The New York Rangers landed in Vancouver late this afternoon, and held an afternoon practice before tomorrow's game. Wojtek Wolski and Michael Sauer were the first two players to hit the ice, and both showed signed of improvement.
Although, it is unlikely that both of them will suit up tomorrow against the Canucks. According to Andrew Gross, Sauer didn't have much power on his shot during drills, but has been working his way back. He stated "I'm taking it in steps...today was another step". It's definitely good news to see Sauer skating again, but the timetable for his return is still unknown.
Tortorella also commented on the recently demoted Mats Zuccarello. He stated that Zuccarello never did anything wrong, he just wasn't getting enough ice time up on the big club. Torts stated that he would get better ice time, and develop a bit quicker down in Connecticut. Here's a quote for the coach: "I had problems getting him on the ice...made decision that I wanted to use Artie more on the power play."
Follow after the jump for more.Along with that, Tortorella also stated that he wanted more "jam" on this current road trip, and he believes Kris Newbury can provide it. With his recent spark in the AHL, including a hat trick, Torts is hoping he can provide the same "spark" for the Rangers.
Here's what the coach had to say about Newbury: "I like the way the handles himself. He's a little bit old time. He deserves the opportunity." Newbury also stated that he went into games this season thinking he would be the best player, and it surely worked in his favor.
Also, with the recent call-up of Brendan Bell, Torts stated that he wasn't sure if Bell will play or not. He said that they currently have eight defensemen on the trip, so it is still undecided if he will play.
I will close out this post with today's practice lines, which most likely resemble tomorrow night's starters.
Derek Stepan | Brad Richards | Marian Gaborik
Brandon Dubisnky | Artem Anisimov | Ryan Callahan
Ruslan Fedotenko | Brian Boyle | Brandon Prust
Mike Rupp | Kris Newbury | Wojtek Wolski