The New York Rangers now have two days of training camp under their belts and are only four days away from the start of the preseason. In day two, the team once again split into four separate groups and continued with their skating and conditioning drills. This included cross-ice sprints, full rink reps and what the beats referred to as "Herbies", or what we more commonly know them as, suicides.
The most important news of the day was that goltender Henrik Lundqvist and forward Marian Gaborik, who both sat out yesterday in day one, skated today in day two. Lundqvist took the ice earlier this morning at 8:00 a.m. with the rest of the goaltenders attending camp. No other reports regarding Hank have been made since then so my assumption would be that everything went well with no evident problems.
Gaborik skated in the very last group today at training camp. He took yesterday off as he was out with a sore back, which he told Andrew Gross he injured lifting weights earlier in the week. He mentioned it was so painful that he struggled to even get out of bed on Wednesday, but obviously he is feeling much better now. Apparently he was the best skater in his group, too, and is expected to play in tomorrow's inter-squad scrimmage.
More after the jump.....Group number two, which consisted of Vinny Prospal, Chris Drury, Ryan Callahan, Derek Boogaard, Wade Redden and Alexei Semenov, was praised by head coach John Tortorella for their hard work according to Jesse Spector (new Ranger beat for the Daily News). I am wondering if Prospal, Callahan and Drury carried the pack or if Redden, Boogaard and Semenov really did impress the coach with their effort.
Defensemen Marc Staal and Dan Girardi both commented on being a Ranger and said that they appreciate growing with the same group of young core players year after year. Girardi even went as far as to say that he wished to be a Blueshirt "for life" and Staal said that growing with the same players makes you respect your teammates more, giving you more of an urge to win. This is exactly what you want to hear from your young guns heading into a new season.
After a lack luster day one, Mats Zuccarello-Aasen was much better in day two. Also impressive was prospect Derek Stepan, who will center Marian Gaborik and Alex Frolov in tomorrow's scrimmage. That is a tremendous opportunity for Derek to show off his skills and take another step in grabbing a roster spot.
Speaking of roster spots, Evgeny Grachev also is very anxious to earn a shot at making the team. He made this comment to Andrew Gross after completing his skating drills today: "I know one thing. If I outplay the other guys here, I'll keep my spot."
Like I mentioned above, tomorrow the team will take part in a scrimmage where, for the first time, their skills will be put to the test for the coaching staff to observe. For some players, these scrimmages will make or break them so there should be a high level of intensity on the ice tomorrow.