By Jay Greenberg, Special to CBC Sports
The pace the Rangers and Capitals kept in Game 6
was tremendous, leaving any expectation that it can be matched 24 hours later unreasonable, if not outright counter-productive to the best possible show.
But Rangers coach John Tortorella was not complaining about the scheduling as his team prepared for Game 7
on Monday night at Washington's Verizon Center.
"We knew this going in, it is what it is," he said. "If I'm a player, I want to play.
"They don't want to listen to coaches this time of year. I think both teams want to play."It means a lot until it doesn't
"The guys that have Game 7 experience can use it," said Tortorella. "Game 7s are unique.
"I always talk about experience vs. non-experience, but [Derick] Brassard [the Rangers' leading scorer with seven points in his first playoff series] doesn't care, he is just playing through it. He doesn't understand.
"But going though [two Game 7s] last year, I think that is going to help us and it will bleed into the guys who haven't been involved."
There are 11 surviving Rangers from the 2012 team that outlasted Ottawa and Washington in Game 7s before losing to the Devils in six. Fifteen Caps beat Boston in Game 7 of their series last spring before losing to the Rangers.
"The regular season crap means nothing," said Tortorella. "You make your legacy in these types of situations.
"A number of our guys last year had a blast playing in these games. Some guys handle it, some don't. I don't want to use that 'it's what you play for' [line] but this is what you play for. You see what type of character you have as an individual and as a team."
In October, Tortorella will love being reminded that he called the regular season "crap." By the way, he agrees the home team has an advantage in Game 7. "But we don't care," he said.Caps' penalties are for the birds
"I look at it kind of like that bird that sits on your shoulder," said Matt Hendricks of the debilitating time the Caps are spending in the penalty box, never mind that the Rangers are 2-for-27 on the power play. "It's always chirping in your ear.
"It's one of those aspects of the game that always needs to be reiterated, especially in the playoffs, when emotions run high and frustrations run high. We need to be a more disciplined hockey team."Loose pucks
No clues in the morning about the availability of Brooks Laich (groin muscle procedure) whom Caps coach Adam Oates hinted before Game 6 was close to returning for the first time since April 4 ... The Caps did not skate in the morning at all. A few Rangers did, including Marc Staal, who has missed the last three games after having his comeback from blurred vision cut short ... Brad Richards, who had only 5:35 of fourth-line ice time with Arron Asham and Chris Kreider in Game 6, was on the ice with the Black Aces. "I want to play [Kreider] more but with the penalties things got out of whack," said Tortorella ... The NHL reviewed both the alleged slewfoot by Derek Dorsett and Mike Green's retaliatory -- and penalized -- cross-check and determined not to hold a hearing ... This is the first time teams have played two seven-game series in back-to-back years since the Avalanche and Kings in 2001 and 2002.Lines and defence pairingsNew York Rangers
Goalie: HoltbyFollow Jay Greenberg on Twitter @ScribeJG.
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