For almost all of New York’s season-opening road trip — a seven-gamer that will mercifully end tonight in Winnipeg — head coach John Tortorella has made it clear he’s not keen on talking about travel.
Injuries, though? Oh yeah. Torts will talk about injuries. Which is good, because the Rangers are rather amusing when it comes to injuries.
For example, starting goalie Henrik Lundqvist has been plagued by skate issues. While not technically an injury (“the skates are out 2-4 weeks with torn laces”), it has forced Lundqivst to miss time — he left Saturday’s game in Edmonton with 11:34 to play because of pain in his feet. King Henrik returned to practice on Sunday and said he’s resolved the equipment problem, but also mentioned he’s already on his second pair of skates this fall. Seeing how hockey players are notoriously fickle when it comes to gear and goalies are the flakiest of the lot, this is no small matter. “[Lundqvist] normally uses just one pair of skates during a season,” writes Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News. “The tighter boots are not broken in, so they put pressure on the goaltender’s extremities.”
Torts, on Lundqvist: ““I wasn’t concerned because I was told he was suffering and it was like cramps. I knew it wasn’t an injury, just some equipment problems and cramps.”
Next up, Rangers center Mike Rupp. He’s been plagued by a reoccurring knee issue that’s forced him to miss some practices for maintenance days.
Torts, on Rupp: “He’s just got a cranky knee. Sometimes it flares up on him. So we just try to get him off the ice. We’ve just got to maintain it.”
Finally, Wojtek Wolski. Projected to be New York’s first-line LW alongside Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik, Wolski has been hampered by a groin issue — something that hasn’t exactly endeared him to the head coach.
Torts, on Wolski: “He’s gotta get out of the tub. Can’t get him out of the tub.”
And this is why the Rangers are run to follow. They’ve got all these bizarre injuries (cranky knee, skater’s foot, tub groin) with Dr. Tortorella offering up his unique diagnoses.
Kinda wish they could play on the road forever.