First some notes:
Michael Del Zotto was in the pressbox. I got a chance to ask him about his laceration. He said he’d seen doctors today and that he’s sure he will be fine by the time the season resumes.
Marian Gaborik will go to Vancouver. His laceration was better today than it was yesterday, and he could be ready to play by Wednesday’s Slovakia game.
Corey Potter was reassigned to Hartford, and Matt Zaba will also go, where they can play during the Olympic break.
The Rangers not in the Olympics are off until Feb. 24, when practices will resume under Jim Schoenfeld and Mike Sullivan.
I saw one of the Rangers’ all-timers, Esa Tikkanen, hanging out near the lockerrooms. I asked him what he was doing, and he said something about “to Wancouver flying tomorrow.” I asked him if he was working at the Olympics, and he said yes, but that he is “no in Wancouver working.” So, as always, I have no idea what he was talking about. But it’s always great to see him and to try to talk to him.
Bonus post-game quotes:
Erik Christensen got a big kick out of the botched marriage proposal during a break in the second period:
“My girlfriend said, if I ever do something like that, she would not be very happy. I think some women just don’t like that sort of thing. I think you can find a different way to be original. That’s been done a few times.”
On the win going into the break:
“I think it gives us some confidence, to beat the Stanley Cup champions in Pittsburgh and battling some adversity and coming out with a win today it kind of gives us a feeling of, ‘OK, now we deserve the break.’ We didn’t sort of rest and start thinking ahead and looking forward to the break. We worked hard and we prepared properly for these games and now we can go back and really enjoy our time off.”
And on the first period:
“John wasn’t happy. I think the last game we played these guys, we beat them pretty good. So I don’t know if we were a little complacent, but they definitely came out and took it to us a bit.
“We just kind of came in here and said, ‘That’s really unacceptable.’ We have to start playing better in this building, more consistently.”
“I don’t know what happened there. The big thing is we responded really well in the second, but a few things we had to correct and we did. It’s a relief, but also exciting to see how we finished here and hopefully get a great break. What feels good is to end it like this, then come back strong and finish down the stretch. It’s exciting to be in the race right now. It’s exciting when we feel like we’re going in the right direction.”
On the second period:
“There was a couple of minutes there when a lot of things happened in our direction, a couple of saves and some plays where we scored some huge goals.”
On Avery’s penalty shot: “I challenged him a couple of times in practice and told him he would never do that move in a game, but he did. It was awesome. A great move and a big goal for us.”
On the start:
“We stunk. … I don’t know what happens with our starts. I don’t. But it’s something we have to continue to work on. We have (an opponent) and it’s their third in four nights, and back to back, and you have a break after it. You want to try to jump on them and give them a reason to maybe give in a little bit as you go through. But it certainly didn’t play out that way. We have to be more consistent if we want to crawl back into this. But give this team a lot of credit as far as staying with it and finding a way to score five goals, and Hank made some great saves at key times.”
“We got booed off the ice, and we deserved to be booed off the ice.”
“He’s said it, it’s his last whack in this league, to stick in this league.”
“That (second) goal, the one he shot into the top corner, there’s only one other person who can make that shot, and it’s Gaborik, the one where he went, as far as get it from back hand to forehand and put it in the top corner.”
“That’s one of the better signings we’ve had, for the money we’re paying him and what he does for our hockey club, on the ice and where I think he’s grown, off the ice, he’s a pretty important guy for us.”
On whether the break is good for the Rangers:
“Yeah, we’ve got some tired guys, and I think all teams do. I’m sick of looking at them and I’m sure they’re sick of looking at me. And it’s good. That’s healthy. We’re with one another and when you’re trying to grind through it and trying to gain your consistency, there’s a lot of stuff that comes along the way. It’s not an easy ride when you’re not winning.
“So they won three out of their last four and they should feel good about themselves. I’m glad they’re going feeling good about themselves and coming back and winning a game, but we need to be apart for a little bit. And then when we come back, I think it comes back with a fresher attitude.”