Just returned from the optional morning skate, where Tom Renney said Jed Ortmeyer will play tonight against Toronto. The coach believes Ortmeyer’s knee is healthy enough for him to play his aggressive-style game, which is a must for Ortmeyer to succeed. Ortmeyer won’t have any restrictions, so he will kill penalties.
On the other hand, Fedor Tyutin will not play tonight. As you already know, he’s physically sound but Renney feels his young defenseman needs his stamina back before returning to the lineup.
Renney said Tuesday was definitely a possibility for Tyutin, so you can look for his return then. (I spoke briefly to Tyutin, who said he is about 90% and that conditioning is not an issue. But, really, don’t we all think we’re in better shape than we really are?)
Lastly, Ortmeyer’s return tonight will prompt a lineup change with one of the forwards. Renney said that will be a game-time decision. You guys all know the potential candidates.
Look for the Rangers to be aggressive tonight. Renney used that word a couple times. First, he said his players may be able to take advantage of Brian McCabe drifting deep in the offensive zone on the power play. He then said they must attack the Maple Leafs to keep the puck out of their hands. We see whether or not that philosophy translates to the ice tonight.
(UPDATE 1:20 P.M.) I didn’t mention before, Marcel Hossa skated with the team today for the first time. He ran through drills with his teammates and, to my novice eye, looked pretty strong.
OK, I’ll be back later when I arrive at the Garden…