Yes, that was Marek Malik practicing with Jason Strudwick today. But no, that does not necessarily mean Malik is sitting out tomorrow night in Atlanta.
What could be a ray of hope to the growing legion of No. 8 detractors was, according to Tom Renney, just an opportunity to gauge Thomas Pock’s fitness level while paired with Michal Rozsival.
“I wouldn’t read too much into it,” Renney said.
Of course, Renney also said that sitting Malik is “never ruled out,” and there is still the chance that the coach could make the move tomorrow in an effort to spare Malik from answering questions about it today. I’m not completely sure how to read it, because Renney also suggested the best way to shake Malik out of his early season slump is to keep playing him, especially since that was the effective route last year.
The difference now, though, is the Rangers have more depth at defense, and other players — Pock especially — are clearly chomping at the bit. I suppose we’ll know tomorrow.
In other news: