Not surprisingly given Tom Renney’s admission last night that his team is “spent”, the coach gave the Rangers a day off today. The team certainly earned it in going the distance in these back-to-back wins.
The only minor concern is if they lose momentum before they play next in Florida on Friday. But frankly, that’s a concern whether they practiced today or not.
In other news:
<li>Sounds like “Rangers-Bruins is the leader in the clubhouse”:http://www.newsday.com/sports/hockey/rangers/ny-spstadium115609611mar11,0,7129769.story for the game next winter at Yankee Stadium (yes, that’s a golf metaphor when talking about a hockey game at a baseball stadium. It’s too much!), with one idea being a home-and-home shifting back to Fenway Park. I understand the concern that too many of these games would make the novelty wear off. But I, for one, don’t see once a season as overexposure.
<li>A lot of frustration with the officiating last night, not to mention my failure to address as much in my final post of evening. A couple of points on that: Yes, the officiating was suspect at best, particularly the goaltender interference call on Fred Sjostrom and the non-call on the punch from Andrew Peters on the Sabres bench to Colton Orr. But for one, the Rangers getting the short end of the calls is hardly a new phenomenon. And at that point in the evening, a win and a 13th consecutive point was more noteworthy.
Naturally if the Rangers lose, then the officiating is a huge part of the story.
<li>Finally, here’s the link to my story today on where “the Rangers choose to live and why”:http://www.lohud.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080311/SPORTS01/803110382/-1/SPORTS&referrer=NEWSFRONTCAROUSEL. The story evolved into something different over the past few days, but the interesting part to me is still how the dynamic has shifted over the past few years.
It used to be where almost all of the Rangers lived in Westchester (as a kid growing up in Rye, I saw guys around town all the time), and even as recently as last season, the breakdown of players in Manhattan versus the suburbs was roughly 50-50. Now an unofficial count of the roster has 17 players living in Manhattan and just six out here (Straka, Betts, Orr, Rozsival, Tyutin, and Malik).
This is a reflection of several changes: one, players make more money and they now can afford to live a good life in Manhattan; two, no longer a collection of graybeards, the Rangers actually now have more young single players who want to sample all the city has to offer. And finally, there is the fact that the team trusts players enough to let them live where they want.
Bear in mind, that was actually a concern at one point given the combination of New York’s many distractions and the hockey player’s reputations for cutting loose from time-to-time. This is not to say that players these days are all in bed in time for Jay Leno. The difference now is they may know there’s a lot more at stake.
“I think as I’ve gotten older the younger guys have become more and more responsible each year, and I think it goes back to colleges and juniors, jus being prepared better and knowing everyone’s under a microscope,” said Chris Drury, who while no longer single, lives in Manhattan with his wife and two kids. “It just seems like guys are better equipped to handle it. But any city, if you want trouble you can find it. It may be more in your face in New York, but there’s trouble in every city.”
Anyway, something to chew on while you count down the minutes until Friday…