Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Scotty's Swiss Diary Part 3
1:03 pm, Tuesday, September 30th
After much running around, I was able to find someone who would let me use my work ID to get into the Rangers morning skate. I don't like to pull out the ID, but its Switzerland - and that pretty much says it all for me. So while you guys get ready for work, or are at work, here are some notes:
*It looked like the whole team skated. Jim Ramsey passed by me and I asked if everyone was healthy and he gave the thumbs up but later I saw him talking to someone and pointing to his wrist, so maybe someone is dinged up. My ID couldn't get me in to the Renney presser, so I can't say for sure.
*I can say with certainty that Nigel Dawes, Markus Naslund, Marc Staal, Paul Mara, Henrik Lundqvist and Miika Wiikman won't be playing against Bern. They stayed for an extra practice with Mike Pelino playing the Herb Brooks "Again!" role for the skaters while Beniot Allaire first worked with Hank, then with Miika.
*The team skated hard, with Renney mixing things up - as per usual. He did a few two-man drills so I won't even wager a guess at the lines for this evening. He also pulled Dubi aside and did some extra face-off work with him.
*As you could see from the pictures earlier in the day, the building is really beautiful inside and visually it should be stunning on TV.
*Adam Graves and Rod Gilbert were lurking around, with Graves looking like he wanted to grab some gear and jump on the ice.
*While I saw the Jim Von Boxmeer, the SC Bern coach, they didn't have a large contingent hanging around. The Metallurg folks, however, did. Their team took the ice just now so I think I am going to run back across the street to the rink to watch them.
2:39 pm, Tuesday, September 30th
Well, that was dull. The Russians sleepwalked their way through an hour long practice. There were still a few guys out there working on skills, but being as I didn't recognize any of them, I left. If they play like they practiced, then they will be offsides on at least half of their rushes, and Hank won't have to take his stick off of the ice. They will have their deceptively-good goaltender A-Mezin in net so you never know what will happen. I saw Andrei play a half dozen or so games back in the UHL and he was a Ron Tugnutt kinda guy - sometimes good, usually average, occasionally bad but on rare occasions he was absolutely stellar beneath a barrage of shots, like Tugnutt in that famous Bruins/Nordiques game.
I wish I had gotten everything settled earlier in the day so I could have watched SC Bern, but what can you do? Apparently having a credential really didn't matter as the supposedly media-only skate had a dozen or so fans hanging out, trying to get autographs. For the most part, whoever they asked came over to sign and one lucky kid got Hank's old practice stick, which was very cool. Some other things:
*When I said construction was still going on, I meant it. There was a cacophony of buzzsaws, drills and cleaning machines that made it hard to eavesdrop inside and left a mess outside with nails and other construction garbage laying about.
*The media will have a sweet center ice view with press desks in the lower bowl - an even better position than the Rangers' old radio box and the Blog Box in the Mausoleum.
*The arena folks tested fog machines at one point ... that's right, fog machines. Looks like they will be putting on a show, should be fun.
*And when the players get penalties, they will literally go to the penalty box (where they will feel shame), check it out:
Just a few hours to go before gametime, woo hoo!!