Here are some of the notes and quotes from this morning’s skate:
– Christopher Higgins worked yesterday with the fourth line but will return tonight to the wing with Brandon Dubinsky and Ryan Callahan as Torts wants to see how the two respond to their benchings when they face the Coyotes at MSG.
-Brandon Dubinsky told reporters yesterday he was “upset” about being benched but sounded positive when talking about it at this morining’s skate. “I was upset, you want to be out there and make a difference, contribute, so I was disappointed,” he said. When he was asked if Torts explained the discipline, Dubinsky said, “Nope…I think it was pretty obvious what happened. Sometimes you make mistakes and you’ve got to pay the consequences…I certainly know what I did and what happened to me and you certainly can’t make those mistakes. It was a big turning point in the game and I’ve got to take care of the puck and be strong on it”. He added, “the same play happened in the first but it wasn’t on the power play; I made the same move and made a pretty good play out of it. What would I do if I could make a change? Obviously, dump the puck in. I’ve been playing hockey for 20 years and been benched plenty of times for stupid plays. I feel like I’m a pro, and I’m not gonna dwell on it or pout about it, just come back and not make those mistakes.”
I think Dubinsky has the right attitude going forward. He is an important part of this team and organization and needs to be accountable like anyone else.
-Torts had some comments about his team’s play and the Higgins/Dubinsky benchings vs. the Devils. “I thought Higgy gave us some good shifts, but he’s not doing enough right now. I’m not trying to turn this into a bigger story than it should be, but the player needs to do more. Will he get a chance to show more offensively. I think he will. It’s not trying to embarrass him at all. One of the most frustrating things…I think we beat ourselves. Dubi turns the puck over, then Vinny Prospal takes a bad, selfish penalty, and along with some missed coverages, that cost us the game…I thought it was a huge mistake by Dubi, we spent two days talking about those things. The stubborness in that type of play changed the momentum of the game. I’m anxious to get an answer (from them). I hope they answer the right way. I’m not looking to be throwing people down the end of the bench, but if that is where we have to get things straightened out, that will happen. This is part of becoming a disciplined hockey club and I don’t think we’re anywhere near where we should be.”
Glad to see Torts getting on the guys and wanting answers. There hasn’t been enough of that here over the last few years. I don’t think we would have ever seen this under Tom Renney. Let’s hope the players bounce back and use it as motivation.
-Henrik Lundqvist returned to the ice but had his leg taped and is still stiff from his leg hitting the post the other night. He is still expected to get the start tonight at MSG.
– Donald Brashear, who missed the last two games due to soreness, is expected to make his return to the lineup tonight. Aaron Voros will be the odd man out as Brashear will be on the fourth line with Artem Anisimov and Brian Boyle.
-Tonight will be the first time the Rangers will face former Blueshirts Petr Prucha and Lauri Korpikoski. Torts told reporters that the team traded Korpikoski for Enver Lisin because they “didn’t think we could put him into a lot of offensive situations like Lisin” and said of Prucha:”He’s an easy guy to like because of the way he plays….”
Prucha was a fan favorite because of the effort he gave on every shift. I expect the Garden crowd to give both of them a warm welcome during their return.