Just back from the AM skate at CONSOL Energy Center with a pad full of notes. Ready for a old-school download? Couple blogs coming up....
1. Same lineup tonight---and appears to be the same lines---with Henrik Lundqvist in goal. Although Rangers won at MSG, 6-1 on Wednesday, they are 1-3 in the four games so far and were blanked here, 3-0 on March 16.
2. Marc Staal, recovering from the puck to the eye on March 5, is with the team, but not skating. He also will be in Carolina tomorrow to see his brothers and family, then return to New York and not continue on to Toronto. As reported days ago, he has been increasing his off-ice workouts, but still has no timetable for returning. May be available to speak with media next week.
3. J.T. Miller skated, tried some shots and passes, then went thru conditioning drills with heavily bandaged left wrist and is day-to-day. He's scratched tonight for second straight, getting treatment, but told me surgery is not an option at this point. Matt Gilroy and Roman Hamrlik will be the other scratches.
4. Heard new D John Moore's nickname is Champ, given to him in Columbus, Derick Brassard said, when they were watching the NFL and compared him to Champ Bailey. Moore said that given all the hoopla at MSG and the travel, he was "pretty happy" with his first game. Said he was asking partner Steve Eminger about plays and coverages on the bench. "I'm just trying to keep in simple, with all the firepower they have here, I'm really just trying to get the puck off my stick."
5. Brian Boyle is adjusting to wing after the switch from center. Tortorella sounds as if he likes him there for his play along the wall and using him with Ryan Clowe in front on the power play. Upon review, Boyle ended up with two assists rather than a goal and three assists in the last game.
More coming soon...