Two of the Rangers older players are hurting, and probably won’t play in the final two preseason games. That changes the dynamics of players on the bubble.
Vinny Prospal’s right knee, the one on which he had arthroscopic surgery last season (Dec. 29), flared up after yesterday’s practice and he was sent for an exam today. He will not play tonight or tomorrow in Ottawa, coach John Tortorella said a few minutes ago here at The Garden
Erik Christensen, scheduled to sit out, will be between Frolov and Gabby in Prospal’s spot.
“You may even see Stepan,” Tortorella said. “It’s a concern because it’s been lingering; he skated and it’s aggravating, not during the skate, just after, it tends to flare up a little. In a perfect world you want guys to get some time (in pre-season). I’m not worried about his condition, anything about him, attitude-wise, you’d just like to get some game action. That’s important. We will get info tonight. I worry about all that. You don’t play any exhibition games and it keeps on coming back, sure, it’s a concern. ”
Rozsival (groin) was scratched tonight and I seriously doubt he’ll play tomorrow. “I just don’t know,” Tortorella said. “If there’s any question it’s lingering… so I guess he probably won’t play. Why?”
Defense prospects Michael Sauer and Pavel Valentenko will sit tonight as healthy scratches, but will dress tomorrow. The team is carrying nine defensemen.
With Drury out (“He’ll probably end up on the IR,” Torts said again), along with Prospal, the probability of wings Ruslan Fedotenko and Tim Kennedy and a center like Brian Boyle being on the opening night roster increases.
Todd White? “He’s one of those guys on the bubble as far as where he fits. I want to give him a chance with some offensive people,” the coach said. “By no means am I saying he’s outta here; he’ll play tomorrow.”