We can start with Sean Avery. As you all know Avery collided with Ryan Callahan yesterday morning and injured his knew. He was subsequently scratched from Thursday's game against the Detroit Red Wings and there were questions on his health. Well good news Ranger fans! As per Andrew Gross:
The Grate One, who's out with a sprained right knee, was off crutches and walking comfortably through the Rangers' dressing room today. He had an MRI yesterday and it "came up clean." Tomorrow, he'll go for that procedure where they inject his own blood into the tissue around the knee in an effort to speed the recovery. Avery said there's no timetable for him to begin skating again but, when I asked him if he thought he'd be able to play in the season opener, Oct. 2 at Pittsburgh, he said, quickly, "Definitely."
Okay so good news there, I don't know about you but I expect Avery to have a big impact on this team. Click after the jump for more from Andrew Gross.
If you weren't aware--it has kind of been kept under wraps--both Staal and Redden have had some injury precautions. Staalhad a sore groin (where have I heard that before?) and Redden had some back pain. Gross says both are fine:
Both Marc Staal (groin) and Wade Redden (back) returned to practice after missing yesterday. Staalsaid he still feels some tightness but said he wants to play tomorrow. My guess is that the Rangers might sit both Staal and Redden as a precaution, which would also allow them more evaluation time on Bobby Sanguinetti and Michael Del Zotto. Don't think there's any doubt any more that Matt Gilroy has made the team.
I have to agree with Gross that Gilroy has already made the team, so surprise there. I also think that it is a good idea for the Rangers to get a better look at Sanguinetti and Del Zotto, don't quote me but I think Del Zotto might just make this team out of camp. Just a guess, he is my dark hose pick.
Also, it appears Henrik Lundqvistwill play the full 60 minutes (or longer) both tomorrow and Sunday in the preseason finale at Washington.
Gross also put up the line combinations from today's skate:
This morning's lines and defense pairings:
Enver Lisin-Vinny Prospal-Marian Gaborik
Christopher Higgins-Brandon Dubinsky-Ryan Callahan
Evgeny Grachev-Chris Drury-Ales Kotalik
Donald Brashear-Artem Anisimov/Brian Boyle-Aaron Voros
Wade Redden-Matt Gilroy
Michael Del Zotto-Dan Girardi
Marc Staal-Michal Rozsival
Alexei Semenov-Bobby Sanguinetti
Interesting to see that Prospal and Gaborik are on the same line, there has been a lot of talk of them playing together. Also interesting to see Lisin getting a look with the big guns, he showed that he can finish (sometimes). No surprise to see Kotalik with Drury, expect them to stay together for the next three years or so.
Anyway, thoughts on all of this?