Forward Ryane Clowe took part in Monday’s optional morning skate at Madison Square Garden, and while he would not commit one way or the other, he remains hopeful he’ll play in Game 3.
“I feel pretty good,” Clowe said after the skate. “I feel pretty good out there,” he added, but that he’s still “unsure” about playing tonight.
Clowe has been out of action since April 25 when he suffered an undisclosed injury against the Carolina Hurricanes. He registered three goals and five assists in 12 games after being acquired by the Rangers from the San Jose Sharks at the trade deadline.
Clowe skated for the first time in a regular practice jersey yesterday after being cleared for contact. He said it’s been frustrating not being able to help the team in the postseason.
The Rangers could benefit offensively from having Clowe in the lineup after scoring just one goal through two games this series against the Washington Capitals. The 30-year-old has 18 goals and 45 points in 68 playoff games, all with San Jose.
Despite feeling well, though, Clowe said at this time of year, if you’re not confident you can assist the team, you should not be in the lineup.
“Whenever guys come back, they’re not going to put themselves at risk, even though we’re all tough guys and play through injuries,” he said. “But more than anything, I think guys look at how they can help the team. If you’re 90 percent, or 80 percent and you feel like you can play but you’re not helping the team, it’s pointless.”
The Rangers lineup for Game 3 has not been announced yet.
Prior to the skate, head coach John Tortorella said that the series has been a lot closer than the 2-0 Washington lead shows, and more than the media is giving credit.
"I think [the games] have been a helluva lot more even than a lot of other people think, but it really doesn't matter," Tortorella said. "We need to win a game. It doesn't matter what's happened in the othe two. We need to win a game, and that's all we're thinking about."
Check out what Clowe had to say after practice, then share your comments below.