That Michel Therrien wanted to continue the dialogue about Sidney Crosby today came as something of a surprise to the Rangers, because they said they were done with it the moment the final horn sounded last night.
“I haven’t read the papers today but I feel like the only thing our team did last night was defend Martin Straka,” Brendan Shanahan said. “We certainly didn’t come into the room and throw down our equipment and say we got hosed by the refs. So I’m kind of surprised that Therrien’s making a big issue today. I’m actually really surprised. But if he wants to bring the referee’s attention to it, that’s fine.”
The point isn’t that the players think Crosby was innocent of embellishment, because some still expressed bemusement that a player who is arguably the strongest skater in the game can still lose his footing when he does. The difference is other than when asked abot it by the media, it hasn’t been much of a topic of conversation.
“Whatever. If he’s not diving, fine,” Brandon Dubinsky said. “If he is, that’s too bad for him. He’s too good a player to be doing that. I don’t think he needs to do that because he can draw enough penalties on his his talents and skill level alone. I don’t know whether he is or not, that’s something within himself. I could tell you certainly my trip last night was for going for the puck.
“But we can’t worry about. We’ve got to focus on our own game and we can’t get caught up with it. When we start focusing on whether he’s not diving or not, that’s when we know we’re in trouble. We have to focus on the important parts of our game.”
Some other notes:
<li>Tom Renney sounded like Petr Prucha was a possibility for tomorrow, and Prucha’s presence on regular line rushes with Blair Betts and Fred Sjostrom only reinforced as much. Renney said he likes how Prucha has played against the Penguins, and one would think the forward’s speed was a welcome asset against such a quick-transition opponent.
<li>The bad ice continues to be a topic of conversation here. The Rangers said it was the worst they have played on all season, and the Penguins said it was an issue for them as well. League officials are expected to come in before Game 2 to have a look. Last night certainly didn’t help: the temperature in the building is said to rise 4 or 5 degrees every time the Penguins score a goal, presumably because of all the people screaming.
So maybe it really is something the Rangers can control…