Some news trickling out of Europe today where John Tortorella was much happier with his team's practicing, according to reports. Something he couldn't have been happy about, however, was Brian Boyle needing to be sent home with the flu.
Hopefully the Rangers caught it early enough so that Bole won't be infecting anyone else on the trip. It's not that the Rangers don't have the bodies in case the illness does spread, they do, but it's a situation the team obviously wants to avoid.
In better news, Sean Avery, who gashed his big toe blocking a shot against the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday, skated today in practice for the Rangers. Like it or not, Avery is fighting for a spot as well this year, so it's good news that he can get back onto the ice and play.
One of the players he's fighting with is Mats Zuccarello, who's really been impressive for the Rangers in camp thus far. Join me after the jump for more.
In a quick update on NHL.com today by Dan Rosen (he's traveling with the Rangers by the way, so if you're not following him on twitter or keeping up to date with his updates you should be) John Tortorella talked about the way Zuccarello is improving.
"Last year was a great year for him to understand how to play in the small buildings and understand the National Hockey League and North American hockey," the coach said. "He had some things to work on. We talked about it before he left in the summer, and you can tell he is concentrating on what he needs to do. He's had a really good camp, so hopefully he'll continue on along the way and he'll do just fine."
Tortorella said he was particularly pleased with how Zuccarello played Monday night in Philadelphia.
"He was one of our better players," he said. "He made a couple of good plays. He is probably one of our better players in-close as far as making plays. He's had a really good camp."
We have been taking about Zuccarello for awhile now, and about how his play is one of the main reasons why Erik Christensen and Avery can't get too comfortable with their roster spots. I have liked what I have seen from Zuccarello this camp, and I see no reason why he can't be an effective player this year.
Obviously a lot of that will have to do with how he plays in Europe. But if he play so far in camp is any indication, he seems ready to preform.