With his New York Rangers down and almost out and in the bluest of moods, all-world goalie Henrik Lundqvist decided to take the optional skate with the extras at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday.
There was no special message to his teammates, who find themselves down 3-0 to the Los Angeles Kings in the Stanley Cup final after being blanked 3-0 in Game 3 on Monday. He simply wanted to practice in the hopes his team can bounce back to avoid a sweep on home ice on Wednesday.
"Well, we got the option to go out today or tomorrow," Lundqvist said. "I felt like today was better to go out there and get a good skate, than maybe rest tomorrow morning.
"I've done that a lot in the past just to save energy."
The Rangers appear to be a team out of energy. They blew two-goal leads in each of the first-two games to lose in overtime. They were beaten in Game 3 because Kings goalie Jonathan Quick was on his game.
But before the Blueshirts think about a comeback like the Kings put on the San Jose Sharks in the first round, when they fell behind 3-0, or even like the Rangers did in the second round, when they overcame a 3-1 deficit against the Pittsburgh Penguins, they need to win one.
"It was a tough day today," Lundqvist said. "It was a tough night last night.
"You have to move on. You understand how serious the situation is and how tough it is for us to try to turn this around.
"But now, we're only looking at tomorrow and trying to win that game. That's what we're going to try to accomplish.
"Then, you take it from there. But our mindset right now is just to have a really strong game tomorrow and get our first win."
The Kings are 24 months removed from their last Stanley Cup championship, a series in which they exploded out of the gate with three wins, only to see the New Jersey Devils win Games 4 and 5. Devils goalie Martin Brodeur, a three-time champ, stopped 46 of 48 shots in the two games for two Ws.
Does Lundqvist feel he has to post a shutout, like Quick did on Monday, to give his team a chance to win Game 4?
"No, I don't feel like that," Lundqvist said. "But I know I have to play really well for us to win.
"But I think, when you go out tomorrow, you don't think about the end result. I need to give up one or less.
"I need to think about the process. That's stopping the next shot.
"What you need to do is stay focused the right way. That's the kind of mindset I have going into the games."
Lundqvist admitted that he has to be at his best to match Quick because of the way he played in Game 3. But he's going to remind his New York teammates that they beat the Kings goalie for six goals in the first two games and that one of the keys will be to get more traffic in front of Quick.
'We're going to show up'
Meanwhile, Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault may shuffle his forward lines a bit in order to find some new magic.
He also knows his team doesn't want to see the Kings take a victory lap with the Stanley Cup on Madison Square Garden ice.
"I know my players and I know the values that they have, their competitive nature," Vigneault said.
"I like the way we've played. I mean, we've played some good hockey.
"But we haven't found a way to win. That's what we've got to do tomorrow.
"We're down 3-0. We're all lacking sleep.
"This is tough. I didn't expect my players today to be cheery and upbeat.
"We're in the Stanley Cup final and we're down 3-0. You don't get a lot of these opportunities.
"Excuse us if, today, we're not real cheery. But tomorrow, I can tell you, we're going to show up."
Follow Tim Wharnsby on Twitter @WharnsbyCBC
Do you have improvements to suggest for this page?