Are the nerves a little raw with the Blueshirts after the miserable performance on Tuesday night that left them farther from a playoff spot? Perhaps.
Case in point: The NYR are in some half-ice practice, and Sean Avery scores on Henrik Lundqvist and celebrates a bit heartily. Next time he comes close to the net, Lundqvist whacks his boot/ankle with the paddle to poke away the puck. Avery goes down. But he's scowling. He stands up up behind the net and shoots the puck into the rear twine. A little later, Avery is in a little scrum in front and pushes Lundqvist over. Some words are exchanged. No words are exchanged (that I could see or hear) in the dressing room.
Case in point: After John Tortorella's pre-game press briefing of far less than two minutes before the Montreal game, today's runs 1:28, with a restrained coach using as few words as possible, but clearly annoyed with the effort of the team. (Transcript posted).
Case in point:: No more Prospal-Gaborik, the team's most productive duo all season. Without a practice scheduled for tomorrow before the Blues game, expect these trios to start the game. Until they're blown up.
Brandon Dubinsky-Erik Christensen-Marian Gaborik
Vinny Prospal-Artem Anisimov-Ryan Callahan
Sean Avery-Olli Jokinen-Chris Drury
Jody Shelley-Brian Boyle-Brandon Prust (with Aaron Voros and Enver Lisin)
Should be an interesting evening against St. Louis tomorrow...Whereas I once thought Alex Auld might get a start against the Blues, the next two games are must wins and Lundqvist must face the challenges tomorrow and Sunday in Boston. Two regulation losses and the party (such as it's been this season) is pretty much ovah...
Please join me daily at twitter.com/stevezipay