Binghamton coach John Paddock scoffs at Rob Laird's wisdom concerning the Rangers' play last weekend.
Jacks coach Laird said earlier in the week that the Rangers played as well as they could in taking a pair of games last weekend in Binghamton. Paddock said his team can always get better.
"How do you begin to judge how good a team can play?" Paddock said. "I think people who would say that a team peaked too early and failed are looking for excuses. We go out every night to win hockey games. Lately, we've been pretty successful."
The Rangers finished the regular season by winning 10 of 12 and have proceeded to take the first two games of the AHL Southern Division semifinals from the Skipjacks.
"There is no question that we have some guys playing really well for us," Paddock said. "But you always want more."
The catalyst in the Rangers' domination of the Jacks has been goalie Mark Laforest, who allowed four goals in Friday's opener but came back to shut out the Jacks the following night.
As strange as it may seem, Paddock said Laforest might not even start in tonight's Game 3 at the Arena (7:30, WITH-AM 1230).
"There are no guarantees," said Paddock, who also has Calder Cup playoff veteran Sam St. Laurent waiting for a chance.
The Jacks do have one good reason to be confident coming back to the Arena's friendly ice.
The Rangers haven't won here in three appearances this season, being outscored 16-5.
"I don't think my players feel at all uncomfortable here," Paddock said. "It's a much bigger rink than we have in Binghamton but we practiced there [yesterday] and I think the adjustment won't be that big of a factor."
Laird has said all along that it's just a matter of hanging tough and waiting for breaks in the offensive zone.
"We haven't played poorly, they have just played so well," Laird said. "I keep telling the guys that they've got to keep working hard, keep shooting the puck and we'll get our chances."
The Jacks outshot the Rangers 80-71 in Binghamton, but Laforest's 76 saves have been the difference.
Despite not playing in the last three games of the series between the Washington Capitals and New York Rangers, left wing Jeff Greenlaw has not been reassigned to the Jacks.
The fourth game of the Jacks-Rangers series will be Saturday night at the Arena.