The Caps are on the ice right now for their morning skate at Madison Square Garden. Washington will try to even its series with the New York Rangers tonight. The Caps stormed back into the series with a commanding 4-0 victory two nights ago, but Bruce Boudreau isn’t sure his team has any extra momentum.
“I think its a clean slate,” Boudreau said. “Everyone can say Philadelphia had momentum but Pittsburgh stole that. New Jersey had momentum, but Carolina stole that. I think you have to look at every game in the playoffs as an individual entity.”
No word on any lineup changes for the Caps. Jeff Schultz is not skating again today.
John Tortorella said Chris Drury will play for the Rangers tonight. There was some question about that after he took only two shifts in the third period in Game 3.
Boudreau also addressed his bit of gamesmanship with the lines during warmups before the previous game. The guys that went together during warmups was the not the lineup he intended to use.
“It was a little plan, I don’t know if it worked or if it does anything,” Boudreau said. “When your down 2-0, you try everything thing you can to win. We probably won’t do that tonight … maybe.”
The focus of Tortorella’s brief media availability this morning was the Rangers defense, which yielded some prime scoring chances for the Caps (Henrik Lundqvist probably saved his team from a real beating). Tortorella said his team was “mesmerized by the puck” and you can’t do that against a team that can pass as well as the Caps.
Three of the team’s four goals were passes from the goal line or lower to the opposite side of Lundqvist for easy one-times. That’s a pretty tell-tale sign that the Rangers weren’t recognizing the guys away from the puck.
UPDATE: Michael Nyalnder and Chris Clark are still on the ice with Brent Johnson, so look for no lineup changes for the Caps.
Jeff Schultz said he hasn’t tried to skate since the first day after Game 1. He still doesn’t have an idea of when he might be back.
John Erskine was a pretty popular guy with the local media after the skate after his run-ins with Sean Avery in Game 3.
“That was Game 3 and tonight is Game 4,” Erskine said when asked if he expects a carry over from Avery’s antics. “We just try to not let stuff like that bother us. Sean Avery is a good player, and that’s his style of game. We just have to deal with it.”
One more note from Bruce Boudreau, he had an interesting take on Mike Green’s success (or lack thereof) in the first three games of this series:
“I just don’t think he’s playing as well as he can,” Boudreau said. “There’s been a lot of positive press for Mike this year, and sometimes he feels the weight of the world on his shoulders. Instead of just playing like Mike Green, he tries to impress people with hits and skating and staying out on the power play. When you try to do all of those things, you usually don’t do any of the things as well as you can, so we’ve talked to him about it.”