Newsday's Steve Zipay set off some online furor yesterday when he reported in his Blue Notes blog that Prucha had stormed off the ice and blown off a television interview after saying that he wouldn't be playing today. It was a reaction that was easy to understand, especially as Prucha had expected around 20 relatives to attend the game in Prgaue to see him play.
But as of a couple of hours ago, all has been forgotten, and Renney talked to Zipay to perform some damage control:
"I didn't change my mind, I made up my mind," said Renney. "I think Petr's had a good camp, he's been a little bit snakebitten offensively, but he's had chances as much as anybody on our team, and we need to score to win. The fact that he would be energized is not going to hurt us at all. But that's not unusual for Petr, we could be playing in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan and he would play the game the same way. It was just one of those things, I contemplated it all day yesterday and last night."Problem solved, right? Well, maybe not.
In a column that hit the Web about 90 minutes before Zipay's report of Prucha getting back into today's lineup, Larry Brooks of the New York Post tore into the entire organization, using the Prucha snub to catalog a laundry list of complaints about personnel decisions and the way the team has been run during the preseason:
It doesn't compute. None of it computes. This entire disjointed training camp does not compute. Jumping from city to city and country to country with split squads in order to jam in three Garden gates and eight preseason games altogether? Ridiculous.The source of his ire shouldn't be much of a secret, as Brooks was a staunch defender of the since departed Jaromir Jagr, Brendan Shanahan and Sean Avery, and not much of a fan of how GM Glen Sather has rearranged things in Manhattan. Truth be told, neither am I and I know I'm not alone.
In the FanHouse preview that Bruce Ciskie posted yesterday, I couldn't see the Rangers finishing higher than third in the Atlantic -- but our collective judgment settled the Rangers in fourth place behind the Devils. What's worse, that same collective judgment had the Rangers on the outside looking in when it comes to a playoff spot.
Of course, all will be forgiven if the Rags win a pair in Prague from the Lightning. Then again, it ouhgt to be pretty clear that anyone who expects the Rangers to compete for a Stanley Cup may very well be living in a world of outsized expectations.