It sure looked to me like Henrik Lundqvist had decided to come out on his own after allowing that fifth goal tonight, but the involved parties said it was Tom Renney who signaled the goalie to the bench.
“I looked at Tom and he gave me the sign,” Lundqvist said.
Renney confirmed as much, saying he was waiting for Lundqvist to make eye contact with him before he summoned him.
More surprising is that the goalie made it that far. I asked Renney if he had considered pulling Lundqvist after the fourth Vancouver goal.
The coach nodded.
“I thought about it after the third goal, too,” he said.
So why didn’t he?
“Let him battle,” Renney said. “Let the team battle in front of him.”
Meanwhile, either the decision is out of Tom Renney’s hands or he hasn’t given it much thought, but when I asked the coach about calling up a player from Hartford so that he could occasionally sit down a struggling defenseman—pick one of several—the coach said he didn’t have the latitude right now to do so.
“The bottom line is we have to look at where we are with our roster in general,” Renney said. “I still have some forward decisions to make. You’d sure like the depth to get guys attention, but we don’t have that luxury.”
It was a complicated answer, and not altogether clear. On one hand, Renney said the idea was worth considering. On the other, he said the real issue was the structure of the Rangers’ practices, in which too much time is spent on conditioning and flow and not on teaching and systems.
“That’s not an excuse. That’s a coaching decision,” he said. “That’s my job.”
So in other words, the Rangers need more time to practice.
Fine—except tomorrow they’re off.
Raise your hand if you’re confused.