Of all the Rangers skates I’ve been to this year Ã¢â‚¬â€ it’s probably about 15 or so by this point Ã¢â‚¬â€ today’s easily included the most skating. At times, some of the guys were breathing pretty darn hard. It wasn’t a surprise with all the time between now and the start of the series.
I have a bunch of quick points to cover today, so I’ll get right to it:
*1. No Lundqvist:* Henrik Lundqvist wasn’t at the rink today, but it has nothing to do with his health. Tom Renney said his netminder was dealing with a little bit of the flu bug. Now, don’t be too alarmed. Renney said Lundqvist would’ve played were there a game tonight, but he took the day off with so much time between now and Game 1.
“If we had to play tonight,” Renney said, “he’d play.”
*2. Hossa skating with Jagr and Nylander.* Marcel Hossa took most of the work alongside Jaromir Jagr and Michael Nylander (when the team wasn’t busy doing conditioning drills, of course). Renney still won’t say for sure that Hossa will be in the lineup for Game 1, but it sure looked like he’ll be the one on the left side of Nylander.
I’ll have a story on Hossa for tomorrow’s paper, both about his health, returning in playoff cauldron, and having to face his brother. Of note: Mr. Hossa, the former Slovakia national coach, was in the house.
*3. The lines for now are…:* The same as we’ve seen the last two days, with the exception of Hossa for Isbister. Hollweg, Orr and Ortmeyer all worked alongside Blair Betts.
*4. Rachunek ahead of schedule:* Karel Rachunek spent about half of practice on the ice today in a yellow jersey, but he left in time for contact drills. Still, Renney said the defenseman is ahead of schedule in his recovery.
“He’s probably a little beyond the beginning of the series, but he’s probably in it,” Renney said.
*5. What Renney learned:* This was an interesting topic, especially in the laid back setting of today’s chat with the media.
Renney said what he learned most from last year’s playoff sweep was that a coach must guard against over-preparation. “We put this package together and ‘Let’s go,'” Renney said. “Well, it was a heavy package.”
I think what you can take from that is this: The Rangers will be more worried about how they play than how Atlanta plays.
*6. On Pock:* I asked the Rangers whether or not Thomas Pock signed a contract extension and was told he had not. If I hear anything else today, I’ll let you know.