Training camp and no pucks. That’s what the Rangers are doing today, and probably tomorrow. Just skating, four groups in short sessions. There are these radar things on the blue lines, I’m guessing, to measure skating speed during the drills.
No pucks make it nice and quiet.
Mark Messier is sitting up above the ice, with Glen Sather and Jim Schoenfeld. John Tortorella is on the ice for each session.
Third of four groups just hitting the ice now, a group that includes some of your faves: Redden, Drury, Boogaard, along with Callahan and Prospal.
Just a quick thought on names: There’s a guy named Garlock. There was a guy named Shinnimin on the prospects team in Traverse Cty. And there’s a guy named Manning, who clearly is not involved in Manning Bowl II this weekend.
Spoke a while ago with Michael Del Zotto, who is all healed up from that freak injury last year, and from a sinus/nasal procedure he had recently. He’s put on five pounds of muscle working out with Gary Roberts over the summer, who trained with Steve Stamkos last season.
“He ended up putting up 51 goals, so I’d be lucky to get half of that this year,” he laughed.
“It’s the strongest I’ve ever felt, so I’m excited for this year. That’s one thing I learned from last year. You’re not playing against kids anymore. You’re playing against men, so it was a big summer for me. … I feel leaner and stronger. … this is the best shape I’ve ever been in.”
“I feel more comfortable (this year). It’s a completely different scene than last year, where I came in and didn’t really know anybody. I’m really a quiet guy so I didn’t say much. Now it’s good coming in and seeing familiar faces and catching up with guys. I’m excited to get the season going again.”
“I still think to this day how one play could have changed the whole year. Hopefully that’s motivation for the whole team going into this season.”
“We were one point out, right? So that basically comes down to one play. The one thing I always think about is the power play, and how maybe a little more consistency could have gotten us into the playoffs. That’s motivation for me to keep it consistent through this whole season, because really that is my job.”
“I just want to help the team get to the playoffs. That’s pretty much the only goal I have. I try not to set expectations for myself as far as points or goals or that kind of stuff. Whatever I can do to help the team make the playoffs, that’s what I’m going to do.
“Everyone talks about the sophomore slump. … I don’t want to be one of those guys who falls into that sophomore slump. So I’m coming in ready to learn some more. I’ve got one year under the belt, but there’s still tons more to learn. I just want to get better and better.”