Let’s get this thing started already


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.

Some updates:

<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 was  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.

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  1. Wow he became a Daddy and had one hell of a game last night… I swear he was the only guy on the ice for the last 10 minutes. He was everywhere and a part of everything.

    Congrats Joel and Uncle Hank!!!!

  2. Who Needs Lohan on

    I kinda want Washington, anyone else agree? Rested Pittsburgh seems a bit scary to me so really I think we could fare well against either Philly, Wash or Mon after 6 or 7 game series for all of them. \I just see Washington as inexperienced and one dimensional.

  3. Fruity Cupcake on

    Maybe if she was born today, they would’ve named her Vezina after her uncle :-)

    Glad Jags is still goofing around, staying loose. LOVED the Dubinsky quote from the other day, too. Coupla geniuses! Funny. How great to have them feeding off each other. I like to think in the lockerroom, there’s Shanny working with Cally and Gomez with Dawes. Maybe the Rangers could hire Leetch as a special consultant to mentor Staal. No offense to Rozsival.

  4. So, Sam, what was the question? I’m sure you’d get lots of pithy responses in the comments section.

  5. I really feel like if we play our “defensive game” and stick to it we can beat anyone.

    I’d love to see the shots faced for Hank drop down & puck possession increase. We’ll really need to limit odd man rushes against whoever we face. Whichever team it is… they’ll bury most of the chances that the Devils screwed up.

  6. At first I was surprised that Henrik received another Vezina nod, but then I looked at the stats and figured the writers don’t want to give to anybody who has played less than 60 games, due to injury, ineffective play, or timeshare. The top three and 7-9 in GAA all fall into this category, and the same can be said for the top five and 7-9 in Save %. It’s scary that Brodeur could conceivably win, since he is 6th in Save % while Lundqvist and Nabokov are 17th and 19th because Brodeur has face 250 more shots. All the experts have been saying Nabokov, but his numbers aren’t too mind-blowing. It could still go to Lundqvist because he has ten shutouts while the other two have ten _combined_. It’s really a toss-up, but I give it to Nabokov for having the hottest team, and probably the hottest individual numbers, down the stretch, along with winning a division.

  7. At this point, I actually would NOT want to face the caps. They’d have to win 2 in a row to advance. A comeback in a series is a huge lift. It would also likely mean that GR8 started to find the net, which is trouble in and of itself. Philly was lucky to draw Wash. Wash kinda burned themselves out down the stretch and it’s looking like they don’t have a hell of a lot left in the tank. They’d also be a team playing with nothing to lose. I have a feeling it’s going to be pitt.

    GO B’s tonight!

  8. This is gonna be a rough week off but, like Sam said, can’t complain too much.

    I really feel comfortable playing any of these teams, Pens included.

    I’m just so damn happy we’re still playing hockey — baseball hasn’t started yet and this beard is starting to itch — love it.

  9. Hey – can anyone explain how the seeding and matchups are determined for round 2? I’ve never understood that properly. thx.

  10. 1) Montreal
    2) Pittsburgh
    3) Washington
    4) NJ
    5) NYR
    6) Philly
    7) Ottawa
    8) Boston

    Their is no re-seeding. Their are 4 teams remaining after round #1. The highest ranked team remaining on this list will play the lowest ranked team on this list. The 2nd highest ranked will play the 3rd highest ranked…

  11. Jay, As you can see, its impossible for the NY Rangers to play the Boston Bruins in round 2 because Ottawa lost ; )

  12. I think it will be PIT. I wouldn’t mind WSH, I think we take them in 5 as well. The *concept* of PHI scares me. MTL looks real suspect after letting BOS come back regardless.

    Not bad chances. If we face and take down PIT, I will have no choice but to fully embrace Tom Renney.

  13. Spirderpig,

    I believe it’s actually the GMs that vote for the Vezina, and not the hockey writers/broadcasters.

  14. stf,

    Two close places then… JB’S sportsbar in the plaza on Kirkman Rd. and Conroy Rd. It’s a bit of a dive (only slightly though) but it has a ton of TV’s and bigscreens (some HD) and they have beer specials and decent food. They’re very good folks and are hockey friendly as long as there isn’t anything earth shattering going on.

    If you want something more mainstream… TGI Friday’s Front Row is on the corner of International Drive and Sandlake Rd. Big place, and is exactly what you’d expect from a TGI Friday’s as far as menu and price. But getting hockey on can be tough at times… especially when there’s basketball games… or baseball… or football… or, well you get the idea.

    But either should be able to get you hooked up! Both are close to the Windham (in fact Friday’s Front Row is litterally across the street I think).

    LET’S GO RANGERS!!!!!!!!!!

  15. if Caps win and Bruins win; NYR gets Caps, right? that would be great. lets the Bs knock off those top seeds.

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