Some early morning thoughts amidst the banging of hammers at Blog Headquarters (not by me, mind you: both my doctor and my editor have advised against Blogging while Hammering):
The first question posed to Tom Renney last night was about the potential dilemma Nigel Dawes presents once all the Rangers’ injured forwards return. The coach said he welcomed the problem, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be a sticky situation.
Granted, a lot has to happen before then, starting with the fact that all those forwards do have to get healthy. And given the Rangers run of bad luck this year, someone else will probably go down before then.
Still, look ahead to a month from now, when Sean Avery, Martin Straka, and Ryan Callahan could all be back in the lineup. Where does Dawes fit in? And if you’re of the belief that Dawes has to stay in the NHL, then at whose expense?
The answer largely depends on what Tom Renney wants out of his fourth line. If it’s merely a question of putting together your most firepower, then this is a no-brainer—Dawes can play pretty much anywhere in the lineup, and so can other skilled wings Petr Prucha and Marcel Hossa. Where it gets complicated is if Renney continues to insist that bangers like Coltor Orr and Ryan Hollweg need to be part of the lineup as well. Because then, obviously, the window is smaller for everyone involved.
I understand the coach’s reasoning. Whether it’s real or perceived, Orr and Hollweg provide the Rangers a level of grit that every NHL team needs. And believe it or not, I actually think both players, and especially Orr of late, have developed into capable NHL forwards.
The question, though, is if you need them every night, or if you need both. I’m not sure.
All I know is it’s becoming harder and harder to justify sending Dawes back to Hartford, and I base this not only on his two goals last night, but how he’s played overall since he’s been here.
Again, this certainly qualifies as a good problem to have. But not if you end up mishandling a player in the process.
In other news, it may be time to panic, and no, I’m not talking about the Rangers. After an encouraging start to the season, the joint fantasy effort between myself and Zipay is floundering. We’ve dropped into sixth place, and even worse, have been passed by both Giannone and Dellapina in the standings.
Who’s to blame? Well, it doesn’t help that Roberto Luongo has morphed into Mike Dunham over the last few weeks, or that all of our top forwards have stopped scoring. But mostly I blame Zipay. I haven’t really decided why just yet. But I’m sure I’ll think of something.