Actually, I’m not referring to anyone on the Rangers, but to myself. Let’s just say there was an incident in a late-night skate a few nights back and I’m still feeling the effects.
But you don’t hear me complaining, do you? Actually, you do hear me complaining. And if you were my wife over the last few days, then you DEFINITELY heard me complaining. Still, there’s a job to do, and if I wasn’t here….well, if I wasn’t here, you’d probably just click somewhere else and not think twice about it.
But I digress. Here’s the news: after flirting with putting Thomas Pock into the lineup last night in Pittsburgh, Tom Renney is finally pulling the trigger tonight against Tampa Bay. Pock will skate at forward in place of Colton Orr, while Darius Kasparaitis will be scratched for the fourth straight game since being recalled from Hartford.
A radical move? Not necessarily. Given the egg the Rangers laid last night in Pittsburgh, the team needed some sort of jump start. And since Pock spent most of his life at forward before switching to defense in college, Renney figured it wouldn’t hurt to give the 24-year-old Austrian the chance while keeping his defensive pairings intact.
“I’d like to see him use his speed. He’s a good skater and because he’s relatively familiar with the forward position, I think he understands what a forecheck looks like. I think he knows how to go to the net. He can shoot the puck. He can pass the puck,” Renney said. “I don’t dispute for a second that he can play defense, but right now we just happen to have six guys who are in a bit of synch. And if there are errors to be made by a young player, better it be on the front end where it is somewhat camouflaged and you can recover from it, as opposed to the back end.”
Wait a second. As a lifetime forward, let me just throw in that I take exception to the idea that any clown off the street can come in and play the position without any preparation….even if it happens to be true. And the other part to consider is that Pock did play forward as recently as last year at Hartford and in multiple stints with the Austrian national team.
“Look at what they want from me,” Pock said of his spot at center between Adam Hall and Ryan Hollweg. “I don’t think they see me scoring hat tricks. They want me to play defensively. So a defensive forward from a defenseman isn’t that big of a deal. And on the other end, let’s see what happens.”
Fair enough. In other news:
“He just needs to hang in which is not an easy thing to do for a veteran player,” Renney said.
OK, more later…