It's not just Ryan Callahan and Arron Asham, a pair of veteran forwards who did not play in the season opener Thursday in Phoenix, who are antsy to get tonight's game against the Los Angeles Kings underway. There's an entire roster of Rangers players who are itching to lace 'em up tonight and do battle with a tough Kings squad. Three days off in LA sounds great---and to some extent there are benefits to that---but these Rangers clearly want to get back to work.
"There's no doubt everyone in here is ready to play tonight, it's been too long (since the game against the Coyotes)," Derek Dorsett told BlueshirtsUnited.com after Monday's morning skate. "It's kind of a weird start to play one game then have three days off, so we're well-rested and the boys are excited to get back at it."
Head coach Alain Vigneault said following Sunday's practice that it was time to get back into "hockey mode" and that is exactly what will take place for the Rangers beginning this evening in LA. Tonight's game marks the start of a four-games-in-six-nights stretch which sees the Blueshirts also visit San Jose, Anaheim, and St. Louis.
"We have to play tonight, and focus on tonight, because nothing really good ever comes from looking ahead," stated center Brian Boyle. "This is a good team we are playing in their building, and they're going to be flying and trying to feed off the crowd. We're going to have our work cut out for us."
It will be another team playing its home opener---just as it was Thursday in Phoenix against the Coyotes---so the Rangers know they will be facing not only a good team, but one that will have extra energy playing in front of its home crowd for the first time this season.
To a man the Rangers contend that there is a fairly simple gameplan for the visiting team in such a situation.
"We have to do what we always do, play our game," explained Boyle. "Drown out the crowd, drown out all the extra-curriculars. Nothing from the outside should have an effect on what we do. And we need to meet and beat their intensity."
Henrik Lundqvist and Jonathan Quick will be the starting goaltenders tonight, a match-up of two of the elite netminders today in the NHL. The puck drops at 10:30 New York time.