Here in Bloomington, headed to Xcel Energy Center soon for coach John Tortorella's pre-game presser. Shoule be quite a scene tonight with not only Marian Gaborik and Derek Boogaard in their old haunt, but with three busloads of folks arriving to see Rangers rookie Derek Stepan of Hastings and another 20-25 family and friends to greet his Rangers roommate, Michael Sauer from St. Cloud.
I have some thoughts from them that I'll post later. Gaborik, who missed the game here last season with a knee problem, expects an "emotional" evening in the place he played for eight seasons and doesn't know what to expect from the crowd. Boogaard told us in New York that he expect to hear "booos" either way.
Again, this is a far bigger story here in St. Paul than back in the Apple for Rangers fans. This isn't a Blueshirt legend returning to the Garden. In fact, in a quick poll that I conducted on twitter this morning, the clamor from NY was unanimous: Nice storylines, but just get the $&%#! points, will ya!
In the meantime, here's Michael Russo's reporting from the home side of things. www.startribune.com/sports/wild/109354464.html
More from Xcel later....