, Anisimov will skate with wings Gaborik and Vinny Prospal, veterans with multiple playoff rounds between them.
“I’ll still be nervous,” he said, “but this time I’ll have a chance to be excited.”
Brian Boyle was awakened by phone calls and texts congratulating him an appearance on “Conan” Monday. “I didn’t know what the ---- they were talking about,” a befuddled Boyle said. “I watched the beginning and went to sleep.” Turns out it was a clip of a Boyle interview after a game, during which he confesses that he doesn’t know what happened and can’t explain a loss.