With neither the Rangers nor the Penguins holding a morning skate Tuesday, Rangers coach David Quinn was asked why he thinks morning skates are becoming a thing of the past.
“I just think from an energy standpoint, and over 82 games, you come on rink 82 more times (if you skate on game day mornings),’’ he said. “That can be taxing. It’s such a long season, and I just think, you know, society changes, and people change. And in this day and age, when we keep coming to the rink every day and listen to the same voices over and over again, it can get old. And so, as much as it’s about maybe giving the team a physical break, it’s also giving them a mental break. I think when guys don’t come to the rink in the morning, they may show up here at 4:30 or five o’clock with maybe a little bit extra incentive or anticipation or excitement.’’
Of course, there are habits, and superstition. When the Rangers were on an 0-4-1 skid, they held a morning skate before the home game against Buffalo, perhaps to change things up. And they won. The next game, against Boston, they couldn’t skate in the morning, because of the alumni game at the Garden. They lost.
They skated the next game, against Tampa, and won that, so they kept it going for a while. On the season, they’ve had five morning skates, including one in Ottawa where not everyone attended. They’re 4-1 in games where they’ve skated in the morning.
Quinn stayed with the same lineup he used the previous two games, meaning Micheal Haley was the lone scratch… To commemorate Veteran’s Day, the Rangers during the first period honored Technical Sergeant Laura Hagmeyer, an Air Force combat veteran who served three tours in the Middle East. The team also wore a special black jersey in warmups that were to be auctioned off the benefit the Wounded Warrior Project.