- Matt Ehalt, ESPN New York contributor
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GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Washington Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau ripped Madison Square Garden and its fans Monday, one day after his Capitals fell to the Rangers 3-2 in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals.
"Well, the one thing, its reputation is far better than the actual building," Boudreau said on 105.9 The Edge's "Kirk and Mike Show," according to The Washington Post. "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."
Boudreau's squad leads the best-of-seven series 2-1, losing in the Rangers' home building in front of a sellout crowd of 18,200 Sunday. The Rangers did have a 187-game sellout streak there that ended last February.
MSG is currently undergoing a $775 million to $850 million transformation that will enhance the entrances, the concourses, seating, scoreboards, as well as the locker rooms. The project will close MSG over the next three summers when the Knicks and Rangers are in their offseasons. MSG had its last major renovation in 1991 and has been at its current location since 1968.
Following team meetings Monday, the Rangers didn't take the bait from Boudreau, opting to avoid responding to the comment, but they did take time to commend their fans on the atmosphere in what could be a pivotal game in helping the Rangers get back in the series.
"As the coach of the Rangers, right now this hockey team and this coaching staff is just preparing for another game," John Tortorella said on "The Michael Kay Show." "We haven't really thought too much about locker rooms or how loud it is. I'm not even sure what he's trying to say there. We're just concerned about trying to be the best we can be and play the right way.
"I will say, the fans gave us a tremendous lift last night. I'm hoping that we can get off to a good start and continue on our way. That's our concentration. Nothing else around us is gonna teeter us from our focus, and that's our next game."
"I don't know what their coach is saying and I'm not worried about that, our building was rocking, and I had a great time," center Brian Boyle said. "It was a blast."
Added defenseman Marc Staal: "It was great. It always is. That's the loudest I've heard it maybe since the Boston game [on April 4]. It was a great atmosphere."
Boudreau also called Staal's hit on Mike Green in the second period on Sunday "dirty."
"They're coming after him," Boudreau said. "[Brandon] Prust left his feet in the first period and went after the head, as well, and Mike threw a punch back at him."
"Staal comes in, there's no puck and he takes his arm and swings at his head. It's all forgotten, because [Alex Ovechkin scores] a goal to tie the game up," Boudreau said. "It shouldn't be forgotten, and it wasn't the only time they targeted Mike's head.
"That's what we want to get out of the game."
"I haven't seen [a replay], but I remember the play," Staal said. "I came across and he was coming into the middle and I tried to finish him. But I haven't seen it again [to comment one way or another]."
The series resumes Wednesday with Game 4 at 7 p.m. at MSG.
Matt Ehalt is a frequent contributor to ESPNNewYork.com. ESPNNewYork.com's Mike Mazzeo contributed to this report.
Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau ripped Madison Square Garden after his team lost to the Rangers there Sunday.