Tom Renney has again decided to give his team the option of staying off the ice, the third such day in the last 10. Eight players — Chris Drury, Blair Betts, Nigel Dawes, Dan Fritsche, Paul Mara, Dmitri Kalinin, Wade Redden, and Henrik Lundqvist — skated anyway, while everyone else will have off-ice conditioning at 11:30.
This comes a day after a practice that was certainly hard on conditioning, but which Renney himself acknowledged wasn’t geared around teaching. That means not enough time to work on the power play or the defensive lapses that have continued to mar the team’s game.
What is Renney’s justification? I would imagine it has something to do with the fact that the Rangers will play three games in four days, and don’t have a true day off this week (following the back-to-back Friday and Saturday, the plan is to fly to the West Coast on Sunday).
But it still strikes me as odd, even troubling given the team’s play of late. We’ll meet with the coach shortly in hopes of getting an answer.
Update, 12:54 p.m.: So here’s the Tom Renney today about why there was no on-ice workout today:
“Just to change it up,” Renney said. “We went pretty hard yesterday got a real good conditioning day, and we had an off-ice session to supplement what we did off the ice.”
I asked the coach about whether he has enough opportunities to teach, which is something he’s expressed frustration with before.
“We did good video,” he said. “That’s the other byproduct with days like this and even yesterday. Just to make sure we do video to supplement what you might be trying to do on the ice and might not get to — or choose not to. As long as you have the opportunity to spend time with guys in front of the screen one-on-one or as a group, that’s teaching.”
But is video enough when it comes to an area like the power play?
“We do it every day. Pretty much every day we do the power play, and the video doesn’t lie,” Renney said. “So when you supplement the video with the on-ice work, that’s usually pretty poignant.”
Renney acknowledged that a day like today had been the plan for some time, and in talking to players both privately and on the record, it didn’t sound like they had a problem with it.
One discordant note, however, came from Chris Drury, who acknowledged he’d like to spend more time working on the power play.
“I do like practicing it,” Drury said. “I know it’s a hard thing practicing with one-timers and deflections off the ankles or pucks off the face. It’s kind of a tough area to keep going over and over at it. But I wouldn’t mind doing it a little more.”
In other news, Wade Redden is a possibility for tomorrow, although Renney said he was still leaning toward Corey Potter.