Almost ready to drop the puck, don't forget to follow here and twitter.com/stevezipay.
Can Rangers put the puck in against Cam Ward as eaasily as last night against the Leafs' duo? Doubt it.
Anyway, here's some pregame stuff. The lines I surmised in the previous blog this afternoon are the ones starting, as well as the goalie, Mr. Lundqvist.
Besides Mike Sullivan, don’t expect to see a second assistant coach on the Rangers bench. John Tortorella is fine with one.
“I think we overcoach anyway,” Tortorella said earlier. “You put another coach on the bench, we’re really gonna overcoach. Schoney’s (assistant general manager Jim Schoenfeld) done a great job, we spend a couple minutes between periods, but it’s such a quick game, I just don’t think you need a lot of bodies. Sully handles the defense, I handle the forwards, we talk; Schoney talks down to us from upstairs between periods, we give them a few points and go out and play again. We just don’t want it too complicated.”
Given the injury issues and the continuing callups from Hartford, I asked Tortorella, tongue in cheek, “If you were injured, would the organization bring up Connecticut Whale coach Ken Germander?
“I’m sure you guys will have many ------ candidates,” he said. “I’m sure you have a list of them.”
Rookie defenseman Ryan McDonagh has played just eight NHL games, but is assuming more responsibility. He played a career-high 21:21 with partner Steve Eminger against the Maple Leafs, including 1:26 on the penalty kill. “We had him kill some,” said Tortorella, who wants to trim back the ice time of workhorse blueliners Marc Staal and Dan Girardi, and “we want to see if McDonagh can take another piece of the pie. We have to get them in some other situations.”
Forward Chad Kolarik (pronounced Koh-lor-ick), who played two NHL games for Columbus, is making his Rangers debut, wearing No. 25 and skating with two other former Whale players, C Kris Newbury and Dale Weise. Callup Brodie Dupont was a healthy scratch. “Kolarik has 16, 17 goals down there, so maybe he kicks in a goal for us,” said Tortorella. “Brodie brings a more physical presence.” Dupont, who got the summons while he and his girlfriend were in a theatre watching "The Dilemma", took a 6:45 am flight this morning. Naturally, he said he preferred "to jump right in", but would sit back and observe.