The lockout might be over, but that doesn't mean our bullet-point stories are! First Bantering Points story of the season, guys. Here we go:
- I was talking to Dean (my boss at work and a huge New York Rangers fan) and he brought up a good point: John Tortorella is the perfect coach for the post lockout NHL. Think about it, if you could have any coach after this mess who would it be? A lot of people think Tortorella is a bad/hard coach to play for. I disagree. He demands the most of his players, and holds them accountable if they don't do their job. But if you do your job you'll get all the minutes in the world. With that being said, there is no way these players let themselves go during this hiatus, not while they knew Tortorella is going to be waiting for them when they hit the ice again.
- I saw some comments here about a photo of Rick Nash in which he looks a little "chubby." I saw the picture and didn't agree. He was in full pads kneeling during the informal workout. Remember, he's an absolute truck. He's a thick player, that's one of the things that makes him so strong. He looked in fine shape to me.
- Speaking of the informal workout, Michael Del Zotto was one of the Rangers on the ice. He was permitted to work out even though he isn't under contract only because it was informal. I have no doubt that the Rangers will come to an agreement with him as soon as possible. Even though players can't agree to contracts before the CBA is ratified, the agents and general managers can negotiate; and the two sides have already touched base.
- It appears as though Michael Sauer will be out for the rest of the season. That's really sad. Here's to him coming back as soon as possible.
- Speaking of injuries, Marian Gaborik is fine. He flew back Monday and was reportedly at practice but not skating. If there is a silver lining to this lockout it's Gaborik not missing any games.
- One more thing on injuries, apparently only Sauer is not 100% to star the year. Carl Hagelin, Nash and Ryan McDonagh have all recovered from their nicks they suffered while abroad.
- Brad Richards was the guy who lead the informal practice. This should come as no surprise, he's been the guy in terms of keeping the team together all through the lockout. Great to see his leadership shine through.
- Neither goaltender was at the skate Monday but both are expected to join soon. The Rangers used practice goalies. Has to be pretty cool for those guys. Although I'm sure the buys were scoring a little more than usual.