Brassard Practices, Mason Doesn’t

UPDATE (2): Brassard says he’s 100% for tomorrow’s game.

UPDATE: Brassard didn’t finish practice, and Mason has been ruled out of Game 1.

Derick Brassard participated in practice with the Rangers this morning, a day after leaving practice with an apparent lower-back injury. Vigneault said yesterday that he expects Brassard to play in Game 1, and this certainly seems a positive sign towards that end.

Steve Mason missed Flyers practice this morning. Head coach Craig Berube was confident that Mason would start Game 1 as recently as Sunday, but yesterday GM Paul Holmgren expressed some uncertainty.

Andrew Gross reports that Dan Carcillo skated on the fourth line with Dominic Moore and Brian Boyle in line rushes. I’m hoping that Gross was deceived by Carcillo rotating in, and that it will in fact be Derek Dorsett who gets the call on Thursday.

SBNation Likes Rangers Playoff Chances

The folks over at SBNation gave their 2014 playoff predictions, and the group is decidedly bullish on the Rangers.

Of the eight of them:
- One picked the Rangers to go out in the first round
- Seven picked the Rangers to make it at least to the Conference Finals
- Three picked the Rangers to make the Stanley Cup Finals
- One (Eric Tolsky) picked the Rangers to win the Cup

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Brassard Leaves Practice With Apparent Back Injury

Derick Brassard left practice clutching his lower this morning. Mass panic ensued.

Before Brassard went down, the practice lines were what you would expect based on Saturday’s lines:

Nash – Stepan – St. Louis
Pouliot – Brassard – Zuccarello
Hagelin – Richards – Fast
Boyle – Moore – Dorsett

McDonagh – Girardi
Staal – Stralman
Moore – Klein

J.T. Miller took Brassard’s spot on the second power-play unit in his absence.

Rangers Sign Mat Bodie

The Rangers have agreed to terms with Mat Bodie, his agent told Katie Strang.

Bodie’s contract will start in the 2014-15 season. Because Bodie will be 24 years old on September 15th, his entry-level deal will only be for one season. Bodie will be eligible to be a UFA after the 2016-17 season.

Bodie is listed as 6’0″ and 165 lbs. I can’t verify that’s his current weight, but if it is, that’s obviously something he can work on. At that height and weight, he should be able to put on weight without compromising his skating.

Another undersized college UFA defenseman, Torey Krug has carved out a niche in the NHL. Bodie put up a higher points per game rate than Krug did over his college career. Krug’s college career spanned ages 18-21, while Bodie’s spanned 20-24, however.

Strang: Rangers Could Be Close on College UFA Bodie

Katie Strang reports she hears the Rangers are closing in on signing Mathew Bodie, a college free agent defenseman.

Bodie was named to the East’s First All-American Team this season.

Bodie, who turned 24 last month, had 8 goals and 31 assists in 40 games for National Champions Union College this season. Bodie is a left-handed defenseman who is listed at 6’0″ and 165 lbs.

J.T. Miller Recalled From Hartford

The Rangers have re-called J.T. Miller from Hartford, the team announced.

I guess that means he’s earned the right to be with the big club.

Miller likely won’t dress, to start the series at least. But his presence on the roster ensures the Rangers won’t be caught unprepared if a top-nine forward goes down.

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