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Rangers Playoff GameDay Notebook: 4.22.09

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As we nervously await the drop of the puck for Game 4, here are some Ranger stories to get you thru the day:

Remember Theo Fleury? Well, he is doing well up in Calgary, and I am happy to say, living completely clean and sober. But please don't let the Rangers hear that he "hasn't ruled out an NHL comeback".

Sporting News: Avery's antics backfire in Game 3.

NorthJersey.com: Rangers focus on D, penalties.

Steve Zipay at Newsday: Tortorella: Rangers have to regain the momentum.

NHL.com: Rangers need smarter Avery.

NY Post: TORTORELLA ISSUES 'BIG' CHALLENGE

NY Post: RANGERS KNOW SCORE WITH LUNDQVIST

Some final thoughts from me:

Keys to a Ranger win tonight:

  1. Stay out of the box. This team simply cannot spend a quarter of the game killing penalties the way they did in Game 3.
  2. Don't let the Capitals take the game to them the way they did in Game 3. It seemed like the Caps would mount a flurry, the Rangers would clear the puck,  the Caps would chase it down and mount another flurry. They need to be more aggressive in both zones.
  3. "Feed The Beast". The MSG crowd was rocking for Game 3, the Rangers fed off of that for about the first 2 minutes of the game, and then were lifeless for most of the last 58. I expect a more nervous crowd tonight; the Rangers are going to need to get them going early, a big hit on the opening shift will set a good tone.
  4. Create traffic in front of "The Next Big Thing" without taking penalties. Simeon Varlamov, while surely on his way to the Hockey Hall of Fame based on what I've read about him the last 2 days, wasn't tested much in Game 3, the Blueshirts need to make life tougher for him tonight. Get the puck on the net at every opportunity, and try not to give him a clear view of what's coming
  5. Sean Avery needs to be smart. Every striped eye on the ice is watching him, he can't so much as pass gas near Patrick Ro....I mean Simeon Varlamov, so he has to play intelligent.

John Davidson used say this on MSG telecasts, and I think it applies to what the Rangers need to do tonight:

"Take the shortest route to the puck, and arrive in ill humor"

I love that line, it's a JD classic.

Let's Go Rangers!