Tom Renney announced after tonight’s 5-2 loss to the Islanders that team doctors have cleared Jaromir Jagr to begin full practices with the team immediately.
Granted, it’s still a question of when the right wing can play in an actual game, but since the clearance from doctors was the major hurdle, it’s now just a matter of getting into game condition.
I’m not sure if Friday’s game on the Island is too early, but then again, the only other option this preseason is the next night in Boston. Count one of those two….
In the meantime, on to some more post-game musings….
—- In keeping with our theme that it’s only the preseason, I’m not sure it’s worth too much hand-wringing that the Rangers’ power play has been struggling. That said, we may be finally seeing the effects of a team that’s had too many bodies milling about, and not enough time to focus on details. The numbers are ugly: 0-for-19 in the last three games, and often looking clueless in the process. The next time the opposing team gets whistled for a penalty, maybe the Rangers should just think about declining…
—- On several occasions over the past few days, Tom Renney has singled out the uneven play of Darius Kasparitis, who is coming off a groin injury from last year and who Renney suspects has been holding back as a result. It seemed like today Kasparitis had an answer, putting forth his most physical effort in the loss.
—Altogether, an uninspired effort by the group of Rangers’ prospects, with the notable exception of Jarkko Immonen, who had a goal and an assist. And then there was Dwight Helminen, who had two wide open nets and looked like it was his first time on skates both times. I’m always of the belief that there’s a skill involved in just putting yourself in such a position. Unfortunately, there’s a name for guys who have that skill but still can’t finish: your 2006-07 Hartford Wolf Pack.
—Brendan Shanahan admitted the team might be dealing with the after-effects of the trip to Puerto Rico, in particular a 5 a.m. arrival home Sunday morning.
“So long as they don’t put Puerto Rico in our division, that shouldn’t happen again,” he said.
OK, that’s all for me. Back with more tomorrow….