A Day Off The Ice For All But One

Staying true to his comments from the first day of training camp, Rangers head coach John Tortorella chose not to overdo the physical stress of camp by keeping the players off the ice on Wednesday, deciding instead to focus on studying video and working in the classroom.

Tortorella had said on Sunday that he needed to be "really careful" with how hard he pushed the players physically with such a shortened training camp preceding a condensed 48-game reagular season. The coach even did away with the fitness testing skates he had opened previous camps with, though Tortorella has had the players taking part in very high-tempo practices each day featuring intense battle drills.

"Don't be mistaken, it's been pretty tiring, and we're working hard," noted goaltender Henrik Lundqvist.

Added team captain Ryan Callahan, "Torts does a great job of checking in with the leaders to find out when the team needs rest during the season, and he is doing a really good job managing our ice time here in camp."

And on Wednesday tis meant that Tortorella saw a greater benefit in teaching his team concept through meetings and video work, as opposed to on-ice work.

The club returns to the ice Thursday for a pair of sessions before a regular practice Friday morning and a flight up to Boston leading into the 2013 season opener Saturday night against the Bruins.

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One player who did skate Wednesday was veteran center Brad Richards, who had missed the first three days of camp due to the flu. Richards took to the ice solo at the MSG Training Center after team meetings, and said that he didn't believe missing some time was going to hinder him once the season gets underway this weekend.

"Obviously I would have liked to have been here the last three days, but I'm just looking forward to getting back on the nice with them," said Richards. "Last week we were on the ice five straight days together, so I am more worried about getting back out there than having missed anything. It's just bad timing after putting in a good week last week and getting a good base, but I just missed being out there, working on game situations and working with my linemates."

And speaking of linemates, Richards spoke about the possibility of opening the season centering Rick Nash and Carl Hagelin, something that excites him---and not only because of the high-scoring All Star Nash.

"I'm excited to play with (Hagelin)," stated Richards. "I think he's already better just from what I've seen in the fall and what we did last week. Obviously he has the speed, but he's starting to calm down with the puck and make plays. I think that's a big step for him, and with that speed, he's just so dangerous."

Jim Cerny-January 16, 2013

What do you think about getting Brad Richards back on the ice? And what do you make of Torts' handling of training camp? Share your thoughts below.