Greetings from Flushing Meadows, where I’m waiting out a rain delay at the U.S. Open, and where I’ve spent the past few days scanning the crowd here for members of your favorite hockey team (I saw Henrik Lundqvist briefly here during the men’s final last year, so my suspicion is some of the Rangers will be in attendance. In other news, a spy reported seeing Chris Drury yesterday at the Yankees game).
Anyway, by way of the “Slap Shot blog at the New York Times”:http://slapshot.blogs.nytimes.com/, here are some fairly revealing comments from new Ranger Markus Naslund about the season ahead. The basic gist is Naslund says he’s motivated, which I presume is better news than “I don’t really care about hockey anymore and am instead preparing for a career in competitive eating.”
â€œI want to show that I can play better,â€ Naslund told the Swedish newspaper Expressen. â€œI really want to have a good year and have trained harder than ever this summer.
â€œI feel better prepared than perhaps ever before an NHL season and Iâ€™m aware that it is important that I get a good start in New York.â€
Speaking of Tom Renney, Naslund said, â€œHe was our coach in 1997-98 and I have only good to say about him. Itâ€™s obvious that he has been coaching for a while now. My situation is also different, I was young then and was just trying to earn a spot on the team. I think that we will have a different relationship now.â€
And then there’s the Garden crowd, as well as that pesky New York media.
â€œThere will be real push there. You felt it even as the visiting team. The fans and the media are demanding, and we must be prepared for that. It might help to have played in Canada and in the press that exists in Vancouver.â€
OK, play’s starting up again. More later…