Tiny tempest at the morning skate today, although nothing is minor during a playoff series.
Here’s the entire take (and the photo) from the D.C. Sports Bog written by Dan Steinberg:
“A few minutes ago, all the media members buzzed quietly when Alex Ovechkin came out to watch the Rangers’ morning skate. This, several veterans said, was slightly unusual. Then they buzzed again, when Ovechkin was tapped on the shoulder by a Caps’ PR staffer and abruptly left.
Playoff hockey is fun for all.
UPDATED: Tarik (El-Bashir, of the Washihngton Post) and I pretty much took care of asking the principals what they thought. I bit the bullet on Tortorella:
“Oh, God, I didn’t even know,” he said. “This is the first I’ve heard of it. Ask me a question about the game, not that [bleep].”
Tarik took care of Ovechkin:
“Just [to get] Tortorella pissed off,” he said, explaining his motivation. “Because they afraid of me,” he added, when asked why he was made to leave.
And last, Boudreau:
“I think it was more of a lack of knowing the rules, that’s all,” Boudreau said. “They asked him to leave; he left. He just went out there and he wants to be around the rink. I don’t think he had a pen and paper, writing down line combinations or anything, but I can understand, I’ve gotten into the same arguments with different people when I want privacy in my practice, so I can understand what John was going through as well. As long as he’s out there at 7 o’clock, we’re fine.”
The Great Sam Weinman checked in to remind me of a fact that nobody seemed to realize, trivial as it is:
Since the lockout, the Rangers have now played in six playoff series including this one, and every one of them has started out 2-0:
2006: Down 0-2 to Devils.
2007: Up 2-0 on Atlanta, down 0-2 to Buffalo.
2008: Up 2-0 on Devils, down 0-2 to Pittsburgh.
2009: Up 2-0 on Washington.
I will be back later with more from MSG. Jane and I will do a live video chat tomorrow at noon.
AFTERNOON UPDATE, 3:10 P.M. (From Metro North car 9022): Just got word from a Rangers spokesman who insists Tortorella had nothing, zero, to do with Ovechkin being removed from the Rangers bench during the morning skate. It’s a league rule, according to the spokesman—and Rangers Report reader.