“Remember, you stand over here now…”

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For those of you clamoring to see Thomas Pock play his first game since Oct. 14, you just might get your wish tonight against the Penguins. Only here’s the catch: it wouldn’t be at defense.

With Adam Hall missing the morning skate today with back spasms, Pock is preparing to return to forward, which he played for most of his career at UMass-Amherst before finding his new calling at defense. Or at least Pock thought it was his new calling. It’s been 14 games since the versatile Austrian played a game anywhere for the Rangers. Never mind him not remembering how to play forward. At this rate, he’d probably be just as comfortable in goal.

Still, it could be interesting. It’s not clear how severe Hall’s back injury is, meaning an afternoon’s rest might be enough to have him ready for tonight. Otherwise, the 24-year-old
Pock might have to re-teach himself a few things against Pittsburgh. And fast.

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A few other things:

  • Henrik Lundqvist gets the start in goal tonight, allowing him the chance to exorcise the demons from a disheartening 6-5 loss to the Penguins last month. I would imagine this means Kevin Weekes gets the start tomorrow at the Garden against Tampa Bay.
  • I asked Tom Renney yesterday who Pittsburgh rookie Evgeni Malkin reminds him of, and for once, the coach was stumped. A little Jean Beliveau, the coach said. A little Bobby Smith. He asked me who I thought he played like. Naturally the first name to jump to mind was “Weinman.” But I might well be the only one who sees as much. You have to look really hard…

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    9 Comments

    1. On the plus side, there’s no saying they can’t give Pock a shot on the point during the power play (even if it’s on the second unit) just because he’s on the roster as a forward rather than D. And, I suppose he could always take shifts on defense when Malik takes his inevitable penalty (or two.)

    2. that’s not the point. when Malik or bozo screw up, renney doesn’t tell them to play wing. instead, he gives them MORE ice time, saying that he wants to build their confidence. But if a young player doesn’t dazzle immediately, he either goes to hartford or is told to relearn a new position.

      let’s see, the Rangers don’t want to risk losing Pock on waivers, but he’s not considered good enough to play anything but utility scrub.

      I guess Kasparaitis better get some goalie pads and start learning a new position.

    3. Hey 4rangers, I made a similar point last week when us ranger fans were going nuts over this defense. I said if pock can’t play than that means to me that he isn’t better than Ozolish, Malik and rachunek so why are we even keeping him on the big club. This whole thing is bizarre.

    4. right, Tom G. the youth movement is to give the Hartford fans the best AHL team in the world by 2010.

    5. I’m trying to make sense of it all and here it goes. Maybe the rangers brass feels that Jagr and Shanahan are not young guys and don’t have much hockey left in there careers so the ranger brain trust feels more obligated to put on the ice a veteran team to try and win now. It’s a reach, I know.

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