Speaking of Henrik Lundqvist standing on his head..

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…the Rangers goaltender walked into Madison Square Garden wearing a black fedora you probably haven’t seen since Sinatra last played the Golden Nugget.

Whether that alone is Tom Renney’s reason for giving his No. 1 netminder the night off is doubtful. But let’s put it this way: there aren’t many men the planet who can pull off that sort of look. I’m certainly not one of them. But Lundqvist, 24 and probably never lacking for female admirers, might be one of the chosen few.

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But enough about men’s fashion. What’s interesting to note about Renney’s decision to start Weekes the night after Lundqvist stopped 34 shots in Ottawa is that the coach said he actually maps out his goaltender selections well in advance, and only strays from it when given a compelling reason.

With that in mind, the reasons for Weekes likely have more to do with the fact that the Rangers have 10 more games before the end of the month. And unless they want Lundqvist to end that month wrapped in some sort of cast, they’re going to need to spell him on occasion.

“Just planning for the month, trying to get two guys going,” Renney said. “I imagine that we’ll need both of them. Kevin has played well and we want to keep him on top of his game, too.”

In other news:

  • As I mentioned earlier, the same lineup of skaters is in place from the previous two games. And that includes Darius Kasparaitis, who has been serviceable in his first two games back in the lineup, but who Renney admits brings something else to the mix.

    “There’s just a fresh dynamic in our room. He’s a popular, communicative guy and he affects others in a postive way because of that,” the coach said. “So as much as he’s been OK on the ice, and we anticipate that level will improve, there are other residual effects of having him in the lineup as well.”

  • A quick response to a question from loyal reader Jen about what happens once Jed Ortmeyer returns to the lineup. It’s a good point, and one I’ve been wondering about a fair bit myself.

    The short answer is I can’t get a good read on what the Rangers might do, although one would assume one of their eight defensemen would be expendable (Hello Hartford, Thomas Pock?). The long answer, and as reluctant as I am to bring this up, is that you may notice the Rangers have been relatively injury-free thus far. I can’t imagine that’s always going to be the case, especially with such a heavy schedule upcoming. Not that I’m wishing this happens, and maybe I’ll be wrong (not me!), but there’s always the chance that the team’s hand will be forced like it hasn’t been already.

    Anyway, that’s all for now….

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    22 Comments

    1. Sam – not sure they will send Pock down and risk losing him to waivers at his relatively low salary. Other than the injury factor, which you brought up, I’m guessing the odd man out to be Orr or Ozo. My vote would be Ozo.

    2. very poor PK tactics by Florida. Weiss running out to Straka on the point is just stupid, because anyone scouting the Rangers knows that Straka does not shoot from there, but he just wants to pull the man out of position to make it a 4-on-3, and that is exactly what happened.

      teams are just suckers if they don’t just lay back and sag into a low box and dare straka and rosival to shoot from the blue line.

    3. Doodie Machetto on

      agreed. I think there is a funny vibe with Weekes when it comesw to discussing his play. people seem to be surprised when he does well, even Sam and Joe.

    4. whats up with the ref allowing that botched faceoff to stand…not only does he drop it early, he swipes it back to the point for them

    5. i am so sick of these refs. we need new ones BADLY. They don’t know when to call anything and they’re dumb. I think the refs at the rink near me call better than them, and some of them are only 17years old.

      NYLANDER + STRAKA + ROZSIVAL = GREAT PLAYS

      WOW, Weekes is really sharp tonight. -knock on wood- i don’t want to jynx it.

    6. Pöck refused a conditioning assignment to Hartford… My guess that if he is put on waivers and goes unclaimed, he will not report to the Wolfpack, but comes back to Europe instead.

      What a waste of a young d-man… by no means a no. 1 or 2 defenseman, but a very solid 5-6 guy… unlike Bozo!

    7. Two *GREAT* performances by our two goaltenters tonight .. LOVE IT!

      Perhaps Shanny was right, we now have good Mojo thanks to the team encouraging Nylander to go and tend to his wife on Thursday … no matter .. I think it was great that Renney started Weekes tonight because I feel that Henrik should start in Philly and in Dallas and then Weekes again in Toronto with Henrik going vs NJ …

    8. Doodie Machetto on

      Immonen’s ice time was 11:39, which while overall was one of the lower ones, was actually pretty solid if you cut out special teams which he didn’t do. He had more even strength time than Shanny!

    9. >>> Immonen’s ice time was 11:39, which while overall was one of the lower ones, was actually pretty solid if you cut out special teams which he didn’t do. He had more even strength time than Shanny!

      >>>

      Doodie, I noticed this the other night too … if you cut back Shanny’s special teams time then Immonen is getting a good amount of ice time and is being out there for some key defensive draws which is great to see

    10. i thought prucha and cullen had solid games tonight…generated a lot and skated hard. hopefully the goals are on their way

    11. Doodie Machetto on

      Hullen can’t buy a goal. He even makes good moves sometimes going to the net and just can’t get it in. He’s cursed.

    12. thats plenty of time for immonen at this stage.

      and whoever mentioned the goalie rotation is spot on expect henke for philly dallas, weekes against his hometown team the leafs, and back to henke for the devils

    13. Doodie Machetto on

      I want them to split the duty more evenly, especially if this is what we can expect from Weekes on a consistent basis. I think Sam and Joe hit it on the head- Benoit Allair has been teaching him to stay on his feet and be more focused. He looked ABSOLUTELY fantastic tonight. Did you see how he flashed the leather on the ref screwup play(nevermind his screwup right before that)? AMAZING.

    14. Doodie Weekes has proven over his career that he can’t be consistant, he shows flashes, but it’s just that, that’s why the Rangers are his 6th Nhl team. Lundqvist as he should will start 55-60 games this year.

    15. Doodie Machetto on

      I don’t know, those two years he had in Carolina before he got here were both pretty good. And Lunqvist is yet to have a season long consistency, so it’s not like he’s proven either.

    16. uhh Doddie Henrik was great all year last year then he got hurt before the playoffs and struggled. Weekes was given a chance on six team to be a starter and failed. Lundqvist has already shown more in a year and a half than Weekes has his entire career.

    17. Doodie Machetto on

      “uhh Doddie Henrik was great all year last year then he got hurt before the playoffs and struggled. ”

      So… in other words… not a whole season?

      Weekes’ numbers in the 2 seasons he spent in Carolina before coming to NY:

      2002-2003: 2.55 gaa and .912 on the worst team in the league
      2003-2004: 2.33 .912 on a team that was below 500 and finished 22nd.

      Henrik’s numbers last season: 2.24 .922, not that much higher.

      So, I’d say Weekes has shown consistency in his career, certainly enough so to start 25-30 games. Lundqvist tailspinned along with the rest of the team last season. He also hasn’t been consistent this season, starting VERY slowly, and only recently returning to form. So don’t talk consistency.

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