....where I've shaken off the trace of jet lag (a swim helped). This is what we learned ---well, the three writers here among the hotels and palm trees and Disney signs on this little stretch of Cali near Angels Stadium:
After an hour of mostly speed rushes, puck retreival and breakouts, and some power play drills at Honda Center, coach John Tortorella said he hasn't made any decisions on which forward and defenseman to scratch tomorrow against the Ducks.
By the line combos--Erik Christensen (scratched Sunday) with Sean Avery, Vinny Prospal and Marian Gaborik---and the rest the same, it appears that either Christensen or Avery will watch.
All seven D, including Steve Eminger (Sunday scratch), skated.
G Henrik Lundqvist will start his 13th straight. "It's his ball now," said Tortorella."I thnk he's rested."
Both Christensen and Eminger are former Ducks. Doesn't matter. With everybody healthy, I suspect both may sit again. We'll know more at the morning skate.
The PP work was divided among six players: First Gaborik and McCabe on the points with Stepan (left), Callahan (in front) and Prospal. Then Zuccarello and McCabe on the points, with Gaborik moving up and Prospal watching.
Some humorous moments:
At one point after a drill was explained and begun, Brandon Dubinsky's voice rang through the otherwise empty rink: "Then what?"....Stepan, who broke Martin Biron's collarbone with a shot in practice, fell into Lundqvist while cutting across the crease. Jim Schoenfeld skated over to Stepan near the bench, playfully cross-checked him, and, my guess is, told him to not kayo another goalie in practice....
The mood was upbeat in the locker room.
Erik Christensen had a sunburn after the team golf outing on Monday. Brandon Prust complained about pulling his drives. Henrik Lundqvist chatted about about the 5-on-0 and even 6-on-0 drills and Vinny Prospal celebrating anyway. "It's like playing street hockey. Then he gets mad when I stop him." Sean Avery and Lundqvist updated me on their soon-to-open Tribeca restaurant, "Tiny's". Brian Boyle talked about the importance of staying out of the box against the Ducks, who have the No. 2-ranked PP at home. "We need to get four points on this trip."...Bryan McCabe joked with G Chad Johnson about a save. Marian Gaborik told me that the flight West was so long, he was "even sick of playing cards."
Hey, tomorrow will be much newsier. Promise.
I've written a piece about McCabe's adjustment to not being in the top four and what Torts thinks about his "subtle plays" on the PP. Shd be up on newsday.com at some point and in the paper. Remember to follow me here and on Twitter....
Thinking dinner at Roy's tonight: Asian seafood/fusion. How SoCal can ya get?...Gonna pass on the In and Out burger... And of course, will be keeping tabs on the NHL games. Rangers will either remain in 7th or drop to eighth (with a Sabres win) by the end of the night...