I just did some quick math.
At this rate, the Rangers would finish 82-0, which, although I’m not certain, is probably a record. Also, Brendan Shanahan would finish with 164 goals. Again, I’d have to check, but I think that’s also pretty good.
Seriously, as I alluded to last night, I’m not sure you can ask for much more out of a season opener (reader Neal requested I post my story from today’s paper. “Here it is”:http://www.thejournalnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061006/SPORTS01/610060386/1046/SPORTS). Big stars. Electric vibe. Great start to the year. But in the painfully long, three-games-in-five-nights, half-the-team-has-the-flu grind that is the NHL schedule, it still only counts for two points.
I mention this because the Rangers now have to come back tomorrow night on the road against the Flyers, and with Karel Rachunek sustaining a charley horse against the Caps, there is a question of who will be playing defense.
I should emphasize it’s only a small question. While Rachunek sat out today’s practice and I saw him limping around the locker room, it IS only a charley horse, and Tom Renney said he expects him to be able to play tomorrow in Philly.
Still, even the prospect underscores the precarious nature of the Rangers’ backline, what with only 22 players on the roster, and Darius Kasparaitis still not at 100 percent.
(Renney said if need be, he could use Kasparaitis tomorrow, but it wouldn’t be his preference.
“He can play hockey. He just can’t play hockey to the level that we need from him,” Renney said.
There is also the chance of Ivan Baranka getting called up from Hartford, but again, not likely. Of course, the Rangers also have Sandis Ozolinsh working his way back from injury. But that’s a blog entry for another day.)
I’m not sure any of it’s worth worrying about at this stage. But it just shows how each day presents a new challenge.