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metswon69
04-01-2013, 06:24 AM
http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/rangers/staal_may_not_return_before_end_2TgW3uK92zxwvY9wGd dV8I


MONTREAL — When coach John Tortorella talked Saturday morning about time running out, he might have been talking about the possibility of injured Rangers defenseman Marc Staal rejoining the lineup before this season ends.

It’s not that Staal, who was struck with a puck above the right eye on March 5 against Philadelphia, has suffered a setback.

It’s that Staal, who is being monitored continually and has undergone regular exams, has not yet been cleared to skate.

That makes four weeks this coming Tuesday since Staal was struck by the Jakub Voracek deflection of Kimmo Timonen’s drive at the Garden, which limits the amount of time for the defenseman to gain proper conditioning in order to play.

The Rangers have 14 games remaining in the season that ends on April 27, four weeks from yesterday.

* Following the Rangers’ 3-0 defeat in Montreal Saturday night, Sean Avery used his Twitter account to post this tweet regarding his arch enemy, coach John Tortorella: “Fire this CLOWN, his players hate him and won’t play for his BS.”

Avery was waived twice by the Blueshirts last season, finishing on the AHL Whale’s inactive list before retiring at the end of the year.

The Rangers declined comment.

* The player in the Rangers’ locker room following the morning skate wanted to make certain that everyone knew who he was — and who he wasn’t.

“I’m not Gretzky,” Mats Zuccarello, No. 36 and not No. 99 by any stretch of the imagination, said hours before making his season debut last night. “I’m going to try to do my job and try to create a spark, but I’m not going to guarantee the Stanley Cup because I’m here. I’m not going to be the savior. I’m going to try to do my best to help the team.”

The 25-year-old Zuccarello was a bit player for the Rangers for bits of the last two seasons (eight goals, 18 assists in 52 games) before playing this year with Magnitogorsk of the KHL. He skated primarily on a line with Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik while getting time on the point on the second power play unit.

“We want him to be instinctive. We’re not going to give him much direction [regarding the power play],” Tortorella said. “Zucc sees the ice well. He’s a creative player. We’ll see how it goes.”

Zuccarello said he did not envision the transition from the larger KHL ice to the smaller NHL rink would be an especially difficult one.

“It’s more of s puck possession game there as opposed to more dump-and-chase here, but I’ve played this system for two years,” he said. “I’m sure it will come quickly.”

* Arron Asham, who played in three games after missing 15 with lower back issues, was a healthy scratch to accommodate Zuccarello’s return. Darroll Powe (third straight) and Matt Gilroy (ninth straight) were the other scratches.

SLY WILLIAMS
04-01-2013, 10:26 AM
We could really use him. I wonder how the eye looks now.

NYY09
04-01-2013, 11:41 AM
Doesnt really matter at this point, the team is toast this year.

Out of curiosity though, does anyone think that even if they get in the playoffs that will get past the first round?

fingerbang
04-01-2013, 11:54 AM
They can beat anyone not named the Penguins. As bad as they've played this year they still match up well with Boston.

NYY09
04-01-2013, 12:20 PM
They can beat anyone not named the Penguins. As bad as they've played this year they still match up well with Boston.

I'm sorry, but I don't see that. The team is softer than Charmin