Derek Stepan and Mats Zuccarello both missed practice this morning to recuperate from the flu which both played through last night.
...seems like Stepan has been playing with the flu all season. Meanwhile, you never would have known Zuccarello was under the weather last night as he was mixing it up with Capital players all night.
...can only hope this bout of the flu doesn't make its way through the entire team. Last thing the Rangers need is for an illness to devastate the team when they're finally starting to play well.
Speaking of players who look like they're playing with the flu, Rick Nash was taken aside by Alain Vigneault during practice for a little heart to heart (via Daily News)...
...as I mentioned last night, if Nash doesn't pick up his level of play soon a healthy scratch could be forthcoming, which I hope AV was warning him of.
One event that could facilitate a healthy scratch for Nash is the return of Ryan Callahan, who practiced in full equipment for the first time since suffering a knee injury on December 10th today.
Meanwhile, Marc Staal (concussion) practiced in full today, but has been ruled out of tomorrow's game in Tampa. His likely target date is next Friday in Pittsburgh. Anton Stralman has been listed as day-to-day with an undisclosed injury he suffered last night.
The recently recalled Conor Allen practiced with the team this morning and will likely be in the lineup tomorrow.
Here's AV on Allen (via Rangers Twitter)...
"We played him three games in preseason and liked what he brought in training camp. He has tremendous amount of upside."
...will be a bit of baptism by fire for Allen, who could find himself playing a ton of minutes if Del Zotto continues to be a turnover machine.
Finally, Vigneault announced that Henrik Lundqvist will start between the pipes in Tampa.
...with the injuries on defense and the Rangers top players still struggling, this would be the perfect time for Lundqvist to regain his Vezina winning form.
I know we aren't a big stat group here but i thought this was very telling on what we know and think about MDZ and are hoping other teams don't know but probably do.
There has been word Boston is interested in Girardi with the injury to Seidenberg.... man there is some talent I would love to have from that team
What he should be telling his linemates is that THEY need to be carrying the puck into the zone, and getting it to Nash at the top of the circle so he can go 1-on-1 with the D. He keeps trying to force it all by himself and drawing double coverage. They need to set him up where he can score, that's the way all scorers succeed.
I don't think there has been a time when Nash has dominated play for the Rangers as he was expected to do. It's true Richards hasn't lived up to expectations as his center and Stepan certainly isn't a force. It would be best to trade him as he is not a fit on the Rangers. The only possible trade I could envision is to SJ, where he fits nicely with Joe Thorton ( they have played together well on a line before). Our take-back would be Burns, who has slumped recently. Even then, SJ would have to clear some cap space, and Nash would have to approve the move. And Burns would be an awesome right winger for us.
Warn Nash of a healthy scratch? Why not start with taking the letter off his jersey...which he never should've gotten in the first place.
And you really are going to only call out Del Zotto for turnovers? How about JMoore too? Allen might get top 3 minutes in his first NHL game at this rate....
Ever consider perhaps Nash is trying to do too much? Not often a line mate carries puck in to feed Nash in the slot, is it. He carries it himself and ends up double teamed Not much going well on a poorly constructed team so it must al be Nash's fault. I know he hasn't carried the team on his own but let's be realistic. I'm betting he makes Team Canada and puts up points with higher skilled line mates.
Marchand and a dman prospect (they have some good ones) for Girardi and something else. I would like that. Hate Marchand, but feel like he could be an Avery type with more talent?
Took long enough. Does he get a shot at the Olympic team?
Thornton is pushing will be a UFA this offseason and will turn 35. While it would be great to move him, I doubt SJS wants to eat 7.8 mil for the foreseeable future just to pair him with Thorton for shat may only be a few months.
I'd love it, just doubtful. We'd probably have to take a bad contract in return.
Do not like Burns cap hit (3 more year at 5.76 MIL) He hasn't done enough in the NHL. More likely scenario is the Rangers taking a run at Thorton in the off season to play with Nash. I don't see Thorton getting moved this year SJ is a good squad. Slats is not ready to give up on his big acquisition. And Burns has NMC as well. Patrick Marleau is a UFA after this season as well, life long Shark, they may actually prefer to keep him over Thorton if they have to chose. Making Thorton a real possibility, Next Year. For now , #61 is going to have to figure it out with what he's got .
@GregIversonmore like 2 months, he is on pace for just under 50 points, which is not bad, but is only on pace for like 15 Goals this season, he scored 18 last year in a shortened season.
And this guy had the nerve to sit out of training camp... Some said give him a 5.5 million deal for 4 to 5 yrs. Are insane... Guy has play like shit.
And is extremely soft... Zuc gets on any line and he makes them better.. from his skill set
.Stepan on the other hand plays with the top line and disappears. ... most night. He can't even won faceoffs
I know they're just reporters who are speculating, but most of them don't even have Nash on Canada's radar. Wouldn't be surprised if he gets a 2 week vacation in february
Marchand is interesting but an enigma.
He's losing his own teams support which could make him available but..... In the same breath I think the Bs value what he brings to that team and he was good in the Cup run and in the postseason overall. Interesting.
@johnnyb3910 You, me and everyone who isn't head-over-heels in love with Nash...
@mando24179I agree that the concussion may be an issue, but Nash was pretty awesome on some poorly constructed Columbus teams.
I would love to see him sit out if he really still does have symptoms. Crosby came back strong afterward. Beside It could give another guy like miller or kristo a chance to maybe get some big NHL minutes I think this season is a wash anyway.
The Dr might have told him. Another and that's the end if his career.... He is playing real timid. U see flashes of his skills but he holds back.... on the physical aspect s...
I am not gonna crucify a guy. With his concussion history....something is really wrong...and if he has to sit out the yr as Crosby did to get.. to get then so be it...