So much for the COP line (or POC line, or OCP line—whatever, we never really did iron that one out) leading the Rangers out of their winter doldrums. The trio of Matt Cullen, Jed Ortmeyer, and Petr Prucha will be disbanded tonight against the Red Wings, with Cullen and Prucha instead returning to their spot alongside Brendan Shanahan on the Rangers’ second unit.
For what it’s worth, Tom Renney said he had aspirations of putting that third line back together, but for tonight, he seemed more interested in generating more offense out of Shanahan.
“It’s been a good line. I like the Cullen, Prucha, Ortmeyer line, but I also think it may even serve as a push for Shanny,” Renney said. “We’ll see how it goes. Cully’s a more confident player, as he should be. Peter’s a more confident player, as he should be. And Shanny is Shanny. I think it’s a combination that might actually get us some offense tonight. We’ll see.”
Some other updates:
With back-to-back games before him, Renney said he hasn’t decided who would start against the Devils tomorrow. My guess, though, was that if Kevin Weekes was going to play in either of those games, it would have been tonight.
“I don’t see another winger doing what Straka can and what needs to be done off that line,” Renney said. “Those guys do read off each other.”
The question was then posed about whether disbanding that line even for the short term might help breathe some life into the trio once they’ve reunited. It was a move that seemed to work to great effect last season, and Renney at least allowed it was a possibility.
“It’s not to say I won’t break it up tonight or in the future as we struggle to get our points. It’s what I believe that combination can do for us. “It’s something we did last year. Maybe I feel a little more desperation to try to get them clicking.”
OK, more from the Garden later…