By Jay Greenberg, special to CBC Sports
NEW YORK - Like they say on death row, you have to stay in the moment. Henrik Lundqvist says his goal for Game 6
is to have fun.
"Try just to enjoy it," said the Rangers' goalie. "I'm definitely not thinking it could be over, that doesn't help you."
after speaking with Lundqvist following practice Saturday, the media
dutifully went to Brad Richards, who has been demoted from the first
line and is one loss away from the perfect end to a perfectly miserable season
"Having any fun yet?" Richards basically was asked.
"Yeah, definitely have to figure out a way to do that," said Richards. Asked how at this stage, he thought for a second.
"I don't really want to get into that right now," he finally said.
The Rangers, down 3-2
to the Caps, can either embrace Game 6 Sunday afternoon (4:30 p.m. ET)
-- a fairly obvious message they got from Rangers coach John Tortorella
Saturday -- or they can poke their own eyes out with knitting needles.
always, this team will be ready to play, that never is a worry," said
Tortorella at yet another of his laugh-a-thon press conferences.
having won a stay-alive Game 6 in Ottawa last spring on the way to
making it to the Eastern Conference final, there is little question the
Rangers will show up, this time with the support of the same home crowd
that got them back into a series they once trailed 2-0.
things don't look so good this time around. The Rangers did not have the
puck much in the Washington zone through the second and third periods
of the 2-1 overtime loss. And the reward for a Game 6 win would be
another survival game in Washington, where some of these players are
1-10 in the playoffs since winning the first two games of a 2009 series.Rangers' power play laughable
Well, if it can be any inspiration to the Rangers, people are laughing
at their two-for-21 power play. And of course, You Tube regulars usually
get a giggle out of Tortorella's press conferences.
Saturday why he is keeping Richards on the power play, the coach said.
"I think he has made some plays there. We need more."
about what opponents are doing against the goalless Rick Nash,
Tortorella said. "I see where the questions are going, but I'm not going
to be talking about guys who are fighting it.
"I'm not getting into a public conversation about it. It doesn't do anybody any good."
"Fair questions," somebody said.
"Fair questions I'm not going to answer," said the coach. "That's fair, too."
Fair to say that as some Caps, Mike Ribeiro principally
raised their level while other key Rangers sagged in Game 5, it became
not a fair fight. Ryane Clowe's physicality and playoff scoring track
record had seemed like a big Game 4 addition for the Rangers until
suddenly, it wasn't, thanks to a Jason Chimera first period hit. Clowe's
return does not seem imminent, making an issue again of Chris Kreider, a
first-round pick who, despite five playoff goals last spring has not
dressed since Game 1.
Asked whether he would select the closest double to Clowe or the best player, Tortorella said, "the best player."
Now, to find that guy.
got to be a pretty short bench as far as people staying involved," said
the coach, asked where the forecheck went after the first period. "I'd
like to use more people tomorrow but I also have to make those decisions
along the way as far as who is producing both offensively and
"We lost a little momentum and I don't think we ever
got it back after they scored on the power play. So it is a matter of
getting in behind them, making them play 200 feet. I think more people
need to be involved in that."Survival skills
question, the Rangers were all-in during their two 4-3 wins at Madison
Square Garden. The crowd and some dumb Washington penalties made hockey a
lot more fun for the Blueshirts and their survival skills kicked in,
just like at Ottawa a year ago.
"Yeah that was fun," said Michael De Zotto, staying on point, making Tortorella proud. "You feel so alive."
Certainly beats the alternative.Loose pucks
Oates on his team's troublesome bad starts the last three games, only
one of which they have overcome. "We talk about the little decisions
that shoot ourselves in the foot, whether it could be a bad pass where a
guy's open and we don't hit it and we ice it," said the Caps coach.
"We've done that way too much."
The coach did not offer an
update on winger Martin Erat, who hasn't played since the first period
of Game 3, when he apparently injured his wrist. And it didn't sound
like forward Brooks Laich, who has resumed skating after undergoing a
procedure to fix a groin muscle problem, would be called upon just yet.
"He wants to, but winning [Friday night] bought us a day," said Oates. Notes
Hendricks took a puck in the mouth at practice, but returned . . . Marc
Staal (blurred vision) skated at the Rangers practice, but he did not
make himself available to the media to update his status.Follow Jay Greenberg on Twitter @ScribeJG
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