Just one of about 10 or 12 reminders coming your way: First Live chat of the season at noon on Wednesday. Be there.
Got a new laptop today. Still can’t do audio. Dammit. Hope to get it figured out (not to mention video) by Jan. 19.
Don’t forget to follow me on twitter: @RangersReport. And tell your friends.
“I missed it during the summer, and now it’s five months later or something, so I’ve been waiting for this a long time, to get out there and start to get ready. The feelings and emotions you have in August start to come back now, where you start to get a little anxious, nervous, excited. So it’s definitely a good feeling.”
“To reach your top limit, I think you need a couple of games. You can’t expect to go out and play your absolute best if you haven’t played for eight months. … At the same time, you have to put a lot of pressure on yourself to try to get back there as soon as possible. You get a week or something, but no games, so it’s going to be a challenge. I’m not going to lie. I don’t feel great out there. But you’re going to need a week or 10 days with the team (at) good speed and a lot of intensity there to get back at it.”
On the game in Atlantic City, in which he played well:
“Well that was a different game. But you know, when your head is there … I was really excited to play and been practicing for probably two months before that game. So it was a lot of fun to play.”
“Again, I’m going to put a lot of pressure on myself to try to get back as fast as possible and as soon as possible, but at the same time you need to have a little patience, too. I don’t think my game’s going to be perfect right away.”
Considered playing in Frolunda, Sweden with his twin brother.
Has he thought about a number of games (he played 62 last year, there are only 48 this year)?
“No, I haven’t. I’m going to sit down with Benny (goalie coach Benoit Allaire) and talk a little bit and then we’ll see what Torts thinks. Obviously it’s going to be a pretty intense schedule, a lot of games coming up fast. I’m just going to try to be ready for the first game and we’ll go from there.”
On not rushing into it as so many NBA players did, resulting in injuries, after their lockout last year:
“You need to have some patience. You can’t expect yourself to be in top shape right away. Usually you have a month before you start playing the big games. Everybody’s been skating, but it’s still different when you come out here and there’s more contact and it’s faster. You just put more pressure on your body. So the first four or five days, you have to take it step by step.”
On the difference in this season based on what was accomplished last year:
“Maybe people will expect more out of us. The lockerroom, the guys here, will expect a good performance and we should expect a lot of (ourselves). But at the same time we have to stay humble and I think it’s going to be important how we handle that pressure, the pressure we put on ourselves and the pressure we’re going to feel from the outside. We had a great year, but we worked really hard for it. So we have to realize why we had success.”
“You want to do even better. You definitely got a good taste of what it could be like to go all the way. Each round got more and more intense, and you enjoyed it even more. But what makes it so special to is you have to work so hard to get there. So that’s why it’s so rewarding every time you win big games, and you move on to the next round. Just so much work goes into every game. … but it’s definitely motivation to think back on it. Last year, I had so much fun. There was just so much happening that was special to that year. I think about it now and then. Again, it’s great motivation.”
“That might be tough,” he laughed. “It’s not impossible, but not likely.”
On guys who played in Europe or other leagues:
“I would guess, if you’ve been playing for a few months, you’d have a little bit of an advantage going into this.”
On whether he ever lost hope there’d be a season:
“There were so many times I thought it was a go, and then it didn’t happen. So you went up and down probably four or five times. So, in the end, you almost didn’t want to talk about it. You just wanted someone to tell you, ‘It’s on.’”
“When I came back last week I just had a hard time believing it was not going to happen. I think we really were too close to not play, and the consequences of not playing would have been really bad for the game, for us, the fans and everybody involved. So I had a good feeling.”
Photo, above, by @RangersReport twitter.