It’s a good thing the Rangers are opening their season tomorrow, because I am officially ready. Granted, I’m pretty sure if I wasn’t ready, they’d start the season, anyway, although maybe given my years (make that year) of experience, they’d make some adjustments.
Whatever. It’s a moot point. More important is we’re now approaching 24 hours until the opening face-off, where, by all accounts, the Rangers will begin their unprecedented march to a perfect 82-0 record. What, too much to ask?
As for some notes:
The forward lines were the same as yesterday, with Colton Orr looking like he’ll be the odd man out on the fourth line. That’s my guess right now, but given Tom Renney’s preference of having Orr as a security measure, I could be wrong.
The big news — if this indeed qualifies as “big news” — is that Marc Staal looks like he will play. The rookie defenseman was paired with Paul Mara today, with Jason Strudwick and Thomas Pock looking like the two who won’t skate.
We haven’t spent much time discussing the power play here, mostly because there hasn’t been much to go on. The Rangers again practiced in two units, with Jaromir Jagr, Chris Drury, and Petr Prucha skating with Martin Straka and Michal Rozsival at the point; and Sean Avery, Scott Gomez, Brendan Shanahan comprising the other forward line. Count on Paul Mara playing one of the points there.
The Rangers also worked on a fairly formidable 5-on-3, with Jagr and Drury at the points, and Gomez, Straka and Shanahan down low. First prize to the reader who can count up the number of combined All-Star teams in that group.
A year ago, Jagr warned the media and fans not to panic if the Rangers started slowly, then he went on to score a goal on his first shot of the season. Asked if he’s ready to repeat the feat, Jagr cracked, “I hope not. It’s bad luck. I’m going to shoot it in the corner.: