I can’t say I’ve ever been a big fan, mostly because the Rangers’ liberty logo seemed to symbolize this proud organization’s years as a laughingstock.
Nonetheless, the Rangers will be making the debut of their third jerseys tonight against the Panthers, and maybe that’s fitting. If you’re looking to harken back to the days of old-time, Original Six hockey, maybe a game against a team from South Florida isn’t the way to go.
“Oh yeah, that’s my decision,” Tom Renney said with a smile when asked if the team’s jersey tonight was his choice. “Unless we lose and then it’s somebody else’s.”
The coach went on to say that he likes “anything with Rangers on it.” I didn’t have the heart to tell him the team will be introducing a fourth jersey next week of teal and gold with ruffles around the shoulders.
On to more pressing subjects, it’s worth noting that Petr Prucha, last year’s rookie surprise with 30 goals, is still looking for his first in his sophomore season. Put that in the context of the past week, when Prucha was benched for most of the third period in a loss to Nashville, and continued to struggle in Saturday’s win over Toronto.
Renney acknowledged that maybe Prucha was struggling a bit in recent games, but he said the player’s scoring totals are far less important than other parts of his game. And bear in mind, the coach is again playing Prucha tonight alongside Martin Straka and Jaromir Jagr on the first line.
“Being that he’s a second year player he’s got to be patient,” Renney said. “If his goal total was cut in half and he was plus-15 and we went deep in the playoffs, you could appreciate how happy I’d be about that. So Petr needs to know that, too.”