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Greg Wyshynski

DC arena unleashes anti-water bottle, sexual innuendo measures

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(Note: I'm covering the game on Twitter tonight.)

Glen Sather asks, and Glen Sather shall receive: Behind the New York Rangers bench this evening for Game 7 at Verizon Center are plastic barriers that fill in the empty slots between the glass as well as any openings above the glass.

Please recall that the Rangers GM mentioned in his open letter to Gary Bettman (and selected media) the dangers of unfortified glass; and how it contributed to the unfortunate incident between Washington Capitals fans and Rangers Coach John Tortorella, who is back behind the bench after a one-game suspension. From the Rangers Report, an excerpt from Sather's letter:

Throughout the game, several people seated immediately behind the visitors' bench took advantage of the looseness of the glass panels and the unusually wide gaps between the panels to assault the Rangers with some of the most obscene language imaginable. Because of the way the glass is installed, the patron sitting behind Coach Tortorella (the gray-haired, bearded man in the white T-Shirt) could literally scream into the coach's ear. According to Rangers trainer Jim Ramsay, one patron was screaming at the team, in graphic language, about whether Dan Girardi and Marc Staal have a sexual relationship.

Clearly, Verizon Center has attempted to quell this innuendo by installing anti-gay-joke equipment near the bench. Ironically, it also doubles as an anti-professional-coach-squirting-fans-with-a-water-bottle device, and perhaps even an anti-dude-with-a-beard-throws-a-beer deterrent.

For some strange reason, the same measures weren't taken behind the Capitals bench. Huh.

The Capitals told us that there will also be a uniformed police officer in the section behind the bench (or in the Rangers players' tunnel) to make sure order is maintained during this chaotic Game 7.

Best of all: There are Capitals fans who wore red rain slickers to sit behind Torts. And at least one red umbrella with "Torts" written on it. Hilarious.

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