It wasn’t long — a little more than a half hour, actually — but the fact that the Rangers skated at all today proves they’re not content with their 4-0 start. Actually, strike that. The 4-0 start part is fine. It’s more that the Rangers aren’t thrilled with how they’ve played in getting to that point.
“Tom’s not going to let anything slip. Tom’s always got our back 100 percent and he sees things he doesn’t like and we agree with him,” Scott Gomez said. “There’s always room for improvement. As soon as you start to think we should have a day off, that’s BS on our part. Great coaches definitely let you know, and he’s one of them.”
The team had a video session prior to the skate, at which time some of their troubles getting the puck out of the zone and careless penalties were addressed.
It’s worth asking: Have the Rangers won the last two games purely because they’re further along in the process than the teams they’re facing?
“I don’t know,” Brandon Dubinsky said. “I can’t say yes or no because I wasn’t at these other teams’ training camps, so I don’t know how well they’ve prepared. I think the bottom line is we’re getting fantastic goaltending right now and we’re finding ways to get the job done.”
Some other notes:
<li>Tom Renney doesn’t appear to be making any roster moves for tomorrow. The three extra skaters in red jerseys today were Petr Prucha, Dan Fritsche, and Nigel Dawes. Given Fred Sjostrom’s performance the last two games, it’s fair to say he’s bought himself some time in the lineup.
<li>Brandon Dubinksy on his fight with Mike Richards, which came when the Rangers were ahead 4-0:
“I told myself I wasn’t going to fight this year, but it’s something you have to do once in a while when challenged. But I wouldn’t get used to watching it.”
Dubinsky didn’t have much of a choice with Richards, who virtually pleaded with the Rangers’ center to drop the gloves.
<li>Renney hinted earlier that there will be more optional morning skates this year for the team, including some when he discourages players from taking part at all. It sounds like tomorrow will be one of those.
<li>The start of the fantasy hockey draft is minutes away, and Zipay has already sent me somewhere in the neighborhood of 14 e-mails asking who we should pick with our first (third overall) selection. You heard it here first: assuming Alexander Ovechkin and Sid the Kid are both gone, Charlie’s Chiefs are prepared to select Evgeni Malkin.
Feel free to chime in with your thoughts.
Update, 7:33 p.m.: The draft has been exceptionally slow-moving, so our only pick so far has been Malkin (this after Zipay made a last -second pitch for us to snag Dany Heatley). Look for the Chiefs to add some grit in the second-round — or a goaltender, or perhaps ideally, a gritty goaltender.