Lots of news from practice today as not only were the Ranger Olympians at the practice facility, but Marc Staal (back spasms) returned to practice for the first time in four days. However, he did leave practice early, but said he's ok.
Staal said he twisted his spine during Thursday's practice which led to the back spasms. He added that he'll see how he feels tomorrow before deciding his status for Thursday's game against the Blackhawks. Staal added that this same injury occurred during the lockout.
Marc Staal says he "twisted the wrong way" and hurt his back last Thursday "it locked up", but it's "loosened up" and feels better now #NYR
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) February 25, 2014
…sigh of relief Rangers fans as it doesn't sound like anything serious.
Of the Olympic participants who were at the practice facility today, only Derek Stepan practiced.
…makes sense considering he played less than five minutes during the entire Olympic tournament, so I'm sure he's rested and ready to go.
When asked about the recent trade rumors, Ryan Callahan stated that he's in a good spot mentally and can only control what's on the ice.
…Callahan can use every cliche in the book, but if you got him in a private moment I'm sure he'd admit that he can't wait for all this to be over. Although, if he really wanted to get this situation out of the way all he needs to do is drop his outrageous demands.
Meanwhile, Alain Vigneault announced that Cam Talbot will get the start Thursday night against Chicago.
…Vigneault said he wanted to speak with Lundqvist before making the decision, so I have to assume The King asked for an extra day off to rest.
…i love Hank and he is the key to the Rangers success going forward, but he can't ask out of Thursday's game. I get that it's an out of Conference game and they play back-to-backs vs. Flyers & Bruins this weekend, however, points are at a premium, so he needed to sack up and find his place in the crease when the season resumes Thursday night.
Finally, Vigneault reports that in the next 24 hours his staff will decide whether to go with the 12 current forwards (Dorsett practiced in full again today) or call someone up.
…i'm still against the idea of Dorsett being handed Zuccarelo's spot in the lineup just because he's the extra forward on the roster. I feel that JT Miller, hell even Danny Kristo, have a better chance of providing an offensive spark in the absence of the Hobbit.