As the New York Rangers prepare for tomorrow's Game 3 match-up against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center, they received good news this morning as winger Brandon Dubinsky skated for the very first time since injuring his right foot in Game 7 of the quarterfinals against the Ottawa Senators last month. Previously, Dubinsky was seen walking around the training facility in a protective boot in addition to being stabilized by crutches. He's now apparently past the point of needing either.
Still, though, Brandon's return seems a ways away considering he not only had a non-contact jersey on, but only stayed out on the ice for a short period of time before leaving when head coach John Tortorella came out to begin the formal practice, as per the team.
Compared to where he once was, however, he's made significant progress.
The more likely candidate to get into the lineup sooner would be Mats Zuccarello, who has been skating along with the pack of AHL call-ups and scratches. It is unknown whether he is ready to go and just being scratched or if he is not yet in game shape, but regardless, he's there if needed.
Also, on defense, it's time we see Steve Eminger inserted into the lineup. Eminger has been practicing with the regular team for a while now, though his spot is still occupied by Stu Bickel. The same Stu Bickel who coach Tortorella appears to have little if any trust in.
The swap needs to be made now.