5 questions for Rangers' training camp

New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist, of Sweden,

New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist, of Sweden, stretches during an informal NHL hockey workout in Grenburgh. (Jan. 9, 2013) (Credit: AP)

Is there early chemistry between Brad Richards and Rick Nash?

Playmaker Richards and elite scorer Nash have been on the same line all week, and Nash said they have been talking about positioning on and off the ice, so they can get their mojo going quickly.

 

How quickly can Henrik Lundqvist round into form?

The perennial team MVP has been working hard all summer, but admits that his game won't be perfect at the start after not competing at the NHL level for eight months. Still, Lundqvist at 90 percent isn't too shabby.

 

Is Marian Gaborik all the way back?

Gaborik, who scored 41 goals last season but had shoulder surgery in June, was cleared for contact in December. During three days of informal workouts, his release and shot looked sharp, but real test will come with daily contact.

 

Is Derek Stepan ready for a role as No. 2 center?

With Brandon Dubinsky and Artem Anisimov sent to Columbus in the Rick Nash deal, Stepan, who struggled in the playoffs, needs to put up numbers. The Blueshirts have no real replacement. Brian Boyle and Jeff Halpern are the 3-4 centers.

 

Who emerges as the third defensive pair?

If Michael Del Zotto, who led the D in points last year, signs and is in camp, his partner likely will be either Stu Bickel or Steve Eminger. Matt Gilroy, who only has an AHL deal, also is in camp. In any case, the Rangers will be looking for a depth defenseman before April's trade deadline.

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