Rangers News and Notes: Avery, Valley on deck, Del Zotto and more

Andrew Gross over at Rangers Rants says that although John Tortorella won't say for sure, looks like Sean Avery and Stephen Valiquette will see their first action this weekend (click here for full story):

Sean Avery confirmed he’ll play against the Ducks and Steve Valiquette was the first goalie off the ice from today’s practice so the two of them will make their season debuts tomorrow at Madison Square Garden. Coach John Tortorella, however, would not confirm either, saying he hadn’t talked to trainer Jim Ramsey yet about Avery, nor does he keep an eye on any specific players during a practice. Asked whether Valiquette would get a game in this back-to-back set (Monday against the Maple Leafs), Tortorella said he wasn’t sure.

Michael Del Zotto's hometown newspaper has a look at the impression MDZ is making with the Rangers.

"Scoring my first NHL goal in front of my family (father Steve, mom Lee and brother David) and a couple of close friends and hearing the fans go crazy is a feeling I won’t forget," the Markham Waxers’ minor hockey product said after practice Wednesday. "I’m glad I got it over with sooner than later.

Although we have beat the Heatley thing to death, Carp makes a good point about it in today's Ranger Report: (click link for full story)

I can’t help but wonder how much worse (or maybe some of you think better) the Rangers would have been if they’d gotten Heatley July 1. Because if they’d gotten Heatley they probably wouldn’t have signed Marian Gaborik, and they probably would have had to give up Brandon Dubinsky plus (Michael Rozsival would have been OK, but it likely would have cost more than that, perhaps draft picks). So two-thirds of the Rangers top line wouldn’t be here, but Heatley would.

more after the jump.....

Mike Obernaeur over at the Daily News said Chris Higgins was second thinking his breakaway shot on Jose Theodore: (click link for full story)

Higgins has yet to score a goal as a Ranger, but the chances have been there. One note on his breakaway against Jose Theodore last night: Higgins told me that if he had 20 minutes to think about it, he might have tried something a little different given that Theodore, Higgins' former teammate in Montreal, is sort of a goaltending southpaw - he catches with his right hand. Higgins was dealing with a rolling puck that wouldn't let him deke, and he wound up shooting straight into Theodore's glove. "I should have scored," Higgins said.

Capitals coach Curly Bruce Boudreau wasn't too happy with his team getting beat by the Rangers the other night. (Sporting News)