“Let’s just give them the Cup. If I had it with me, I’d hand it to them.”
That was the dripping sarcasm of Jaromir Jagr in the hallway today responding to the frenzy around the Sabres’ Game 1 win. As I alluded to earlier, there is indeed a growing sense in this city that the Sabres are going to waltz into the Conference Finals based on what has already transpired here. None of that, mind you, comes from the Rangers, who seem to be scoffing at the notion that Wednesday was anything more than a mediocre start to what will likely be a long series.
The mood was fairly confident, and jovial, as usual. I was summarily mocked by Brendan Shanahan for chewing an oversized piece of gum, while Jagr continued his season-long pestering of Kevin Weekes.
Meanwhile, some updates:
Yes, Michal Rozsival looked sharp in the morning skate and said he was good to go tonight. A cautious Tom Renney suggested that he doesn’t want to use Rozsival tonight if it comes at the expense of his availability later in the series, but Rozsival said it wasn’t an issue. “I feel good. It feels fine,” he said. “I’ll settle down so I don’t have any worries at this point.”
As for the use of seven defenseman as a precaution, Renney said it was “an outside option,” and he will definitely skate seven in the warm-up. My guess is given how the Sabres effectively roll four lines, the Rangers would like to avoid being shorthanded at forward. Either way, Thomas Pock said he’d be ready regardless.
“As much as I want to play, I want the team to win,” Pock said. “Whatever happens, I’ll be ready if they need me two days from now or two weeks from now.”
Sean Avery continues to be a source of attention given his comments earlier in the week. Now his mother is planning on being in attendance for Game 2, leading to the question if he needs to be on his best behavior.
“She likes it when I’m behaving poorly,” Avery said. “She’s used to it by now.”
As for the portrayal of Jagr as being agitated with the media yesterday, I never got that sense. But I asked him if that was accurate. The Captain rolled his eyes and said he was simply joking around. “You guys know me,” he said. “Some of these guys don’t.”
OK, more later…