Tom Renney indicated just now that Jaromir Jagr will likely miss tomorrow night’s preseason finale in Philly. It might still be that the coach is being cautious with the Rangers’ captain, but it also suggests Jagr’s hip flexor is worse off than originally anticipated.
But again, better to be dealing with it now than a week from now.
As for the rest of the lineup, Sean Avery is also out again, leaving Nigel Dawes on the Rangers’ top line with Brendan Shanahan and Scott Gomez. My guess is that Chris Drury will play with Marty Straka, and potentially Jagr Lite, better known as Marcel Hossa.
More updates in-game…
Update, 6:55 p.m.: The Rangers are suing the NHL over the team’s web site. It’s very complicated, with a lot of legalese I don’t quite understand. But the Rangers just released a statement that began, “We are a proud member of the National Hockey League and will remain so.” Thank heavens. I’m not sure I like this team’s chances in the NFL.
Update, 7:04 p.m.: At one point during this season will teams come out to start a game and I won’t recoil in horror at the sight of the new jerseys? December? February? Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals?
Update, 7:33 p.m.: Slow going so far. The Rangers had two early penalties, then finally got a power play just now. They didn’t score, but they did hear their first, “Shoot the puck, you idiot!” from the crowd. Heartwarming stuff.
Update, first intermission: Not the rousing start the Rangers were looking for, and let’s put it this way: if Marek Malik is trying to win over the hearts and minds of Rangers fans, he might not want to show them the tape of the first period. Meanwhile, Henrik Lundqvist let in a backhander by Sean Bergenheim to give the Islanders the early lead. That alone wouldn’t be much cause for concern…except, who is Sean Bergenheim?
Update, 8:15 p.m.: Scott Gomez ties the game, and then sets up Brendan Shanahan to put the Rangers ahead 2-1. For all the talk about what to do with Jagr and Gomez, you wonder if Shanahan and Gomez might make the decision pretty easy.
Update, 8:27 p.m.: Dawes sets up Shanahan for his second goal of the game, and Dawes’ third assist. You may recall a few days ago I said I didn’t see Dawes making this team. I still have a hard time seeing where he fits in in the current configuration. But it’d be a strange time to send him down after he plays a game like this.
Update, second intermission: Meanwhile, I owe Brandon Dubinsky. I had already written a story about him for tomorrow’s paper, and was worried about having to rip it up in favor of a “Nigel Dawes salvages his NHL chances” story. But Dubinsky’s fight was noteworthy as well—or at least noteworthy enough to justify writing about him. We’re a strange bunch, reporters. We don’t root for teams but for stories. Or in this case, not having to re-write stories we’ve already written.
Update, 9:15 p.m.: We are officially in garbage time (which, in the preseason, is a lot of the time), but the first sign is the TV in the press box is permanently on the Mets game. In other news, my three star votes: 1. Malik; 2. Bootland, 3. Strudwick….OK, just testing to see if you’re paying attention. The real vote: 1. Shanahan; 2. Dawes; 3. Gomez.
Post-game musings: It’s hardly a surprise that Brendan Shanahan enjoyed his first game with Scott Gomez. “Scott’s probably more used to playing with someone like me. He likes to have the puck on his stick, and I treat it like a hot potato,” Shanahan said.
Gomez echoed the sentiment, although he did say that as a center, it’s his job to adjust to whoever he’s playing with. Either way, both players said they expect the lines to be jumbled as the season goes on. Next week: Gomez with Orr and Mitch Fritz!
Some other news:
As for Nigel Dawes, Renney said the wing didn’t hurt his chances tonight, and is likely to play again tomorrow.
Confused? Join the club…