The Rangers play hockey for the first time this training camp.
We’re going to have to count on our Twitter widget ——> for live updates, etc.
In the meantime, here are some leftover interviews from the weekend:
Talked about getting past the old “garbage” and starting over.
“I started working out with Gary Roberts, payers like Stamkos, Skinner, James Neil, Steven Weiss, Downey, were all guys in my workout group. I’ve been working with a speed coach all summer, once a week from about the end of May to the end of August, Barbara Underhill, who’s worked with the Rangers in the past. It was recommended, but it was pretty much mandatory. But I’m happy I went.”
“Definitely my skating (has improved). I had to lengthen my stride, get lower, get on a better angle with my skating. It definitely helps, definitely less taxing on the body, and there’s more power in my stride, too.”
“I want to get as much ice time as possible. I think as a forward I’m supposed to kind of put myself in a position where I’m playing in the top six guys. I think that’s usually what’s counted of me. I have to be creative. I’ve got to create opportunities. Either way, if I’m on the first, second, or whatever, I just want as much ice time as possible.”
“The feeling that I had last year was very disappointed. It was something where I’d rather work hard all summer and be disciplined and what-not so I don’t have to have that feeling again. So that was definitely something that prompted me to turn everything upside-down.”
“When I was 19, there was tons of pressure. Now, it’s expected. It’s how it’s supposed to be, it’s where I’m supposed to be. And if I’m not, then I’m not doing my job.”
Did he have doubts that he’d even be back (there was talk of a possible buyout)?:
“I had a meeting with Gary Roberts and my agent this summer and we discussed what was going on and it was just agreed that I had no control over it. The only thing I had control over was work hard and prepare myself to put myself in the best position. If I was on the team, if I wasn’t on the team whatever happened, I was ready for the following season.”
On the prospect of possibly playing with Gaborik and Richards:
“Very exciting. I think we’ve got a great team. We’re very strong all over. To be able to play with those types of players gives you a better opportunity every single night to win, to play well, and to be consistent.”
On the buzz around the team:
“I think there’s always going to be something going on. I think we’re more excited than distracted. Guys want to go to Europe, we want to play in the Winter Classic, we obviously realize we’re in a very good spot this year. Everybody realizes there’s expectations and we’re ready to meet them.”
On the Tortorella camp here as compared to the Tortorella camp he had in Tampa:
“Identical. The only thing we didn’t have the electronics. We paid people off to shave your time.”
“We had good teams and good personnel. I don’t remember a bad start. We were always in great shape, Injury-wise I had a lot of good years that way. It’s good. You can’t get into better shape once you get into the grind of the season. So everybody’s doing this stuff for probably the last three or four weeks.”
Is knowing about Torts’ camps motivation to everybody to get in shape?
“Yup. You pretty much have to or you’ll look pretty silly out there. I don’t know if it’s motivation. You have to. The guys that have been through it, yeah. I think that’s probably the whole game plan. Everybody’s doing a lot of this stuff in August. That way, as a team, everybody’s in shape.”
On the opening road schedule:
“It’s pretty obvious what’s in front of us. Nine games, I think. We’re just going to look at Europe first and then we’ll figure out the rest. I look at it as a great way to build a lot of confidence with your team. If you get out of that first nine games in good shape, going through some of the stuff we’re going to have to go through, we’re going to make our team a lot stronger. We can build off of that and kind of ride into the season.”
On goals for himself:
“I hope to keep playing the way I’ve been playing the last couple of years. I know, I can feel when I’m playing good and when I’m not playing good no matter what the stats say. So I’m pretty confident I’m going to play with Gabby and if I’m playing the way I think I can then we can take that first line and give the other lines a good break and we can have two good lines that the other team has to play against. After that you just let it all fall into place.”
On the type of left wing that might fit on that line:
“You never know. You just go out there and play. I’m hoping that Gabby and I work, that’s the plan, but we’ve got work to do. Sometimes it just happens. I can’t explain why. I’ve had some big left wingers, and some fast up-and-down left wingers who shoot the puck well, and that’s worked. But might it work the same? I can’t really tell you. Sometimes, for whatever reason, it just happens. I’m happy Gabby’s a right winger/left shot. I’ve played with a lot of players like that on my right side. I’m not used to, hardly ever played with a right shot on that side. So we’ve got that going for us. After that, you never know.”
Better to have a compliment offensively, or a defensive presence, on LW:
“I think that’s probably over-analyzing it. I don’t know the team well enough to know which guy might fit. There’s some good players there that could play with me. Torts will chane it up a lot, I know that. I know the last thing you want is to have somebody stay back while we do our (thing offensively). I think it might be a little big over-analyzing. You know what, the first guy could work, or it could take three or four. It’s one of those things in sports. Sometimes it clicks, sometimes it won’t.”
On the first time he went through a Tortorella test session:
“Yeah, we were lucky. We got to do it at the end of the year when he took over, with games left (sarcasm noted). So we were ready in the fall. So nothing ever surprised us. We got a good taste with two or three games left. That’s when he started it.”
On the testing: “I think I definitely felt better this time than I did last time. So, it’s just about trying to improve and train yourself as hard as you can in the summer. All of these tests are important. It’s more of a mental test to me than a physical one in the sense that, you’re trying to train yourself for the season. You’re not trying to train yourself just for this specific test. You’re training to get ready to play a season. Having these tests as hard as they are helps you do that, too.”
“It’s important to come ready to go for the season. This certainly scares or motivates guys to get their work done in the summer. It’s great. We come out here and we push each other and everybody seems to push each other. It always seems to be harder doing it on test day than when you’re training for it. It’s good to have guys pushing each other.”
“I think the sense that we feel is, it doesn’t feel like a normal summer. It doesn’t feel like we’ve been apart from each other because so many of us are back and we have pretty much the same team with a couple of key guys, where previous years we’ve been half a new team basically. I think the comfort level amongst the guys is there, and obviously having some good young guys we’re excited about too. We’re just anxious to get going. I’m glad we’re on our way.”
On his leg injuries:
“There’s no concern. I got into a softer boot so there hasn’t been so much pounding. Also I trained a little different this year. I didn’t run. … It was just a little bit different for me this time around because at the end of the day we’re not exactly sure what happened and what caused it. But I’m in no pain now, whereas last year there was certainly some pain going in and a lot of complaining for a while before we actually did the testing and found out what it was.”
Did a lot of work on a machine that simulates running, lot of stationary bike and regular biking.
On playing with Anisimov and Callahan, or elsewhere:
“Of course you think about it. But to me it’s exciting because there’s options. We’ve got some good players, some good forwards, so I’m certainly not sitting here saying, ‘Well, I better play with him or things are not going to go well.’ It’s going to ultimately be up to the coaching staff, but I’m open to play with whoever they see fit and hopefully we can find four lines that jell together and work together and we can keep it that way … I don’t know what they are though.”