Just don’t lookÂ for it in the Rangers lineup, which is actually going to stay the same.
A few notes hours before the Rangers face the Capitals:
<li>Beware the (relatively) slow start for Alexander Ovechkin. The reigning Hart Trophy and Art Ross Trophy winner has just eight points this season, although he did miss some time because of his trip to Russia to visit his ailing grandfather. Still, you get the feeling it’s only a matter of time….
<li>Henrik Lundqvist in goal again. I thought Stephen Valiquette might get a crack, but there’s always Monday against the Oilers.
And speaking of the Oilers…
<li>I caught up with former Ranger Jason Strudwick yesterday. The Oilers defenseman said he’s enjoying back playing in his hometown, especially with his wife’s maternity clothes business thriving.
I asked Strudwick about something Tom Renney mentioned last year, that one day the player would make an excellent coach.
Strudwick said that was something he did want to explore after he’s done playing, but that the situation would have to be the right one.Â The way he described it, the Rangers current coaching staff is a model one because they’re all on the same page.
So there you have it. You might not agree with everything they do. But at least they agree with each other…
<li>Good to see Michael Nylander back healthy and playing well for the Capitals.
There was no player I enjoyed watching practice more than Nylander when he was with the Rangers, mostly because he still possessed a childlike desire to lap up every minute of ice time.
The center would begin most skates with a handful of pucks lined up near the boards, then spent several minutes weaving in and out of them, the puck nestled against his stick as if it were glued there. It was a reminder for kids and even guys like me: it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been playing this game, you should always keep working on your skills.
And Nylander isn’t the only one. Just about every NHL player, from Chris Drury to Colton Orr, spends countless hours during the season working on aspects of their game you’d think they would have down pat.
OK, this ends the instructional portion of our program.
<li>Finally, to refresh your memory, the highlights from Thursday’s win over Tampa Bay:
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