Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Rangers Focused On Game 4 As Boudreau Backs Down On MSG Comments

The criticism of the facilities at Madison Square Garden and the noise level by Washington Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau yesterday caused a stir amongst Rangers fans and many different commentators (full story here).

Today Boudreau attempted to back down from the comments during his meeting with media.

"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 best news of all of this discussion about MSG and what Boudreau had to say is that the Rangers are staying out of it and letting Boudreau continue to dig while they focus on Game 4. Jesse Spector over at the Blueshirts Blog runs through some of the reactions from the Rangers to the brouhaha

John Tortorella: “Our mindset is just focusing on what we need to do, how we play – play the right way and get ready for Game 4,” Tortorella said after the Rangers practiced today in Greenburgh. “That’s our main focus. We have confidence in the league, we have confidence in the officials that they won’t be influenced by all the whining going on here right now. We’re staying away from it, and we’re focused on what we need to do. And like I said, we have confidence in the league that this doesn’t affect the series. It’s a pretty good series. Two pretty good teams, going at it pretty hard.”

Henrik Lundqvist: “I haven’t heard that,” Lundqvist said. “As long as we’re happy and we enjoy ourselves playing, we’re happy at home. I think last game was a great feeling, going out there – in warmups, it was fun, a lot of excitement. We’ll see. They’re loud enough for us, and they’ve been great. I love playing at home, and especially in the playoffs, when it’s more intense. I look forward to it.”

Brandon Dubinsky: “Us, as players, we love playing here at home, and we feel like our fans are the best and most passionate. I guess everybody’s entitled to their own opinion.”

The approach from Tortorella on down is the right one in that they praise their own fans, but keep the focus on the game itself and evening the series.  The comments by Boudreau were clearly intended to distract from past issues his team has had in the playoffs and the Rangers can bring all of those back with a win tomorrow to send the series back to Washington 2-2 for Game 5 Saturday.