Thursday, February 24, 2011

Staal Sits While Fedotenko Practices, But Both Uncertain Tomorrow; Gaborik Improving

For those expecting concrete news to come out of today’s New York Rangers practice you will be sadly disappointed as the day had more of a dump it deep in the zone and wait until tomorrow to see if they can chase it down feel to it.  There are updates for Ruslan Fedotenko, Marc Staal and Marian Gaborik to sift through though. 
In the good news department, Ruslan Fedotenko took part in practice again today, this time with some contact and battling.  Signs point to a return in the very near future, with it being possible for tomorrow night against Washington, but they will not know that for sure until tomorrow morning according to Tortorella.  During practice he skated along with Avery, Newbury and Prust.  Getting Fedotenko back would be a huge lift for the club as they are only 5-8-1 since he sprained his shoulder on January 19th and then had his recovery sidetracked by an emergency appendectomy.  If people did not appreciate how important Fedotenko was to the forecheck while he was in there they certainly are aware of it now.
In other positive news, Jesse Spector of the Daily News reports that Marian Gaborik is said to be feeling better, but that coach Tortorella was unsure if he was symptom free.  The team ran some blood work on Gaborik to see if there was any deficiencies in the results, but the coach was not sure what they were looking for and the results had not come back yet to his knowledge.
Now that you have been built up with good news it is time for the potentially bad news of the day.  Marc Staal, who twisted his knee Tuesday against Carolina, sat out practice today, and is said to be having soreness in the knee.  The main complaint though according to Jim Cerny, is about a lack of strength that he feels in the knee.  Staal will test it out tomorrow morning to see if he can go, but Andrew Gross labeled him as “iffy” for tomorrow’s contest against Ovechkin at the Capitals.
No doubt that missing Staal in the lineup would be a huge loss for the defense core, but it might be better to sit him for a game than push him back when he is not ready to go and risk prolonging the issue.
There were a couple of playful stories relayed out by the beat writers that involved Marc Staal today.  The first was how he was getting flak from the guys in the locker room, especially Martin Biron, for not practicing today.  The other was about Staal refuses to call his mother right now and is keeping communication strictly text based while she “cools down.”
Jesse Spector passes along these quotes:
“I have not talked to my mom about it yet,” Marc said. “She’s given me a few text messages, but I haven’t spoken too her on the phone. Not until I let her calm down. That’s probably the worst conversation out of the (family).”