How does a player respond when he’s facing his old team?
No, not Scott Gomez, Karel Rachunek. Yes, you forget amidst all the attention paid the Rangers’ first-line center tonight, both Rachunek and Kevin Weekes will be squaring off against their old teammates as well. Will there be a video tribute? A tearful ovation? Wait a second, did Karel Rachunek actually play for the Rangers, or was it just a dream?
In other news:
But let’s be clear about what the issue is here. To me, putting Jason Strudwick in at fourth line is not worth much of a fuss. He’ll likely play about five minutes, and probably can handle the basic, chip-and-charge role expected of that line. The question is whether Ryan Hollweg can handle the bump to what is a fairly competent offensive-minded third line. I suppose Hollweg’s ability as a forechecker could—emphasis on “could”—open up some space for linemates Brandon Dubinsky and Nigel Dawes.
But seeing how Hollweg isn’t exactly Brett Hull in front of the net, the Rangers could be losing something. And I don’t know if you’ve heard, but this is a team that’s had trouble scoring goals of late.
Update, 6:15 p.m.: Let the rumors begin: Don Maloney is in the building, and not, I’m assuming, for the vegetable lasagna in the press room .