It is now apparent that the Rangers need to play a hockey game soon, if only to avoid another day of “Do you think you’re ready?”-type questions. Of course, I was asking those questions today as well, and in added wrinkle, I did it with a TV camera in tow (more on that later).
But as I mentioned earlier, the general feel around the dressing room is that if the Rangers could move up Game 1 to tonight, they’d be all for it.
“Can you tell I have a lot of energy?” Brendan Shanahan said. “Wheels up at 2:30!”
Among the minor updates:
Jaromir Jagr skated today and was back to his mischievous self. At one point, Colin Stephenson of the Ledger received a phone call in the middle of an interview, and Jagr started mimicking the sound of an imaginary nagging wife asking Colin when he’d be home. Jagr also joked that even if his NHL career may be nearing an end, he may play in a low-level Czech pro league until he’s 50. I don’t doubt for a second that he could.
Marcel Hossa again looked sharp in practice, and appears to be set to return to the lineup tomorrow. Tom Renney played it safe by saying Hossa will be re-evaluated tomorrow. But you can count on seeing him alongside Jagr and Michael Nylander on the first line.
Good question about playoff beards. Matt Cullen was sporting a scruff, but said he was going to shave before Game 1 and then let himself go (Embarrassing aside: when I was in high school and we made it into the state playoffs, I tried to grow a playoff beard. Never mind the fact that I really couldn’t, and I just looked like I had food on my face.
For the second straight day, Karel Rachunek did not skate. Renney said that Rachunek is on schedule to return sometime next week. But obviously the fact that he had to take another day off means a return isn’t imminent.
As for my TV experience today, make sure your kids are already in bed if you want to see it. As some of you may know, The Journal News now has a joint venture with RNN (Regional News Network) called “NewsCenter Now”. I’ve already done a few things in which I was the one being interviewed, but this was my first effort as a de facto on-air correspondent. Initial reaction: Oy vey.
As I told John Giannone earlier, I’m pretty sure his job is safe. The good news is it will be on tomorrow night (between 5 and 7 p.m.) when I’m already in Atlanta. So if you see it and you have an opinion…make sure you keep it to yourself.