Coach’s Corner


Hello all, it’s the bench boss Coach, and after reading some comments and posts, I figured I had to put down the large amount of work I have due this friday, and write a little blurb about the Rangers vs. Capitals game 7 tonight.  Apparently I have been getting quite some heat from both reader and bloggers alike, and I’m not very happy about it.  I apologize for the absence, but I can assure you that it is not because my team is has blown a 3-1 series lead.  I was too busy winning my own championship, at the Gambler’s Cup in Atlantic City, NJ…pushing my men’s league hockey career to 5 tournaments with 5 championships!  If you all still want to talk smack thats fine, but I won’t listen until you can find a better dynasty than that.  But enough about me, and more about my Blueshirts.

We all know that a game 7 is the best game in sports, and even in a first round matchup like this, it is no different.  I have said since the start of the playoffs that the Rangers toughest opponent (and arguably the East’s best team) was going to the Washington Capitals.   Ovechkin has finally found the twine, and has been leading the Capitals on a 2-game embarassment of the NY Rangers.  But at the same time, all of that can be erased with a win tonight.  They have won two games in the Verizon Center already this series, and I like the situation they are in.  For games 5 & 6, the Rangers were no longer the underdog because they had the series lead.  But now that the series is tied up, they are back to being the underdog; which was the position they have found themselves in for most of the year.   The bottom line is this is now a one game series, and anybody can beat anybody on any given night.  Being the road team definitely seems like a disadvantage but I see it a little differently.  Madison Square Garden (the world’s most famous arena) is the toughest place to play, even for the home team.  When the Blueshirts aren’t playing well at home, their TrueBlue fans let them know that, and it definitely doesn’t help a team that struggles to score as is, when their fans are getting all over them.  I think playing away from the Garden after their past two games is a good thing for the Rangers.  There is no doubt that the Rangers need to score first in this contest.  You can’t play from behind against the Washington Capitals.  Period.

Another thing is the Rangers MUST capitalize (pun intended) on their scoring oppurtunities, as too many times this series they haven’t done so, and Washington has litterally gone back down the ice and scored.  Thats the kind of team Washington is, and that is what they will do to you all day long if you let them.  Finally, younger guys like Zherdev, Stall and Girardi need to be better if this team expects to win.   Zherdev has been non existent, and at times I’d rather have a guy by the name of Mike Bannon on the blueline instead of Staal and Girardi…actually, I take that back…but you get the idea.  A wise man (my dad) once told me: in order for teams to win BIG games, their BEST players NEED to be their BEST.  This situation is no different.


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