The Rangers should be in the air on their way to Pitt by now.
John Tortorella was asked about letting his team watch the Stanley Cup banner ceremony tomorrow (which will delay the start of the game until about 8 p.m.).
“Yes we are, because I think that’s the National Hockey League and I don’t want to be disrespectful to what that trophy is. I hope it’s not a long night. But I think it’s important. I don’t want to disrespect what the National Hockey League is about and what we’re trying to win … we’ll be out there to see it, and then we’ll be ready to play.
“I think it’s good. I’ve been on the end of these, a couple the other way, and I’ve been on one the right way, and I think it’s a great thing, especially for some of the youth on our team. I think it’s good for them to see it, as far as a culmination thing.”
The coach likes the idea of having the youth on the team — Del Zotto and Gilroy both were on the No. 1 power-play points today.
“What I like is we’ve added some youth to our lineup,” he said. “I think, for us, not only to try to win but to continue to win, developent of your own people, and giving people opportunities, is important in the cap world. So you’ve got Gilroy and Del Zotto, Lisin, Anisimov. We’ve got some youth in here. I think that’s important, along with the foundational youth in the Dubinskys, the Callahans, the Girardis, the Staals. That’s how you become competitive and stay competitive, by continuing to build within your team. So I’m really excited about that.
“I’m not going to predict how they’re going to play as we start going through the grind here. But they’ve been attentive, and the guys who are here deserve to be here. We’ll make decisions as we start going through and playing the games.”
And on the announcement tomorrow of the new alternate captains, a decision that’s been made without input from captain Chris Drury:
“Chris is our captain. I’m not a big believer in votes by the team. … It’s our responsibility a we’ve watched a lot of new faces and some guys who have been here, how they’ve handled themselves through camp and exhibition and the coaches and (general) manager, we’ve had discussions and we’re going to make that decision.”
Henrik Lundqvist was asked to compare Marian Gaborik with Jaromir Jagr, and said first of all that they’re different types of players, and that Jagr had already had a Hall of Fame career when he became a Ranger and it wouldn’t be fair to compare anybody to that. But he said that the responsibility on the two players was comparable.
Then he mused: “When you don’t have (Jagr) anymore, you realize how good he was. Some nights, you expect so much of him.”
Don’t forget that Tortorella-esque ex-coach Mike Keenan will be in MSG Network’s studio tomorrow, and for 10 games this season. If he isn’t gag-ordered by Cablevision, he should be interesting. If he is, he’ll be dull as heck.