33° Good Afternoon
33° Good Afternoon

Practice, the Whiskey Store and confidence



                 Anybody remember Whiskey Store? The Tab Benoit/Jimmy Thackeray guitar blues pairing from oh, 2003, I think?

                Thought of that after a quick post-game adult beverage with Dr. Gross at the Irish Embassy on Wellington Street here in Toronto. Have to find my copy when I arrive back at Chez Zipay tonight. Will be driving to Boston early tomorrow....

                But first, ah yes, the Rangers practice  here at the ACC, where the Blueshirts used a forechecking, back-pressure blueprint and some clutch saves by Martin Biron last night to frustrate the Leafs to snap a three-game losing skid.

                We'll have reports here, at and from around 11:15 through this afternoon.

                 I read in the Globe and Mail this morning that Derek Jeter said he's not a big believer in momentum. 

                 Neither am I.  Confidence is another matter, and if the Rangers can carry that over to Boston tomorrow, it really could help against the Bruins, who right now are one of the best three teams in the East, and probably will remain there through April. 

                In case you missed it, some other notes from yesterday:


In the fifth game last season, Henrik Lundqvist rested and Steve Valiquette faced Anaheim. The Rangers No. 1 goaltender then appeared in the next 11, including a relief role against the Sharks, on his way to a career-high 73 appearances.

Lundqvist, carrying a 3.75 GAA and facing an average of 35 shots per game, got his first breather of the season Thursday night, but stayed on the ice a long time after the morning skate working with goaltending coach Benoit Allaire.

Early in the year, Lundqvist said recently, repetition is important in the search for a rhythm. “Shape-wise, I feel great,” he said yesterday. “Technically I can work on a few things….I’ll have a good week of practice and get ready for the weekend.”

Lundqvist will certainly play one or both of the next two games---against Boston on Saturday and New Jersey on Sunday. "These are important days for Hank, because when you're playing all the time you're not practicing and working on the things you need to work on,” Tortorella said. “Hank will play; I'm not sure it'll be back to back."


D Steve Eminger was a healthy scratch for the first time this season. He had one assist and was a minus-2 in four games. Matt Gilroy and rookie Mike Sauer, who dressed for the third time this season, were the third d-pair in the three-man rotation. Sauer, 23, had watched the last two games after dressing for the first two. He looked around at the media crush at the ACC and had two words: "It's amazing."

For the second time in three road games, the Rangers wore their home blues. Maple Leafs, like Islanders on Oct. 11, chose to wear their new alternate whites and gave the Rangers advance notice...Ottawa management is spreading word that they are looking to make changes, but rumors that the Rangers may have interest in C Jason Spezza appear unfounded. Spezza carries a $7-million cap hit for the next five years, so the Blueshirts would have to move multiple players.


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