Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 04/18/13 at 09:46 AM ET
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
At this time of the hockey year, it goes without saying a team on the playoff bubble would approach every game with urgency.
Except for the Rangers, whose 2012-13 has been pockmarked by inferior first periods and an absence of the 60-minute (or more) hard-hat mentality that is essential for success, making it so that very thing needed to be said in a team meeting following yesterday’s practice that concluded with a talk at one corner of the ice from coach John Tortorella.
Bywords for the day were “urgency...focus...mindset...mental preparation...desperation,” less than 24 hours after the Rangers’ 4-2 defeat in Philadelphia to the 12th-place Flyers that featured a lethargic and careless opening 20 minutes that reinforced the proposition that something is amiss with this club, even after the changes around the trade deadline.
The Rangers have six games to go, one more than the Jets, with whom they are tied for the final playoff spot with 46 points. Every one of the Blueshirts’ remaining matches is against a team on the wrong side of the tournament cut line, beginning with tonight’s match at the Garden against the Panthers — who were hammered Tuesday by the Islanders at the Coliseum.
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