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Rangers GM Sather calls Penguins “the best team in the league”

Mar 15, 2012, 10:28 AM EDT

Glen Sather

While we’re unsure of the motive behind Glen Sather’s comments about the Pittsburgh Penguins, we definitely know they’ve raised some eyebrows.

“They’re obviously, I think, the best team in the league,” the New York GM told ESPN, one day before the Rangers were set to host the Penguins at MSG. “With [Crosby] back, it’s certainly going to make it a lot more difficult.”

There are two ways of looking at Sather’s remarks. One, they’re clever gamesmanship — pumping Pittsburgh’s tires (and heads) while indirectly challenging his club who, you’ll recall, still sits atop the Eastern Conference.

Two: Simple honesty.

The Penguins have won nine straight and are expected to return the services of both their captain (Crosby) and best defenseman (Kris Letang) on Thursday. They’re just six points back of the Blueshirts for first in the conference with a game in hand, meaning Thursday’s tilt at MSG holds additional importance. It’s a classic four-pointer the hockey world will be transfixed on.

“I think we’ll be excited to play,” said Sather. “They’re a great team, they’ve got their full lineup. We’re missing some people. It’s going to be a good contest. We’ll give them a fight.”

Well played, Slats. Well played.

  1. fleurysteeth - Mar 15, 2012 at 10:36 AM

    ^ what Glen said.

  2. ravenscaps48 - Mar 15, 2012 at 10:45 AM

    Yeah. Kinda have to agree with that statement. 1.) Penkwins {That’s how the brotha’s say it} 2.) Rangers. 3.) Blues 4.) Canuckleheads 5.) Ret Winks {That’s how the brotha’s say it}

  3. lsxphotog - Mar 15, 2012 at 11:05 AM

    Sather is a total idiot. Why would you EVER……EVER! say another team is better than your own. What a fool. He should not be allowed to speak with any media since this kind of stuff seems to be a habit.

    • barkar942 - Mar 15, 2012 at 11:17 AM

      Because he wants his players to mentally step it up another notch. The Rangers have had an awesome season thus far, but Pittsburgh slumped earlier in the year, and the Rangers only had their first 3 game losing streak of the season last week.
      They played well enough to beat the Islanders and Hurricanes since, but I think Sather wants to remind them they are not facing the cellar dwellers, they are facing the current hottest team in the league. Sounds like Biron in goal tonight. Hank back, but probably not up to par after his bout with the flu.

      • lsxphotog - Mar 15, 2012 at 12:34 PM

        That’s the coaches job behind closed doors. The GM doesn’t need to be talking with the media and essentially saying that they’re playing against a team that is better than they are – even if it’s true. You don’t motivate your team that way, what you do is piss off Torts. haha

  4. rainyday56 - Mar 15, 2012 at 11:45 AM

    After watching what EV Zug did to the blueshirts in October, Sather should have a good idea what a good team is. 😉

  5. nyrangersfan - Mar 15, 2012 at 3:50 PM

    Stupid comment…. If Birons in net we’re in trouble. Great time to get sick Hank. Is Callahan and Del Zotto not playing tonight either? If so we’re going to have to pray Hagelin, Richards and Gaborik each score twice tonight.

    • miketoasty - Mar 15, 2012 at 4:58 PM

      I read earlier that it looks like Biron is starting in net and both Del Zotto and Callahan were still out for tonight’s game.

      As for the article, I think it is a bold but pretty smart move. Either way it looks good for the Rangers win or lose. If you win you just beat “the best” team in the league and if you lose you lost to “the best” team in the league.

  6. brian32556 - Mar 15, 2012 at 6:17 PM

    Either way, its only one game, and with 13-14 left, my Rangers can still finish 1st. Better that all the players are completely healthy down the stretch.

    What I’m really interested in seeing is how Malkin reacts to Crosby being back? He’s had a habit of letting Syd carry the load and slacking off a bit. Will Syd’s return disrupt the current chemistry?!

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