First the news. Will follow with quotes shortly.
Boogaard’s back in. White is prucha’d. Lundqvist in goal.
Drury skated today, but Tortorella said he “still a distance away” from returning. So is Prospal, who hasn’t skated. He said that Rozsival will not make the trip and sounded doubtful that he’d even play in the first home game back, Monday, because he’d probably need to practice with the team first. But, no doubt to the chagrin of some of youse, he’s going right back in when he’s healthy.
John Amirante will do the anthem.
“We’re hoping after this trip, hopefully after this trip (he’ll be back in the lineup). He’s going to start skating here soon, probably on his own when we leave tomorrow. Hopefully after the weekend he’ll be a lot closer then. I can’t pinpoint a day, but hopefully after the weekend.
“I think he’s going to have to practice with us a bit when we get back (before he plays). We’re having a tough time practicing right now with so many games.”
On the penalty kill improvement:
“I think we just refocused. It wasn’t changing something, it was just executing a little better. We’ve had some good saves on the penalty kill, also, which helps. Your goaltender is your key guy there. But it’s not adjustments. It always starts with us overextending and trying to be too far out at the points, where we’ve got to close it off first and work from the middle out. And we’ve had better reads. We’ve done a much better job up ice as trying to just take some seconds off the clock. So no big changes. I just think we’ve been better at it as a group.
“I think we were leaving seams open, we were overextending at the points, and we just tightened ourselves up from the middle of the ice first and then made our calls from there. We’ve done a much better job as far as not letting teams get into what we call getting the middle of the ice. The basis of our penalty killing is trying to keep the puck out of the middle of the ice, especially on top where they can spread you out. We’ve done a much better j0b there with our positioning. And then once we are aggressive, a good read and everybody going together. Not one guy just aggressive—everybody’s reading off one another.”
On the minutes his top defensemen (Staal, Girardi, Del Zotto) are logging:
”It concerns me right now. I shouldn’t say it concerns me. Each and every game you’re trying to win it. I’m trying to be careful with the forwards because of this stretch of games we have, this glut of games we have. You’re always worried about that.
“I think Eminger has given us some good minutes where we’re feeling more and more comfortable giving him more right now. I think when (Rozsival) comes back, I think that’s going to help us in settling some minutes. We’re beginning to even talk about Michael Sauer killing penalties a little bit; where he’s shown an aptitude and understanding at that. So, sure, you want to divvy it up better as you go along year, especially this grind, these next few weeks starting last week. But again, it all depends on how guys are going.”
Staal and Girardi between 24 and 27 minutes per?
“That doesn’t bother me. They’re in shape. That doesn’t bother me. Having said that, though, we still want to develop our guys, too, and that’s where, especially Michael Sauer comes into play, where maybe he can take some of those minutes. But as far as the 24-26 minutes, 27, to me that isn’t a big number for those two guys.”
Going on the trip with six defensemen.
“We feel down there (at Hartford) they’re not ready. We want to have them keep playing and not disrupt the development there. Of course, in an emergency, then we’ve got to get someone in. But right now we’ll stay with (these six).”