I never claimed to be all that bright, and today serves as the latest example.
It turns out the infamous pairing of Jaromir Jagr and Brendan Shanahan that “we all debated ad nauseum yesterday”:http://rangers.lohudblogs.com/2006/10/04/68/ is not going to happen after all — or at least not for tonight’s season opener against the Capitals.
Because there were the Rangers on the ice for their morning skate at the MSG Training Center today, and there was Jagr back with his usual line of Michael Nylander and Martin Straka. And there was Shanahan on the right side of a line with Petr Prucha and Matt Cullen.
Am I a total fool? Perhaps. But at least I’m not the only one.
Almost everyone else went along with Rangers coach Tom Renney when he said the Jagr-Shanny tandem would be in place for tonight. And that includes Jagr himself, who said today he assumed the line he practiced with yesterday was the one he’d start the season with.
When Renney was asked about the reversal, the coach smiled and said “Editorial privilege.” Then he alluded to what he had said last week, about having the two star forwards practicing together as a way to develop some chemistry for the power play.
What he didn’t elaborate on, but was clearly implied, was that he liked the idea of throwing everyone off guard. Point taken.
Meanwhile, the other big news for tonight is that Darius Kasparaitis will be a scratch and replaced by Thomas Pock. This you could have seen coming given Kasparaitis’ inconsistent play of late, and Renney said it was indeed a reflection of the defenseman not being in NHL shape after surgeries to both his shoulder and groin.
“We have to help him along,” Renney said.
Are Kasparaitis’ days in New York numbered? Hardly. Renney instead said that the team will be relying on him this year, but that he just needs more time.
Anyway, here’s the rest of the lines for tonight:
King Henrik, who was the subject of an “aforementioned Cindy Adams column”:http://www.nypost.com/seven/10052006/gossip/cindy/i_froze_to_hail_goalie_as_king_cindy_cindy_adams.htm today, starts season No. 2 between the pipes.
Still no word on Jagr being named captain.
“More deception on my part,” Renney said.
I think I’ve had enough for one day. I’ll have more later from the Garden…