|Rangers captain Chris Drury will be out for four weeks with a broken finger, an injury he suffered during Monday's first of two intra-squad scrimmages. |
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By Jim Cerny, newyorkrangers.com
The Rangers were dealt a setback at training camp on Monday when team captain Chris Drury broke his left index finger while blocking a shot in the morning scrimmage. Drury is expected to miss four weeks of action.
“It’s a tough break for him,” said Rangers head coach John Tortorella. “He’s a big part of our club as far as what he brings on and off the ice. I know he was anxious to get back at it this year, but you never know with a guy like him how quickly he can come back.”
The durable Drury has missed only six regular-season games in his first three years with the Rangers. Five of those came last November after he suffered a concussion. Whether or not Drury will miss any games to start this season is too early to tell.
“It’s a tough break for him because he was skating well and he was in great shape, and now he will be missing practice which is not a good situation for him or the team,” said alternate captain Vinny Prospal.
Drury was among a scrum of players in front of the net during the scrimmage when a shot was fired towards the goal and struck his gloved hand on the way. Knowing right away that something felt wrong, Drury immediately skated to the bench and then quickly headed to the locker room where team trainers diagnosed the injury.
“He’s our captain, a big part of our team, so it’s bad news,” said right wing Marian Gaborik
. “He works hard every game, does his job on both ends of the ice. We are going to miss him, but we have to manage to do the best we can without him.”Yogan to undergo shoulder surgery
The other bad news on the medical front on Monday was the announcement that 18-year-old Andrew Yogan
, the Rangers’ fourth round selection in the 2010 draft, will undergo surgery on his left shoulder later this week. The procedure is to repair a torn labrum, an injury that Yogan had suffered last year and not during training camp.
“It’s frustrating, but I am not too worried about it,” said Yogan, who scored 25 goals and notched 55 points in 63 games with Erie of the OHL last season. “I’m still really young so that’s why I am doing it now. It’s a precaution. If I fight again I don’t want to pull it out.”
Yogan was informed that he should be able to rejoin Erie by mid-season, which is good news. The bad news for the youngster is that his first NHL training camp is being cut short.
“I felt good out there, and learned that you have to be in really great shape to keep up with these guys,” said Yogan. “I wanted to get some experience here, and I think I got that.”Blue Team wins day’s first scrimmage
In the morning scrimmage, Prospal and Tomas Kundratek scored early in the first period to lead the Blue Team to a 2-0 victory over the Red Team. Goaltenders Jordan Parise and Chad Johnson
combined for the shutout, blanking a team which featured Gaborik, Alexander Frolov, Erik Christensen, Evgeny Grachev, and Derek Stepan
, among others.
|Center Derek Stepan, who left college to turn pro over the summer, drew more positive reviews from Rangers veterans on Monday. Marian Gaborik said he was impressed with the confidence Stepan has exhibited in training camp's first two scrimmages. |
“These scrimmages are good for us to get the timing back, but obviously this is for the coaches because they want to see a lot of players and how they perform,” said Prospal, who was left all alone in front on the game’s first shift to score his goal.
Kundratek, the Rangers’ third round pick in the 2008 draft, beat a screened Martin Biron
with a shot from the right point minutes after Prospal’s goal to put the Blue squad up 2-0. The 20-year-old defenseman played an extremely strong two-way game, as did fellow defense prospect Pavel Valentenko
from the Red Team.
Gaborik and Frolov once again played on the same line. During Sunday’s scrimmage the pair was centered by Stepan. On Monday, Christensen skated in that spot.
For Stepan, being out on the ice with world-class players like Gaborik and Frolov has been an eye-opening experience.
“Initially it was something like ‘Wow! This is pretty cool, but then it set in that I really have to turn up my game,” said Stepan, 20. “Playing with high-level players your game gets tweaked a little bit. But at first it was like this is cool, something special. Then it was like I really had to get to the grind.”
Gaborik noted that most players are usually a bit timid to play their usual game or style when attending their first NHL training camp. He has seen the exact opposite from Stepan.
“He wasn’t (scared),” Gaborik said of Stepan. “He tried to make plays, was good defensively, made some really nice plays. He’s not scared to play and that’s very good.”
Lundqvist gets win in day’s second scrimmage
In the afternoon scrimmage, Henrik Lundqvist
came within three minutes of posting his own shutout as the White Team defeated the Green Team 4-1. Artem Anisimov
crashed the net to slip a shot past Lundqvist mere seconds after forward prospect Roman Horak gave the White squad a 2-0 advantage by snapping a left-wing shot behind Cam Talbot
scored twice for the White Team, opening the scoring in the first period by chipping in a rebound and closing it out with an empty-net goal. Avery is tied with Frolov for the scrimmage lead in goals with three so far in training camp.
Defense prospect Sam Klassen
also scored for the White Team, firing a left-wing slap shot through a Dale Weise screen in front shortly after Anisimov’s goal to give the White squad a 3-1 advantage.
“I am really happy with the camp,” said Tortorella. “I think a lot of people have contributed. So I am really pleased with the first couple days with pucks. I think the camp is going along very well and I think the kids have really stepped up.”