Spirited Practice In 'Peg, Asham Skates
The Rangers left Buffalo---and their disappointing 3-1 defeat the night before---behind Wednesday morning, jetting off to Winnipeg where they will face the Jets on Thursday night. Upon arrival in Winnipeg the team headed straight to the Jets practice facility for a team meeting and video session, and then an extremely spirited uptempo on-ice pratice.
Whooping and hollering from Michael Del Zotto echoed throughout the empty rink, as assistant coach Jim Schoenfeld banged his stick hard against the glass each time a Ranger scored during drills. Everything was done at a very fast pace and with a sense of purpose, a clear response to the team's subpar effort in Buffalo the night before.
"With the schedule we have it has to be a one-day thing, learn from (last night) this morning and guys have to be moving past it this afternoon," explained Derek Stepan, who scored the Rangers' lone goal on Tuesday night. "We can't sit here and dwell on it and overanalyze it, we've got another big game tomorrow and it's a quick turnaround."
Stepan was not surprised at what he saw during practice on Wednesday.
"Today was a good spirited practice, it's just how the personality of this team is," Stepan said. "We're not thrilled with how we performed the night before, but we have to have a short memory, and we came out with a good day today."
Injured forward Arron Asham joined his teammates on the ice Wednesday for the first time in weeks. Asham has been battling a sore back, and seemed to be skating without pain. He rode the stationary bike during the morning skate in Buffalo, and has now missed ten straight games.
After practice on Wednesday Asham said his goal was to be able to play next week sometime, though he was very curious to see how his back reacts tomorrow morning. It was Asham's first time on the ice since he tried to give it a go at the morning skate in Montreal on February 23rd.
"It felt really good to get back out there with the guys, it's been a couple of weeks," explained Asham. "It's going to be a work in progress. I'm just hoping it continues to feel better and better. Obviously it's been frustrating. I want to be out there playing and helping this team move forward. It's so tough watching from the stands."
Share your thoughts below as the Rangers try and bounce back from Tuesday's defeat, and Arron Asham tries to work his way back from his back injury.