MONTREAL--- Along with the bundles of sticks and dark blue equipment bags that are transported from city to city, there's a recent addition: A placard with the Rangers logo called "5 Keys to Winning" that's been hung in visitIng locker rooms.
The key words are PASSION, HARD, SMART, COMPETE, OWNERSHIP, with reminders such as: play with emotion, finish checks, finish with force, beat people back to the play, no odd man rushes, take pride in winning 1-on-1 battles and communicate before, during and after games.
Good advice if the Rangers want to keep their current playoff berth. I'd probably add SCORING to the key words, but somebody might suggest that I shouldn't be coaching. Or overthinking.
Donald Brashear, who like Ales Kotalik, with be a healthy scratch for the fourth straight tonight, said he didn't think Daniel Carillo would have dropped the gloves with Gaborik had he been in the lineup. "Just teeing off on a guy like Gabby is kind of disrespectful. I wouldn;t want to hurt one of the good guys fighting them just for fun."
Brashear was surprised that he didn't play against Philly. "That's probably the one (game) I most expected to play," said Brashear, who says he thinks he should dress every game. "But my job is to go in when he (the coach) tells me to."
He said he understands that the number of heavyweights are dwindling in the league and most only get a few minutes. "We don't get on the ice much. In order to go out there, you've got to be a showman," and mentioned former Rangers Colton Orr. "I'm not a showman."
Marian Gaborik, asked about Carcillo's comments yesterday that he was honorable and had no regrets, responded:
"He can say whatever he wants. That's what he feels, that's what he feels. I don't thnk that's what should have happened but we're playing three more games, and I don't think he'll be doing such a thing again because we're playing them in our building and it's going to be physical."
And Brandon Dubinsky, who yelled at Carcillo from the penalty box, said "I hope he doesn't sit there and think he's a good guy. If he does his thing, plays his role, there's plenty of guys willing to engage him."
Kotalik, the subject of some internet rumors that his agent cancelled a card/autograph show in March and refunded an upfront fee because his unhappy client asked for a trade or release, was surprised when it was brought up. "First I've heard of any autograph signing," he said. "I'm pretty sure my agent (Larry Kelly) didn't call anyone. He's in London and those shows are set up by the team." A Rangers spokesman added that the Blueshirts, like many teams, don't participate in those types of promotions after March 1.
And Kotalik flat-out denied that he asked for a trade. "No, are you serious? I wouldn't hurt the team. I'm just trying to be a good teammate."