The Washington Times - April 19, 2011, 03:47PM

Comcast SportsNet’s Jill Sorenson knew the perfect tone to set at Bruce Boudreau’s meeting with the media Tuesday morning, joking, “So what do you think of the arena?” She was, of course, referencing the coach’s radio comments a day earlier about Madison Square Garden that has riled up some folks in New York.

Everyone – including Boudreau – laughed it off, as he said, “It’ll be asked.” After questions about Mike Knuble, Alex Ovechkin and forechecking, MSG came up.

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“I was waiting,” he said.

A TV reporter asked: “Do you think that’ll stoke the fire for an already intense series? Do you care?”

“You know, you guys mustn’t have a lot of work to do, because they’re making improvements to the arena. Are they not? Are they not making $800 million worth of improvements to the arena? It’s a fabulous place to play, the atmosphere is great – it’s the world’s most famous arena. All I said was that the conditions in the dressing room were not up to par.”

The same TV reporter then brought up Boudreau’s assertion that Verizon Center is louder, connecting it to Rangers players getting fired up by those comments.

“You think a Ranger player is gonna play harder because the coach of the other team said his home team building is a little louder? Was I supposed to say, you know what, the Rangers’ building is so much louder than our building? I can’t tell the decibels; they might be equal. To me – I’d rather take the Washington building, that’s all.”

It wasn’t over. “Fair answer, but you know that an athlete’s gonna use something artificial to get himself pumped up,” the TV reporter said.

“An athlete will use something that is degrading or something to them,” Boudreau responded. “If it takes me to talk about a building to get an athlete more jumped up, then we’re in trouble.”

Then, a question about coming back to Washington with two days off between games. The story’s likely not over, but it is at least until Boudreau and his team get to the Garden for Wednesday’s morning skate.