First some Game 7 numbers: The Rangers haven’t played one since June 14, 1994, when they blew a 3-1 lead in the Stanley Cup final and then beat Vancouver at MSG. They have won three Game 7s in a row—1992 and 1994 against the Devils, both at home, were the others.
But, the Rangers haven’t played a road Game 7 since 1974, and they have never, ever won a Game 7 on the road: lost in 1939 at Boston, lost in 1950 at Detroit, lost in 1971 at Chicago, lost in 1974 at Philadelphia.
An interesting piece of news. Jim Schoenfeld, the interim assistant coach who was the interim head coach today, said that Brandon Dubinsky needed a tetanus shot after he was bitten by Shaone Morrisonn during a scrum, that Dubinsky got the misconduct because he was trying to show the officials he was bleeding.
Shoenfeld also said that Donald Brashear and Colton Orr nearly got involved in a pregame warmup incident, and that he thought Brashear could have been ejected from the game right there (Orr didn’t play). As an aside, I saw Brashear and ref Bill McCreary exchange pleasantries and smiles at the end of the game, on the ice.
It was Brashear who knocked Blair Betts from the game with an open-ice elbow to the head which went completely unpenalized. Betts didn’t return, and obviously has a concussion. He was very wobbly as he was helped off the ice.
“I didn’t see it at the time,” Schoenfeld said. “I saw it on the replay. It was a late hit to the head. It was pretty vicious. He’s a pretty strong guy … and Bettsy didn’t see it coming. And he’s hurt signifcantly.”
Some other Schoenfeld remarks:
“We had some guys who were locked in and ready to go and we had some other guys who wanted to test the water.”
Wow! In Game 6, up 3-2 at home? Wow. That’s an indictment.
In general about the Capitals being better. “They’re one-on-ones. … We frankly just didn’t win enough one-on-one battles. And if we don’t win our share of one-on-one battles in Washington it could be a similar fate.”
“It doesn’t matter who’s in, who’s out. The task at hand is the task at hand. We have to find a way to get it done or it’s over. It’s that simple … I think our guys have enough character, have enough courage, have enough want to get it done. If not, what’s the sense of even going to Washington?”
And this might be foreboding:
“We had some guys who I could tell were physically gassed. I could just tell that they wanted to give, and they didn’t have it to give.”
The players to a man refused to use the Tortorella suspension as an excuse:
“We’re not going to use that as an excuse,” Scott Gomez said. “That’s no excuse.”
And here was the captain about Tuesday night:
“We’ve been booed at home, we changed coaches at midseason, now we’ve got to go play a Game 7 on the road,” Chris Drury said. “Given what this group has been through, we should be ready for anything.”