Katie Strang at ESPN NY says Rangers fans can breath easy as Chris Kreider returned to practice today after suffering a jaw injury from the hit he absorbed from Brooks Orpik in the closing minute of Sunday's 6-3 loss to the Penguins.
Strang adds that Kreider suffered a spasm to his TMJ joint after the hit.
In other news from practice, Arron Asham did not participate due to a mild groin strain. His availability for tomorrow night against the Bruins is not known.
Because of the Asham injury, Bickel was bumped up to forward, while Matt Gilroy and Steve Eminger shared 6th defensive spot duties.
Sounds like Eminger in tomorrow night.— Andrew Gross (@AGrossRecord) January 22, 2013
Here are other line changes (via Bergen Record)...
Marian Gaborik-Brad Richards-Rick Nash
Chris Kreider-Derek Stepan-Ryan Callahan
Carl Hagelin-Brian Boyle-Taylor Pyatt
Mike Rupp-Jeff Halpern-Stu Bickel
...got to love the "Stars & Stripes" line back together.
...also didn't take very long for Torts to put the "Big 3" together. Not that we didn't expect that to happen.
Another interesting development from practice was the talk from John Tortorella and players about the team not playing hard enough...
Tortorella (via Bergen Record)...
“It’s everything about playing the game hard and we have not played the game hard enough in all areas. When you talk about hard, people talking about fighting. It’s taking a check to protect the puck, it’s not one and done offensively, holding onto the puck. Our team knows what it is, it simply hasn’t brought it here this year. It’ll mount on you pretty quickly if you don’t get it changed around so hopefully we’ll get it changed around."
Brad Richards (via ESPN NY)...
"We definitely have to have more bite than we did in the first two games."
"The corner battles, the good stick play, the things that were lights-out for us last year, we've got to get back to that."
...everything these guys are saying I blogged about this morning, so no need to rehash it.
I saw that Gabby, Richards and Nash were a line together today at practice....that line should be called "GR8Ness" from now on
Groin injury for Asham? ...maybe by groin they mean that his face was pounded by Glass and he's got another concussion. Bickel at forward....at least he won't get caught flatfooted as D on our blueline. I'm glad we didn't consider Redden as a Ranger but Bickle is on my s#*t list as a defender.
LGR.....The 1st 2 games were horrible, and now they're done with....the season starts tomorrow night against Boston....lets get rolling.......LETS GO RANGERS
Putting Bickel in there...nice depth move, not. Put Pyatt in for Bickel on the fourth line and put MZA in on the third. :p
@Ball of Hate I would argue that with the exception of Prust this years team has more depth. I think Pyatt is going to be very good for us and I think Asham is going to be a good addition. I mean last year we were relying on Christianson and Wolski. These guys are better fits than they ever were.
@GLENsatherVSglennDANZIG Damn, I keep forgetting to use that.