Ryan McDonagh, who was boarded from behind by the Bruins Andrew Ference in overtime on Saturday, delivered the good news: He is fine and will play Tuesday against the Jets. McDonagh said his neck was a little sore, but the the biggest issue from the hit, drew a three-game suspension from the NHL, was that he had the wind completely knocked out of him.
McDonagh said the play developed fast and that it wasn;t until he saw the video that he realized Ference knocked his skate askew, and he was off-balance. "It wasn't intentional," McDonagh said after practice this morning.
On the negative side, Michael Sauer, who is recovering from a Dec. 5 concussion and hasn't skated in several days, has been completely shut down by trainer Jim Ramsay. "He really hasn't felt that great after a few days on the ice", coach John Tortorella said, adding that he was not doing off-ice workouts. Sauer will miss his 23rd game on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the Rangers had eight defensemen on the ice for practice, including Jeff Woywitka (healthy scratch against Boston) and Steve Eminger, (separated shoulder) who was not wearing a non-contact jersey but said he was still several weeks away.
The lines today appeared to be the same as against the Bruins:
Hagelin-Stepan-Gaborik; Dubinsky-Boyle-Callahan; Fedotenko-Richards-Prust; Anisimov-Mitchell-Rupp/Wolski.
I raised the question earlier whether Martin Biron, who was in the net for the two previous wins against Winnipeg, would start Tuesday. I'm thinking it'll be Henrik Lundqvist. No word from Tortorella, but if you follow it through, Lundqvist would then play against the Devils in Newark next Tuesday after the All-Star break, and Biron the next night in Buffalo.
More from the coach and others later...