So, let me understand this. Bruce Boudreau (above, right ... or is it left), the coach of the Washington Capitals, goes on a DC radio station after losing Game 3 of the Caps' first-round playoff series with the Rangers, and instead of talking about what his team has to do to right the ship and avoid losing yet another series after taking a 2-0 lead, proceeds to ... rip Madison Square Garden and Rangers fans?
By now, the quotes have been all over the place in New York, but as a public service, I'll relay them along in case you haven't seen them.
"Well, the one thing, its reputation is far better than the actual building," Boudreau told 105.9 The Edge in Washington Monday. "I mean, it's nothing. The locker rooms are horrible. The benches are horrible. There's no room for anything. But the reputation of being in Madison Square Garden is what makes it famous. Also, our building's a lot louder, too. So I mean, they can say what they want, but it's not that loud in there."
As someone who has covered many playoff games at the Garden -- watching both the Rangers and Knicks -- I can tell you Boudreau's elevator clearly is not reaching the top floor on this one. I can remember many times, seated in the lower press box, right above where the visiting team leaves the ice, I could actually feel the building vibrating from the noise.
I can understand a coach trying to deflect attention to take pressure off his team -- Rex Ryan holds the patent on that -- but it seems all Boudreau has accomplished here is to ensure the Garden will be completely off its rocker Wednesday night, when the teams meet for Game 4, the Caps holding a 2-1 lead. There's a reason the Garden is known as The World's Most Famous Arena. Give me my choice of any arena to play a home playoff game, and I'll take the Garden -- with the old Market Square Arena in Indianapolis (former home of the Pacers) a close second.
For their part, the Rangers refused to be baited into responding to Boudreau's puzzling rant.
"I don't know what their coach is saying and I'm not worried about that," Rangers center Brian Boyle told ESPN.com. "Our building was rocking (Sunday) and I had a great time. It was a blast."
ESPN Radio's Michael Kay did his best to get Rangers coach John Tortorella to go off in kind, but Tortorella took the high road.
"We haven't really thought too much about locker rooms, how loud it is," Tortorella told Kay. "I'm not even sure what he (Boudreau) is trying to say there. We're just concerned with trying to be the best we can be and play the right way."
Boudreau's reputation has flagged a bit anyway, as he was exposed to a large degree on HBO's "24/7." While Penguins coach Dan Bylsma looked to be a composed, confident leader of men, Boudreau appeared most effective at dropping the F-bomb.
Better he should find a way to keep the Caps from repeating their troubling trend of losing playoff series after taking 2-0 leads. Should the Rangers prevail in this opening-round meeting, it would mark the fifth time in their history the Caps would fail to advance after winning Games 1 and 2. Here's the first four:
First round, 1992, lost to Penguins in seven
First round, 1996, lost to Penguins in six
First round, 2003, lost to Lightning in six
Second round, 2009, lost to Penguins in seven
Should history repeat itself, Boudreau may well find the Caps dropping the F-bomb on him.