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Gaborik, Staal, Feds, Prust. Will we know more this morning?

 

         Today's issues:

         How is Marian Gaborik? We may learn something at the the optional morning skate.   In what appeared to be a significant step toward his return, Gaborik, who suffered a concussion on a check from Pittsburgh’s Brooks Orpik on Feb. 13, practiced with the team yesterday without any immediate recurrence of symptoms. We do know he's out tonight.
 

        Will Fedotenko and Staal play tonight against the Wild, who lost 4-1 to the Isles last night?  Again, an issue for the morning skate. Tortorella said yesterday they would be game-time decisions.

        How is Brandon Prust? Good idea to give his banged-up hand a day off Wednesday.

        Can the Rangers win at home twice in this three-games in four days span? Major test.

         Will Chad Johnson play in Ottawa tomorrow? Interesting call. I don't think so. Henrik Lundqvist will have Saturday off before the Flyers game and then Monday and Tuesday before the visit to Anaheim on Wednesday, then two more days off before San Jose on Saturday.

       Couple other items: Will be a guest on Hockey Night in Canada radio tomorrow at 4:30, live from Ottawa. 

       My family matters scratched our live chat (and what currently passes for normal life in general) last week, but we'll resume our weekly session on Monday, I hope, at noon or 1, before jetting to California for the week.

      Thoughts?

      The backstory:    

       Gaborik, who played two games after the incident before being shut down when he had difficulty concentrating after the first period of the Feb. 20 game against Philadelphia, won’t play tonight against the Minnesota Wild, coach John Tortorella said. 

         With the Rangers, holding onto 7th place by a point and facing another three-games in four-days stretch, Tortorella made no prediction. “I want to try to get him in as quick as we can without putting him in harm’s way and have him ready to play,” he said.

         Doctors cleared Gaborik for practice after not experiencing headaches or pressure or blurry vision for a day, and said he “felt pretty good” in the locker room afterward. On Friday, he had no symptoms after skating alone, but some arose later. “We’ll see how it’s going to respond,” Gaborik said.

     “For a few seconds after (Orpik’s hit), I didn’t really know what was going on,” he said. “I got a headache and didn’t feel right after the game. I never had that…I thought it would go away.”

       Staal (knee) and Fedotenko (shoulder) are closer.

       Staal twisted his knee on Feb. 22 against Carolina and has missed three games. The All-Star defenseman left practice on Monday when his knee “felt more loose as it went on” and was sore, Staal said after completing practice. “I want to get back in there and help,” he said, “but I want to make sure it’s good to go. I’m hopeful.” Fedotenko, who separated his left shoulder on Jan. 19 and reinjured it on a hit from Washington’s John Erskine on Feb. 25, skated on a line with Kris Newbury and Brian Boyle. “I’ll go day by day. I felt decent enough, so we’ll see how it feels.”

Henrik Lundqvist will start against the Wild...Johnson admitted to having a “hot and cold” year in the AHL before arriving to replace Martin Biron (broken collarbone), but said he was more familiar with the NHL, having played in five games with a 1-2-1 record as a rookie last season

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