Counting down to Game 3


Many of you are probably sitting home, about to go into a conniption in anticipation of Game 3. Sorry to report, but there’s not much news to help pass the time.

Tom Renney inferred we’ll see the same lineup tonight when the Rangers host the Devils for a Game 3, including Christian Backman. The D-man was at the rink this morning but did not skate. Renney said there’s nothing up with him or any no-shows at today’s optional skate. The club appears ready to resume.

As far as the lineup goes, Renney said: “I think most coaches are creatures of habit,  so if it’s working — even if it doesn’t look like it — you go with what’s there. We do have some very good hockey players in the wings, waiting to help us out. We know that and I sure don’t like those guys having to wait too long.  This is the season now. What we’re doing on a game-to-game basis is crucial in terms of wins. We’ll see how the series evolves. If feel like we have to put somebody in, we’ll do that, but it’s a game-time thing.”

That’s a long quote, but the message was: You’ll see the same players tonight.

The other theme was appropriately handling their playoff debut at the Garden. Obviously, Game 2 was borderline nasty at times. The Rangers will be cautious contributers to the mayhem tonight, hoping to play with the required edge all while avoiding the penalty box. A couple dumb penalties could stir up a Devils comeback, and no one in blue wants that.

“It’s about emotional control and recognizing that the consequence for retaliation or playing outside of our team needs could be crucial to the series, never mind the game that you’re in,” Renney said. “It’s about emotional control. It’s about making sure you are passionate to play, that you’re not allowing yourself to be pushed around, that you are proactive, but you have to be intelligent about it to and recognize that any extracirricular activity could cost you a game if you’re the team in the penalty box or you’ve got off the ice. It’s just about emotional control and recognizing that the team comes before any individual.”

I asked how he felt they handled their emotions on Friday.

“We were happy about it, for the most part,” Renney said. “You’ve gotta be there for each other. I think we made that statement and we’ll continue to when we have to. But the bottom line is, we don’t want a penalty parade. When we can do that, we can allow our great players to do on the ice what they need to do and it doesn’t tax our penalty killers as much.”

And — one for the road — the coach was asked what makes the Garden so special. “It’s like a temple,” he said, a sentiment I’m sure many of you share.

If a return to New York’s hockey shrine doesn’t get you pumped for Game 3, you’re on the wrong blog.

Talk to you later…

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  1. so, i will be missing the first game this series due to work. I called my boss this morning and told him i was vommiting everywhere but he still told me to come in and if he cant watch the game neither can i??

  2. Ah that sucks jcalz5
    That’s why being a teacher is great… I don’t have school today!


  3. I couldn’t DVR (or TiVo) Rangers game in the Playoffs. I need to know the score LIVE! KILL’EM TONIGHT BLUESHIRTS!!!

  4. Hey its Sunday. Not even God would make you work today!

    I’m only at work to get some free coffee and read about the Rangers.

    T-4:45 and counting……

  5. Damn right being a teacher sure is sweet! I don’t want to jinx anything, but I want a sweep so damn bad that I can taste it. Also, as far as other games in the playoffs go, I am pretty impressed with Dallas. They look awfully good and they were definitely a team that I didn’t think too much about going in to the playoffs.

    I will also say that I like our chances against any team in the playoffs right now. If Hank can play the way he has been playing and our team defense stays as strong we are a pretty damn good force to be reckoned with. We have 4 lines right now. And I know there are a lot of Hollywood haters in here, but I must say that he has been playing pretty well with that fourth line. Betts definitely balances out that line very nicely and they have been doing very nice cycle work down low. Betts is the kind of guy that you really appreciate until he is out of the lineup for a little while. He is a pretty key defensive player for us, and I always like him, and that is remembering that this guy is a 4th line center at best. But for what he is here for, he gets the job done.

    Here is to a great game tonight, Let’s Go Rangers!


  6. can´t see it either because it is 1am in the morning of a Monday….

    Why can´t they play on NBC at 2pm….
    Why don´t they have any afternoon game in this series…???
    For you guys it doesn´t matter but for me…

    I really have to complain :)

  7. LET’S GO RANGERS!!!!!!!!!!

    I really want them to take it to them tonight… I mean get out to a fast start and take the wind right out of them!!!!! Let them know that they’ll NEVER have any chance of control in this series… at all.

  8. GerryD-

    Brooks is never right, so I’m glad he picked the Devils to win. Let’s not ask him until after the series is over.

    I’m sure Brooks is working furiously with the on-line editor to change his archived story discussing his prediction.

  9. I’m still sick with playoff fever…real bad case BTW…
    Gonna try to spur some conversation…
    What do you guys think about the series as far as the length goes…
    A few observations…
    I don’t want to jinx the series or anything but…
    I think I would like the series to go more than 4 games…
    heres why…
    the layover…if the series ends Wednesday the Rangers sit for more than a week before resuming…not a good thing in my book unless the team is banged up.

    I think 6 games is perfect…a little down time before the next series…5 games would be ok…but 4, I don’t know…?

    This is if we do indeed win the series. I’m not suggesting that we will, nor am I suggesting that we will sweep the Devils onto the golf course…But I have been thinking about this since Friday and I want to know your thoughts…

  10. Been busy for a few days. Haven’t read to much of the blog. The playoffs are so intense I needed a breather. Been watching just about every piece of hockey there is. Just walked away from the caps game now.

    I love the aura that’s surrounding the Rangers right now. To me, it feels like we’ve finally got a TEAM to watch. And not a bunch of guys trying to find their place, and their game. Anyone else sense that lately?

    Off to watch the Masters wrap up and watch that poor excuse for a replacement of Rangers Gamenight. I miss the old Gamenight song too.

    Game 3, MSG, pork chops marinating, bud select chilling, Masters Sunday…Life is Good.


  11. SeamusORiley on

    tom renney: if we go up 3 zip, he is putting in malik for game 4? will his excuse be to have him ready in case someone goes down with injury? did he sit hollweg and let him grow cold to get him ready to start the playoffs?

    the only one that can beat the Rangers with Lundqvst in net is:

    a. Tom Renney
    b. Marek Malik
    c. both a and b

    Lundqvst will want to shoot renney if he puts malik in. Malik has assisted on more goals against Lundqvst than any other NHL player and has crashed into Lundqvst more times than Avery has cursed Marty’s Momma.

  12. Fruity Cupcake on

    Does Renney eat a dictionary for breakfast?!?!? The gentleman is verbose, but having said that, I love what he’s bringing vis a vis the businesslike approach his team takes as well their humility, insomuch as you can feel the brash youngsters—Cally, Dubi, possibly Sjostrøm—just wanting to break into the “na-na-na-na, hey-hey, bye-bye” song each time they pass Brodeur’s crease.

    He’s obviously a true original–his speech pattern is impossible to emulate!

    2 1/2 to pre-game!!!

  13. Staal -if they’re lucky or good enough to win in 4 do it. they won 8 of 9 in 94 and that gave them the energy and less banged up bodies they needed to win 2 tough 7 game series.

    huge game it’s either a nail biter after this or we’re sitting in great shape. I vote for the latter.

    Let’s Go Rangers and I’ll be there shouting my support

  14. Pittsburg…
    I’d hate playing in Montreal…like Avery…those fans just tick me off…

  15. Here’s an annual pressbox trivia question:

    Q: “How would this series stand if Muckler was coaching the Rangers?”

    A: (it’s a trick question;the Rangers wouldn’t be in the playoffs if Muck was the coach.)

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