I am hardly in a position to complain about the Rangers waiting around for their next opponent since the break in the schedule provided me an off day.
But for the record, I am now ready for the second round to begin, so if the involved parties could see to it that the issue is resolved tonight, I’d appreciate it. Thanks in advance.
<li>The team’s current state of flux made for an inordinate number of open-ended questions (i.e. “If it is Pittsbugh…”). I could give you the blow-by-blow, but the gist of it is this: yes, different opponents would mean different adjustments, but no, the Rangers wouldn’t want to stray too far from the game they’ve played all season.
The one major concession, however, is that against a high-powered team like Pittsburgh, the Rangers don’t want to get lured into a track meet.
“I don’t think you want to,” Scott Gomez said. “That’s like playing with fire. They’ve got some of the best young guys, if not the best in the world. You don’t want to do it. It just wouldn’t be smart. You look at any sport, it starts with defense. Even when the Bulls were winning all those championships, they were playing great defense.”
<li>Jaromir Jagr was asked about the possibility of being booed every time he touches the puck in Pittsburgh. The captain pointed out it would be the same scenario in Washington as well.
“There’s still two teams. The chance I’m going to get booed is 66 percent,” he said.
I pointed out that he also gets booed in Philadelphia on occasion.
“I get booed everywhere” he said. “Maybe I’m going to get booed at home.”
<li>Even if the Eastern Conference match-ups are finalized tonight, a schedule likely won’t be released until after the completion of the Western series (Calgary and San Jose play their Game 7 tomorrow night). If it is Rangers-Pittsburgh, however, you can count on NBC wanting a piece of the action this weekend.
<li>Brendan Shanahan was the only player not to practice because, as Tom Renney said, “he’s under the weather.”
<li>Sean Avery’s media boycott is back up and running…sort of. I approached No. 16 and asked if he was talking. He originally said no, and then I said my question was unrelated to him (it’s for a story I’m working on for later in the week). Avery said fine. Then I asked the question and Avery said he didn’t want to answer it.
“But that’s such a nothing question,” I said.
“Well then why would I want to answer a nothing question?” he responded.
I then on went to explain that by “nothing,” I meant it was harmless (and not, say, whether he had any more messages for Martin Brodeur).
“I agree with you,” Avery said. “But I still don’t think I should answer it.”
<li>Lundqvist on the Vezina nomination: “This year I went through some stuff that wasÂ a little tough. My dad was sick for a while and hockey was not the most important thing in the world. But at the same time I love this sport. And when you start winning and you work hard and the people around you are supportive, you have a lot of fun.”
Also, Lundqvist’s brother, Joel, had a daughter named Vilma yesterday.
“Uncle Hank,” he said.