Jaromir Jagr was limping around the locker room, and his shoulder was dangling and there was agony on his face.
This is an NHL playoff veteranâ€™s idea of a belated April Foolâ€™s/Stanley Cup joke. He left the room and five seconds later he came back in walking briskly, smiling. Heâ€™s fine.
Everybody skated, however briefly, in a quick morning skate in which Tom Renney did no drills that would lead to any indication what his lines or his defense pairs will be. Again, typical playoff stuff. Everythingâ€™s a big secret, especially at a morning skate on the road where the opponent can do all sorts of Spygate stuffâ€”including sit in the seats and watch. But if you paid attention, it looked as though A) Brendan Shanahan will not be playing on the fourth line, and B) Marek Malik will not be playing anywhere. Again, thatâ€™s not definite. Renney did go way out on a limb and announce, when asked, that â€œHenrik Lundqvist will start in goal.â€ Thanks, Tom.
Tell you this about the feeling in the Rangersâ€™ room, where theyâ€™re wearing these â€œToo Strongâ€ T-shirts (No, I donâ€™t know what that means, either). This isnâ€™t the same feeling as it was two years ago when the Rangers were happy to be there, or last year when you got the idea they just wanted to win a round or two. This team is now ready to take the next step and go deep. Of course, the team on the other sideâ€”which does not do morning skates, just meetingsâ€”kind of has a history of going deep.
These Rangers are much better than the last two editions. Those Devilsâ€™ arenâ€™t Cup favorites any more. I think that makes this very much a toss-up. Rangers in six, because I donâ€™t have the guts to say five, and itâ€™s too easy to say seven.
Once again, I apologize for this coming out all as one long paragraph. Itâ€™s my laptop. Nothing I can do about it except go home and type on my desktop, and Iâ€™m not making that trip twice. (EDIT: 1:17 p.m., From Josh: I fixed the paragraphs…and I say Rangers in 5.)