So we’re getting closer and closer to dropping the puck on the Garden’s first Game 7 in 18 years. The Rangers held a full practice today in Greenburgh, but skated without both Ryan Callahan (finger) and Brian Boyle (concussion).
Boyle was to be expected. There’s been no further update on his status, so consider him out for Game 7. Breathe easy, though, when it comes to Callahan. The captain took the day off for maintenance, according to John Tortorella. Callahan was in the building and received treatment.
“We gave him an extra day,” the coach said. “He’ll be in the pregame skate tomorrow.”
The buildup to Game 7 dominated the conversation this morning. I’ll let you listen to the players’ comments. The coach briefly shared his feelings in what amounted to one of his more elaborate post-practice press conferences of late, though, as you could guess, he didn’t exactly wax poetic.
His did say the Rangers won’t waiver in how they play.
“That’s the biggest strength of our team is being who we are, so that’s how we’re going to approach it,” he said. “There’s no tricks here. We’re just going to go play.”
A few other notes:
• The league finally announced that Game 7 will start at 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast on MSG and NBC Sports Network.
• The lines remained the same from Game 6, save John Scott skating in place of Callahan. No offense to Scott, but that’s a pretty good indication Callahan will play without issue tomorrow night. Of note: Chris Kreider remained on the second line with Derek Stepan and Artem Anisimov continued to center Mike Rupp and John Mitchell on the fourth line.
• As you’ll hear when you listen to his interview, Michael Del Zotto had no comment on Chris Neil’s threat that he would “catch him with his head down.”
“I don’t even know what he said. I’m just worried about tomorrow’s game,” Del Zotto said. “It was a huge game last game. Game 7 in our building is going to be exciting. That’s all I’m worried about.”
• Henrik Lundqvist was named a finalist for the Vezina Trophy for the fourth time, joining Jonathan Quick of the Kings and Pekka Renne of the Predators. Lundqvist was a finalist from 2006-08.
“I’m really honored and proud,” he said. “I take a lot of pride in that. I worked really hard. I wanted to push my game this year. I really felt like I prepared a certain way to be ready for this year with all the things we had going on early on. I feel great about it. I feel really happy about it, but I also think the team should take some credit for it. Without them, there’s no way I’d be up there.”
• Lundqvist said he did not hear from the NHL about his comments after Game 6. He regretted not thinking it through more before speaking as harshly as he did.
“It wasn’t the best thing to do, to scream and be all that upset, but there’s a lot of emotions out there,” he said. “It’s the end of the game and there’s a lot on the line. Sometimes, you do stuff where maybe you should’ve thought it through before you say something, but I’ve moved on.”
Henrik Lundqvist, part 1:
Henrik Lundqvist, part 2:
Michael Del Zotto: