…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.
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:
“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.”
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….