Greetings from a snowy MSG Training Center (well, outside at least), where your faithful correspondent risked life and limb just to file this dispatch.
Actually, I’m being overly dramatic. The roads weren’t bad at all, and although flights are being canceled en masse at the area airports, the plan is still for the Rangers to fly out to Buffalo this afternoon.
What I didn’t know until today is that the team plane shared by the Knicks and Rangers is usually stationed in Pennsylvania, and normally only swoops in to Westchester County Airport to pick up the team when it’s ready to fly out. Knowing that today was going to be dicey, though, the plane arrived last night.
So that’s one half of the equation already taken care of. Now it’s a matter of getting to Buffalo at some point today, which is important seeing how the last time the Rangers flew there on the day of a game, they got run out of the building that night.
Meanwhile, some notes:
<li>Henrik Lundqvist is expected to play tomorrow. Tom Renney said he’s still mulling his choice for Sunday.
<li>Petr Prucha sounds unlikely since he hasn’t been exposed to a lot of contact.
<li>A lot of trade deadline talk, which is inevitable with 3 p.m. next Tuesday fast approaching. The general consensus from players and coaches is that this team doesn’t need any major overhaul to make a run. But that doesn’t mean something won’t be happening — think defense — and even some players admit a potential move is on their minds. More on that later…
<li>Thanks to reader Adam Verstandig for his account of Casino Night last night. Here it is:
I was at Casino Night last night with my father and brother. We had a great time and thought it was an excellent night.Â I felt as though most of the players were happy to be there, especially the younger guys.Â I don’t know how many other teams have events like this one, but it seemed Gomez and Drury were taking it all in.Â
Sam and Joe were really nice, as was Renney and we had a long conversation with Pearn.Â Lundqvist, despite being a rock star and having cameras follow him all over, was gracious.Â
Our highlight of the night was talking to Adam Graves–he is even nicer in person than one would think from watching all that he does for charity and the community on TV.Â He was the only one who asked us how we were doing and was interested in hearing about our Rangers family stories.Â I don’t know how else to describe him, other than him being a true “mentsch” and it’s a well-deserved honor the Rangers are giving him by retiring his number.Â He is certainly a role model.Â
The biggest disappointment of the night was Jagr.Â I have “supported” him all season, and am a fan of his, but he didn’t mingle at all.Â He sat at a poker table most of the night, I tried to go over to him, but a “bodyguard” told me, “not now, he’s playing.” But then he never went into the crowd and sat behind curtains with his, admittedly gorgeous, girlfriend.Â
Thanks again, Adam. More later….