While the Flyers and Blues had at least a week to rest and recuperate before the beginning of round two, the Rangers get all of 41 hours before they need to be back on the ice. Yes, this is the downfall to going seven games in a series but it’s still a shorter than usual turnaround time. We can sit here and debate who got the better deal but the fact is, it is what it is so I’m choosing just to accept it. Today at practice, Torts talked about being able to keep momentum since there was no break. Works for me. At least the Caps have a similar short turnaround time.
There was good news and bad news out in Westchester as the Rangers held their one and only practice before starting their series with the Caps.
First here’s the full schedule for the series:
Game 1: Saturday, April 28, 2012 3:00 PM ET Washington at New York. NBC, CBC, RDS
Game 2: Monday, April 30, 2012 7:30PM ET Washington at New York. NBCSN, CBC, RDS
Game 3: Wednesday, May 2, 2012 7:30PM ET New York at Washington NBCSN, CBC, RDS
Game 4: Saturday, May 5, 2012 12:00PM ET New York at Washington NBC, CBC, RDS
*Game 5: Monday, May 7, 2012 7:30PM ET Washington at New York NBCSN, CBC, RDS
*Game 6: Wednesday May 9, 2012 TBD New York at Washington TBD, CBC, RDS
*Game 7: Saturday, May 12, 2012 TBD Washington at New York. TBD, CBC, RDSI
And now for the good news – first round hero Brian Boyle was back on the ice. While it was his first time on the ice since he was knocked out by Chris Neil in Game Five, I can’t help but think this is a fantastic sign for Boyler. He spoke of what it meant to see his teammates and friends stand up for him. From the Daily News:
“That means a lot to me. The teammate thing and the whole code and all that, it’s great. And the friendship thing. But our team, how close we are … You want to do well for that guy next to you … Me and Prusty are close. Michael (Del Zotto) had a big hit on him, he responded. That meant a lot to me, and I made sure to tell them. They were texting me, I felt really good and blessed and loved … That was pretty awesome.”
Can this team get anymore adorable???? Anyway, hopefully he continues to improve and we see him in a game real soon.
There was also word that Mats Zuccarello has been skating on his own. After watching our power play last night, the little Norwegian can’t get back soon enough!!!
But as is always the case with good news, there is also some bad news. Brandon Dubinsky did not practice after missing the second half of the third period last night. MSG showed video of him falling awkwardly during the game so most are assuming he twisted his knee or ankle. Yes Dubi hasn’t had the best season, but losing him for any length of time would be a huge loss. Plus if anyone loves to play against Ovechkin and the Caps, it’s Brandon Dubinsky. Let’s just hope today was a maintenance day and he’s on the ice tomorrow afternoon.
As for this series, I expect an extremely close series where goaltending will be key. If someone told me I would write that sentence about the Caps a year ago, I would’ve laughed but as I’ve said before, this is a different Caps team. It’s going to be close and it’s going to be a battle. But that’s playoff hockey and the style of hockey the Rangers thrive in. If the Caps think we will just sit back and let them win again, they are in for a big surprise. I can guarantee the Rangers want this series more than just for the fact it will get them to the east finals. Time for some revenge. I’m ready….and I expect the Rangers to be as well cause in less than 24 hours, round two begins. Bring on the Caps!