Peter DeBoer knows who he’ll be cheering for tonight.
Specifically, the scoreboard clock. DeBoer would like to see it run for as long as possible as the New York Rangers and Washington Capitals decide who will face New Jersey in the Eastern Conference finals.
“The longer the better,” he said, when ask who (or what) he would be rooting for.
DeBoer is relishing the opportunity to sit back and relax while the Rangers and Capitals slug it out. The way he sees it, you can’t get too much R&R come playoff time.
“I don’t think there’s such a thing as too much rest this time of year,” DeBoer told NHL.com. “We have to stay sharp. That’s [the coaches’] job, to manage the schedule and days off so we’re ready to go Game 1. That’s on the coaching staff to manage it properly. I wouldn’t want to trade spots with someone playing a Game 7 right now.”
This is a pretty stark contrast to the situation New Jersey found itself in after Round 1. The Devils were the last team to advance — needing a double-OT Game 7 win over Florida — and only had two days off before starting Round 2 against Philadelphia. They lost the opening game, but went on to beat the Flyers in four straight.
As such, Devils forward Alexei Ponikarovsky feels the length of tonight’s Caps-Rangers game is irrelevant.
“Doesn’t matter for me,” he said. “Maybe it’s going to end in regulation. If it doesn’t it’s not a big deal for us. We’ll just wait and see who comes out on top.”