On the bus, hoping I'm never a New York City bus driver in another life. Excellent job by Ricky in backing out of the MSG loading dock onto 33rd Street. We'll be on the road for nearly an hour to Uniondale.
Jacques Lemaire was not displeased with his team's effort. He warned against thinking the shot differential meant a bad game. Not many of the Rangers shots were quality scoring chances, and, as he said, the game came down to one goal.
James Sheppard, Eric Belanger and Marian Gaborik all talked to media after, speaking mostly about puck possession -- the Wild was chasing the puck most of the night, in some part because after two periods the faceoff percentage hovered around 30 percent.
We'll have a catered meal at our hotel on Long Island tonight, since the team is playing back-to-back. Steak, chicken, pasta ... none are good things for a PR guy to put in his stomach at midnight.
I'm anticipating a relatively full morning skate at the scenic Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Also my first trip there. I'll be back in the morning.Period 2
The teams traded early goals, with the Wild knotting things up with a pretty Gaborik deflection, but, later, when it didn't get the puck all the way out of the zone, Scott Gomez blasted a one-timer home.
Clutterbuck enters the third period with eight hits in this game and 310 this season -- one off the NHL record set by Dustin Brown last season.
Nick Schultz did a quick bench interview with VERSUS' Chris Simpson at the first timeout under the 10-minute mark. This is the kind of interview that keeps PR guys up at night because you never know where the guy will be on the bench. We chose a defenseman, which meant he'd at least be on the proper end. But, luckily for us, Schultz was the closest to the end of the bench.Period 1
Some bigtime action toward the end of the first, including fights from each Clutterbuck (with Sean Avery) and Nolan (with Colton Orr). But the MSG fans headed to the cotton candy stands happy as Nikolai Zherdev scored with less than five seconds remaining in the period. What a goal from a tough angle, just outside the goal line from the left circle.
On a side note, the Clutterbuck family is sitting by my mom in Section 129. Tuesday, 11:30 a.m. EDT
Greetings from a lovely lavender seat at Madison Square Garden, the “World’s Most Famous Arena.” The Wild is going through its optional pre-game skate. Everyone is on the ice but Kim Johnsson and Owen Nolan.
The most unique thing about MSG is probably that the playing surface is five stories up. No elevator, so it’s a nice little walk up a windaround ramp to get to the locker rooms. There are actually two locker rooms, next to each other, one for forwards, and one for defensemen.
The Rangers didn’t skate here this morning, as they often skate at their practice facility in Rye. A heavy media contingent was on hand to talk to Jacques Lemaire and the Wild players. NHL.com alone had three correspondents.
Tonight’s game is on VERSUS. Christine Simpson will talk to Marian Gaborik during warm-ups. Other interviews are game driven. I’ll spend most of my night downstairs for this reason. Wild.com’s Jamie MacDonald will likely handle the in-game blog tonight.
Peter Olvecky looks like he will take Mikko Koivu
’s spot in the lineup. Dan Fritsche will take a lot more faceoffs. Someone will take Derek Boogaard’s spot as well – either Colton Gillies or Craig Weller. Niklas Backstrom
will start in goal for the Wild.
I’ve got to wrap up our ticket list, and get back down to the locker room because the skate is wrapping up. Jamie and I ate at a legendary BBQ joint near Times Square last night. You’d never believe that New York City (upstate too) has some of the best BBQ around. I’m meeting my mom for lunch. And then heading to the Yankees Clubhouse store next to the hotel.
And I’ve only gotten asked for two autographs leaving the hotel.