Lots going on at the Rangers optional practice. Some good, some not so much.
Katie Strang at ESPN.com reports that Ryane Clowe still isn't sure if he'll play tonight, however, Pat Leonard at the Daily News expects Clowe to take Arron Asham's spot in the line-up after the former Shark left practice early while Asham remained on the ice with the other likely scratches.
…after yesterday's comments about Clowe chomping at the bit to get back and this being a virtual must win game for the Rangers expect Clowe in there.
One player who won't be re-inserted into the line-up is Chris Kreider, who according to Larry Brooks at the New York Post was skating with the taxi squad players this morning.
…re-inserting Kreider into the line-up would be the epitome of a desperation move, but aren't the Rangers in a desperate situation? Going with Kreider last year seemed to ignite the offense, why not see if lightning strikes twice.
In a bit of scary news, Tom Gulitti at the Bergen Record, who has been covering for Andrew Gross (family reasons), notes that Henrik Lundqvist was either stung with a shot or tweaked something making save during practice yesterday. The Rangers netminder stayed face down on ice for a moment before getting up, slamming his stick on the crossbar and leaving the ice.
Gulitti adds that Lundqvist did not skate this morning, but is still expected to start.
…while this news has my heart in my throat, unless aliens kidnap Lundqvist he'll be between the pipes for the Rangers tonight no matter how injured he might be.
Finally, Strang notes that while Marc Staal (eye) skated this morning, he did not speak with the media, so his status for tonight is unclear.
…while I'd love to see Staal return tonight and I think he'd give the team a huge jolt, I'm still very concerned about his blurred vision. Don't think it's worth the risk.