Needless to say, the Rangers would have been perfectly happy coming home to the old arena after the trek they’d just completed.
But to come home to the new lockerroom, new benches, and a one-third renovated Madison Square Garden for the home opener tomorrow, and for Brad Richards to be making his home debut, and for Ryan Callahan to be playing his first home game with the “C” on his shirt, well, it’s a pretty big deal. Tim Erixon also makes his Rangers home debut.
The news, first, is that Michael Sauer plans to play tomorrow, probably with Michael Del Zotto at first, maybe with his old partner Ryan McDonagh later. We’ll see. I’d guess you don’t want him playing major minutes in his first game back, but what the hell do I know?
Mike Rupp (knee) is probably out; or at least he didn’t skate today. Derek Stepan skated in the middle of Callahan and Brandon Dubinsky. Ruslan Fedotenko was moved up to left wing with Richards and Marian Gaborik. Artem Anisimov centered a fourth line with Erik Christensen and Kris Newbury. Wojtek Wolski was on the left of Brian Boyle and Brandon Prust.
Now here are some interviews from the post-practice lockerrom. It was a little noisy — a very large media contingent in the building for the tour of the arena, and an added number of media because it’s the Toronto Maple Leaves, the Yankees of hockey in that respect, as tomorrow’s opponent. Henrik Lundqvist’s interview is a bit muffled because of the gallery around his locker. Also, John Tortorella did his press conference behind the end boards as the Leaves were practicing, so there’s some banging of pucks off the glass. Sorry for that.
Here’s Brad Richards:[audio:http://lohud.com/audio/rangers/richards1126.MP3]
Here’s Ryan Callahan:[audio:http://lohud.com/audio/rangers/callahan1126.MP3]
Here’s Henrik Lundqvist:[audio:http://lohud.com/audio/rangers/lundqvist1126.MP3]
Here’s Marian Gaborik:[audio:http://lohud.com/audio/rangers/gaborik1126.MP3]
And here’s John Tortorella:[audio:http://lohud.com/audio/rangers/torts1126.MP3]