Left wing Fredrik Sjostrom said he was fine today after taking a healthy second-period hit from Capitals defenseman Mike Green in Game 1. Sjostrom said he had the wind knocked out of him and there were no head/concussion issues. He said he had no headaches or anything of that nature today.
However, John Tortorella, while on the one hand saying he didn't want to play referee, questioned why there was no penalty on Green while Dan Girardi was penalized in the game's first minute for holding Sergei Federov.
"You've got the Dan Girardi penalty at the beginning of the game and was that a non-call? I believe it was," Tortorella said. "I just don't get it sometimes. I'm not going to play referee. But I've got Dan Girardi's call at the beginning of the game and I've got a non-call there."
Tortorella added the penalty to Girardi was "a brutal call to open a playoff series," though that was probably more a reference to the Rangers starting the series on the penalty kill (and with Blair Betts playing with a broken stick as well) after Tortorella stated before the game the team had to stay out of the box against the Capitals' power play.
Also interesting from Tortorella, his breakdown of the Capitals second goal, Viktor Kozlov's deflection of Nicklas Backstrom's pass from the left with 48.9 seconds remaining in the second period.
"We screwed up off the faceoff, we don't trap," Tortorella said. "Scott Gomez goes off the faceoff, which he shouldn't have done. Our winger should be going. Right from the drop of the puck we foul that up. Sean (Avery) ends up taking Ovechkin on the entry. It ends up being a two-on-two and we get beat to the net. Danny (Girardi) had his stick on the puck before he made that pass. Backstrom just reached a llittle bit more and made that pass. We can't allow Kozlov to go through our D. That's just young kids (Staal and Girardi) fighting their way through it."
And when asked whether he thought the Rangers might have gotten into the Capitals' heads with their Game 1 win/play, Tortorella said, "I'm not worried about their heads. I'm worried about our heads."
Also, Tortorella said one of the keys to the Rangers keeping their edge during a two-day layoff, particularly given how happy Tortorella was to play Wednesday and not tonight so as not to give in to coaching temptation and give his players too much information, was to get his players out the door quickly today. Which they did. Optional meeting, optional skate, a long afternoon off in beautiful downtown D.C.
Meanwhile, around the mostly-deserted Rangers dressing room, Marc Staal admitted to "a couple of mistakes I'd like to have back." And Dan Girardi said he was a little surprised at the holding call against Federov, though he acknowledged he did get caught on the wrong side of Federov to make a clean play. On his tripping call against Alex Ovechkin 57 seconds into the third period, Girardi said he thought he had his skates planted fairly well but the referee was directly behind him and had a good look at the play.
Anyway, sitting down to write a story on Wade Redden and the Rangers' defensemen for tomorrow's Record and Herald News. After that, headed out to catch tonight's Phillies-Nationals game and see that park.
The Rangers practice tomorrow in full at noon.