The first goaltending decision of the season is on the table; John Tortorella, in consult with goalie guru Benoit Allaire, has made it, and we'll learn about it later this morning when the Rangers hold their morning skate at the Saddledome.
Will Torts ride the hot hand in Henrik Lundqvist, who was simply unbeatable in Vancouver two nights ago and has been sharp through five games? Does Torts use his best weapon for a potential second win on this four-game trek before turning to Martin Biron in Edmonton on Saturday night?
Or has the coach chosen Calgary for Biron's first op? The vet hasn't played in a game since Europe and he's got to get in the cage sometime soon. That would allow Lundqvist---the first to wear the black Broadway felt fedora this year---to play on Saturday, and potentially Biron again on Monday against Winnipeg.
Biron did play in the fifth game last season, making 24 saves in his Blueshirts debut, a 2-1 win in Toronto that ended a three-game winless stretch.
There's little doubt that Lundqvist gets the nod for the home opener a week from tonight at MSG, and I'd think Biron goes against the Sens on Saturday afternoon in Home Game No. 2. The question is how things lead up to the season premieres back in old New York.
As usual, I'll fire out the news at http://twitter.com/stevezipay first, and the reasoning back here, along with notes, quotes and stats on the skate as the journey continues.
Side bar: I felt a chill at the rental car counter yesterday. I happened to mention to the customer service rep that after returning the Dodge Avenger on Friday (after the scheduled Rangers practice at the University of Alberta), the next stop was Edmonton and she said, "They're expecting snow flurries." Glad I packed the knit hat and gloves. Still fortunate that this trip is now and not in January or the ride would be an SUV.