Bobby Sanguinetti has been texting fellow New Jersey native Bobby Ryan in Vancouver at the Olympics.

              "He was really excited to be there," said the Rangers defensive prospect of Ryan, who scored the first goal in the U.S. team's 3-1 defeat of Switzerland. "He seized the opportunity he got."

               That's the mission for Sanguinetti, 21, the Rangers' first round pick in the 2006 draft, who has been sidelined with a high ankle sprain and has been back on the ice for about a week.

              "Once the pain goes away I’ll be ready to go," he told me after practice yesterday. "It tweaks a little, but as long as it feels good, I'll start full contact and the goal is next weekend."

               Speed is critical for Sanguinetti (6-21-27) who made his Rangers debut on Nov. 27 against Tampa in a three-game callup and two more in December. 

               "I’m just trying and make sure I come back and have a good finish to the season. Hopefully they’re looking at me," said Sanguinetti, who is signed for $765,000 next season.

                "That’s my main focus, just a matter of trying to win a spot. It’s tough not being up there, it's everybody’s goal. You hate to think about it, but maybe I would have been there if I hadn't been hurt." (Corey Potter played Feb. 10 against Nashville and on the 14th with Michael Del Zotto out.)

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