Anton Stralman did not participate in the Rangers optional practice a day after being forced to leave Game 3 due to a crushing hit he received along the boards from Milan Lucic.
Andrew Gross at the Bergen Record adds that it's not likely that he'll play in Game 4 and that Matt Gilroy or Roman Hamrlik are the likely replacements. No word if Marc Staal, who skated again today, is an option.
…with the Rangers offense struggling mightily, I think Torts has to go with Gilroy. Hell, not even should he be in the line-up, the Rangers head coach should give him a spot on the top power play unit. Can't get worse.
…big loss if Stralman can't go as he's been one of the most under-rated Rangers in the playoffs.
…as far as a possible Staal return, I'd be against it. Why even risk putting him in an uncomfortable situation now. Not worth it.
Meanwhile, Chris Kreider, who was forced to leave Game 3 as well after taking a stick to the face, was also absent from the optional.
…why is it that everyone else who either took a stick, hit or puck to the face returned to the game but Kreider? Hope the stick didn't clip his eye, which he seemed to be rubbing afterward.
In some good news on the injury front, the Rangers website reports that Ryane Clowe made a brief appearance on the ice at the very start of the Rangers workout. It was his first time on the ice since suffering an undisclosed injury during Game Five of the first round quarterfinal series in Washington.
After skating briefly, Clowe left the ice once drills began.
…obviously, there's absolutely no chance he plays tomorrow night.
Darroll Powe (concussion) also skated today and discussed being a part of the Flyers team who came back from an 0-3 series deficit to these Bruins in 2010 playoffs (via Bergen Record)…
“Obviously it was a memorable series. What I remember is just going in everyday and focusing on the game at hand. You obviously can’t win four games tomorrow night so we’ve got to focus just on the task at hand, which is coming out strong on our first shift. We go shift-by-shift and just chip away. You’ve got to try to win every shift. That’s how you’re going to get back in the series.
“You have to go in with that belief for sure. I mean, you win that one game and things start to change. After that you worry about the next game and you realize as you keep going your confidence builds and grows and you see the other side kind of going the other way. We can’t do it without a big next game.”
Powe says he has talked to some of his Rangers teammates about the comeback. Arron Asham was also on that Flyers team.
…listen, I'd love to believe that the Rangers could come back here, but their lack of effort last night has been really down on them today. Plus I feel the fact that the Bruins have not only blown a 3-0 lead but almost a 3-1 lead to the Maple Leafs last series will have them that much more focused on putting away the Rangers as quickly as they can.
Here's John Tortorella (via Blueshirts United)…
"For us to try and crawl back into this and win a game, I think we need to be more desperate. I think our team is working hard, but we're down 0-3. We have to find a way to get to another level."
…another level? I'm still waiting for them to get to the initial level in this series.