A few quick notes and quotes from tonight that weren’t in the notes sent out by teh team:
• Brian Boyle played just 11:49 tonight after twisting his right foot on a collision in the corner during the second period. It cost him to miss a good chunk of the period, but he returned and even killed penalties later in the game. Boyle had less ice time only four other games this season: 10/18/11 at VAN; 10/27/11 vs. TOR; 12/5/11 vs. TOR; 12/8/11 at TAM.
• Ryan McDonagh showed no ill-effects from Saturday’s OT hit by Andrew Ference. He logged 23:43 of ice time and was on the ice for two Ranger goals.
• Marc Staal played a season-low 12:06 and a season-low 14 shifts.
Brian Boyle, on re-injuring his ankle/foot:
“It’s been bugging me for a couple weeks. That’s what had me a little scared because it’s been a few weeks now that it’s been hurting.”
Michael Del Zotto, on the key to the first half:
“It’s been the key to our game this year is how consistent we’ve been. Maybe the last couple years, maybe we’d win one or two games but we’d be up and down. We’ve done a good job of getting on some winning streaks this year. If we lose one, we just get right back on and have a winning streak for another two or three games.”
Dan Girardi, on going into the All-Star Break in first place:
“Obviously, on top of the conference is good. But when we’re there, we have to try and stay there and maybe create some separation from the teams below us. We can’t just be satisfied with a good first half.”
Ryan Callahan, on the need to play even better in the second half:
“We’ve had a good first half now. It’s good going into the break knowing you’re sitting in first place. But at the same time, the hockey only gets harder from here. Everybody picks it up a notch. We have to continue to do the same to have more success.”
John Tortorella, on avoiding a let down heading into the break:
“I’m happy where our mindset was for this game here. This game worried me after Boston against a team that played back to back and is pretty banged up. You wonder how your players feel about it. But I think that’s why we’ve gotten the points this year that we have, because I don’t think we look by anything. There have been a number of trap games and I think we’ve handled ourselves well. So I’m happy with the group. I hope we have a good break and get right back at it.”
John Tortorella, on the need to increase the focus in the second half:
“The league is going to get better. The tempo is going to get better. I think it becomes a quicker game, but there’s also a grind to it, too. We cannot stop working on all parts of our game. We spent a lot of time on the details of it. We cannot stop trying to get better at that stuff because teams will pass you. You look at the standings and a lot of teams win. If you don’t stay on top of yourselves and worry about the details of how we play and remain true to our identity, there will be some struggles. You never know where it goes from there.”