Some things you need to know from practice and beyond...
1. Quote of the Day: “You try to block shots, you can’t just block one and say your job is done.” Ruslan Fedotenko, who stayed on the ice against Florida after believing his right hand was broken by Bryan Mc Cabe’s shot and attempted to block two more on the penalty-kill. The veteran winger, whose hand was broken in the same spot in January 2009 while with the Penguins, said he was expected to be out four to six weeks. Should be good to go tomorrow against Carolina, although won’t be 100 percent.
2. A round of applause for D Matt Gilroy, who hung in while being scratched almost nightly, and will get his chance with Michael Del Zotto shipped to Connecticut to play himself back to the bigs. “(Gilroy) handled himself well,” said coach John Tortorella. “He certainly wasn’t running around and being a social chairman around here. He was upset he wasn’t playing. I hope players are upset when they’re not playing, but it wasn’t having an effect on the team and dragging anybody down. He just kept waiting his turn. We’d put him in and take him out, and he just kept himself ready and has improved. Gilly isn’t a top four for us right now, but mentally he has stayed together and has improved his game.” Worth reading: Bruce Berlet, covering the Whale, spoke to Del Zotto after practice in Hartford today. http://networkedblogs.com/cAzEh
3. D Ryan McDonagh, 21, an emergency replacement from Hartford, may not play one game for the Blueshirts in the next week, but he’ll soak up the experience. “I’ve just got to work hard in practice, make passes, make plays,” McDonagh said. Derek Stepan, his former U of Wisconsin teammate, offered him a ton of encouragement weekly. Said Tortorella: “He can skate like hell, though, and I knew that….I know Kenny (Gernander) runs a high-tempo practice down there. They practice very hard, and we try to do the same thing here, but there’s more skill. I think there’s more tempo and it gives us, the NHL coaching staff, to get a look at him. Whether he plays a game or not, I don’t know. But he has come along, the way you’re supposed to in the American League. He’s grown little by little in a tough position.” McDonagh said Wade Redden has been a mentor. “Great guy. He’s toward the end of his career and to go through what he did, he could have a different attitude. But he has an incredible attitude, staying out late on the ice. I ask him a lot of questions. He’s probably sick of me. He’s helped me a lot.”
4. RIP, Gerry Rafferty, co-founder of Stealer’s Wheel, “Stuck in the Middle (With You), and “Baker Street”, at 63. Probs with alcohol all his life. Must listen: Foo Fighters cover of “Baker”. Hit You Tube.