Rangers head coach John Tortorella, seeking to restore an edge to his team's play, put the players through an intense, hard-nosed practice Wednesday afternoon. However, one player was missing from the practice.
Brandon Dubinsky, who was injured while fighting New Jersey's Ryan Carter Tuesday night, did not take part in practice. Tortorella explained that Dubinsky, who did not return to Tuesday night's game after his fight just 3:03 into the contest, was "hit pretty hard in the nose" and was having some issues on Wednesday. The coach did report, though, that Dubinsky would travel with the team on its current two-game road swing to Ottawa and Chicago.
"He's having some problems with his sinuses and just isn't on top of it, so he took today off," explained Tortorella.
As for his team's recent play---which included a 4-1 loss to the Devils Tuesday---Tortorella is concerned that the players have strayed from important details in their collective game, and that the club ha snot played with the requisite edge of late, even despite earning points and winning games.
And the players were in complete agreement with their coach.
"It wasn't even just last night, it's been the last couple of weeks even though we've been winning," said Brandon Prust. "We've relied on (Henrik Lundqvist) a lot, and we have found ways to win which is a good sign, but we definitely have not been as good as we need to be. We have what it takes in here, but we definitely have to bring it up a notch."
Brad Richards added, "Our team play has been sporadic recently, and that covers lots of things. But it's important to remember that it's completely in our control. So now we have to do something about it."
The Rangers will skate against the Ottawa Senators Thursday night and the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday before returning home to host the Islanders Sunday at The Garden.
Share your thoughts below on Dubinsky's injury and the team's play of late.