THE BIG, BIG NEWS: Marc Staal will play today, and John Tortorella said he will be on the third pair.
Don’t forget, they pushed the start time back to 3 p.m.
Last of a three-game trip. Ya boys winners of six of their last seven and leading the Flys by a pair (of points) in the East.
Otherwise, same Rangers lineup. That means one of the D-men and Erik Christensen will be prucha’d.
Ilya Bryzgalov announced from outer space that Sergei Bobrovsky will start in goal … though I wouldn’t put it past Peter Laviolette to change his mind. Nor would I be surprised if Bryzgalov was simply trying to earn more air time on HBO by faking this whole thing.
And here’s what I completely expect:
That the Rangers will play one of their best games of the year today. Because they have risen to every challenge, and because they have a single focus. And because they have managed to turn all of their many potential distractions this season into positives, and used the energy from odd situations — Europe, the seven-game road trip, HBO’s intrusion, and all the Hyper Bowl hype — to fuel them. They have thrived where other teams might have folded. They have been motivated while others might have found excuses.
Oh, and to honor Philadelphia for hosting this whole thing and allowing the Rangers to play a small part of it, Jim Dolan will wear an Ed Snider mask today. Also, Snider’s likeness will cover the Statue of Liberty’s face. The lights on the Empire State Building will be lit to say “Go Flyers!” down all four sides of the structure. Sidney Crosby will wear his Eric Lindros jersey. Buddy Ryan and Michael Vick will be honorary captains. All Rangers players will be identified as “that guy from the other team.”