I'll be focused on football (GO G-MEN!) the rest of the afternoon, but here are a few notes to get you through the afternoon:
Over at Jim Cerny's Rink Rap, Jim has some thoughts on last night's opener:
Both the Rangers and Senators allowed far too many odd-man rushes, and as Torts said of his team, "We have to button up some things", but boy was that fun hockey to watch! Both teams were uber-aggressive in pushing their respective offensive games, and goalies Henrik Lundqvist of the Rangers and Pascal LeClaire of Ottawa both had to make a basket-full of great saves. There were probably more odd-man rushes----both for and against---in last night's game than in the first 20 or more Rangers games I covered a year ago when the team played a much-more buttoned down style under Tom Renney. Last night was fun stuff for the paying customer---and those of us in the media---to watch.
Though Dubinsky (photo above) was selected as the game's No. 1 star, in reality that honor belonged to Lundqvist, who was sensational in goal, in particular in the second period when the Senators blitzed him with 20 shots, and he denied all but one. Somehow the Rangers managed to outscore the Sens 3-1 in that middle 20 minutes. No matter how much this team improves offensively, Lundqvist remains the single most important Ranger.
While Lundqvist would not have been the wrong choice, we felt Dubinsky deserved the spotlight today, Lundqvist will always get more than his share.
Rick Carpiniello has been running ragged over at Lohud.com. They've got him covering the Giants, Rangers, and today for some UnGodly reason, the Mets. But he had some thoughts on last night's game as well:
Yeah, the old bugaboo, the power play, took another nice big collar and is 0 for 9 in the two games. But you'd have to be blind to not see that it will eventually at least be decent, perhaps even excellent, which is far better than abysmal (the accurate 2008-09 description).
It will be better because of Gaborik, and it will be better because Wade Redden and Michal Roszival aren't manning the points any more, and it will be better because of rookie defensemen Matt Gilroy and 19-year-old Michael Del Zotto, who scored his first
NHLgoal in front of his family and wore a huge smile
Rangers had a team meeting today and an optional skate. Steve Zipay said on the tweets that Dubinsky, Voros, and Boyle were out skating.