Rangers open newly-renovated Garden

Brandon Prust.

After 11 games in 28 days spanning 15,336 miles and five countries, the Rangers stepped into the transformed Madison Square Garden Wednesday morning.
 
They were in awe of what they saw.
 
“Obviously everything is different. The whole area is a lot better, more modern,” Brad Richards said of the renovated Garden. As part of the reconstruction, a state-of-the-art locker room was built for the Rangers, who will walk past the Delta360 Club to the ice. New seating was installed in lower bowl.
 
The changes were a hit with the players. The only complaint came from Michael Del Zotto, who joked that the notoriously bad MSG ice “is still awful; they didn’t fix it.”
 
Assessments of the refurbished Garden aside, yesterday was a work day for the Rangers, who practiced for an hour in preparation for tonight’s home opener against Original Six-brethren Toronto. The Leafs have authored a 5-2-1 start to the season spearheaded by Phil Kessel. Kessel leads the league in goals (9) and points (15).
 
“It’s a great test for us. Once the puck drops, all this stuff goes away. We’re focusing on two points and a good Toronto team over there,” Brandon Prust said. “They’re playing well right now and it’s going to be a good test for us.
 
“Young and fast and they work hard. They just go, go, go.”
 
Assuredly, the coaching staff will emphasize limiting Toronto’s puck-possession time and eliminating second-chance shots. Even though Tortorella preaches team defense, much of the onus will be on the defense corps, which may receive a major boost as Michael Sauer indicated that he could play. He added Sauer would allow Tortorella to be able to skate almost a full complement of his envisioned back end, with the notable exception of Marc Staal.
 
While solid defensively, the Rangers are struggling offensively, despite Marian Gaborik and Brad Richards leading the team with four goals and five points, respectively. The Rangers’ two goals per game average is tied with Nashville, New Jersey, the Islanders and Minnesota as second worst in the league, while the power play is the third worst in the NHL.  
 
Midway through the third period of the Rangers’ 2-1 win in Winnipeg Monday night, Ryan Callahan’s cross ice pass for Ruslan Fedotenko ricocheted off Ondrej Pavelec’s stick and Zach Bogosian’s skate into the goal. It turned out to be the game-winning goal, the Rangers’ second power play goal of the game and third overall in 28 opportunities with the man advantage.   
 
It was not Gretzky-to-Kurri, nor will it ever be compared to the great skill goals in the history of the game. Still, the Rangers aren’t about to apologize for it.
 
“We’ve been working on getting pucks to the net, taking some bad angle shots and not always worrying about making that perfect tic-tac-toe play with an empty net,” Del Zotto said. “I think that’s what we have to focus on, getting some of those greasy goals. The power play, we got two goals the last game, which is a good start and hopefully we can get that going and keep it consistent. I think we’re waiting for that one greasy goal.”
 
“It’s a crappy goal; it’s a lucky goal he scores, the winning goal,” Tortorella said of Callahan’s marker. “But that’s what happens when you start doing those small things, working on the other parts of your game. You get some good luck.”

Follow Denis Gorman on Twitter @DenisGorman for coverage of all three local NHL teams.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 22,…

The Percy Sutton Harlem 5K and NYC Family Health Walk-a-thon and Pakistan Day Parade and Fair will cause traffic delays and street closures in New York City this weekend. Plan…

International

U.N. nuclear inquiry on Iran seen making slow…

The U.N. nuclear watchdog appears to have made only limited progress so far in getting Iran to answer questions about its suspected atomic bomb research, diplomatic sources said on Friday,…

National

Violence-weary Missouri town sees second night of calm

By Nick Carey and Carey GillamFERGUSON Mo. (Reuters) - The violence-weary town of Ferguson, Missouri, saw a second straight evening of relative calm on Thursday…

National

Journalist James Foley's parents, after call with pope,…

The parents of James Foley, the American journalist killed by Islamic State militants in Iraq, on Friday called for prayer and support to free the remaining captives held by Islamic…

Television

Recap: 'The Knick,' Season 1, Episode 3, 'The…

The third episode of Steven Soderbergh's "The Knick" finds Dr. Thackery (Clive Owen) meeting an old flame and other characters embracing self-destruction.

Music

Webcast: Watch Polyphonic Spree live on Sunday Aug.…

Polyphonic Spree singer Tim DeLaughter sits with Metro Music Editor Pat Healy for a chat and then the big band performs live. It begins on Sunday at 9:30 pm

Movies

Matthew Weiner on directing 'Are You Here' and…

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner discusses his movie "Are You Here," his history writing comedy and the tiny movie he directed in 1996 you can't see.

Movies

Michael Chiklis on his football past and 'When…

Michael Chiklis remembers playing football in high school and how that prepped him to play a coach in "When the Game Stands Tall."

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Jets storylines to watch

Metro looks at three Jets storylines to watch as they play the Giants Friday.

NFL

Giants expected to work Corey Washington into first-team…

The day of reckoning for the Giants' fringe players will fall upon them Friday night against the Jets.

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Tech

Siren: A new dating app that puts women…

Online dating can be brutal, especially for single women. Noting that many women hate wading through inappropriate messages and photos, two tech entrepreneurs decided to…