Status quo against Pens


What we know about tonight against the Penguins:

Sidney Crosby is really good.

So is Evgeni Malkin.

Tom Renney has a cold.

As long as that last part doesn’t manifest itself in the coach sending out Jason Strudwick to center the power play, the Rangers should be OK. Bear in mind their last game against the Pens was the continuation of a demoralizing goal-less streak that didn’t snap until the next game against the Devils. But it was an otherwise encouraging effort, with the lone goal coming from Malkin on the power play.

In other news:

  • Marek Malik is out tonight and is still questionable for Saturday. The Rangers aren’t likely to clear him until he has contact, which he still hasn’t had. In Malik’s absence, Marc Staal will continue to be paired with Michal Rozsival. I asked Staal about the pairing and he not surprisingly said he loves it since Rozsival moves the puck well enough to open up space for him.
  • Ryan Callahan hasn’t skated, but is tentatively scheduled to skate for the first time tomorrow.
  • Although reluctant to match lines, Tom Renney said he does like using the HBO line of Ryan Hollweg, Blair Betts, and Colton Orr in spots against other teams’ top units, which means we’ll likely see them tonight against Crosby, Malkin, and Ryan Malone.

    More in a bit…

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    1. Richard S. – Your argument about backup goalies doesn’t hold because ours is three years older. But I agree with your overall sentiment, that the leading players on the Pens are younger. They are led my Crosby, Malkin, Sykora, Recchi, Malone, Staal, Gonchar, Whitney, Sydor, Orpik; while we are led by Jagr, Shanahan, Straka, Drury, Gomez, Avery, Malik, Rozsival, Tyutin, Girardi. Of course Malik and Straka are out, so that might make our leaders younger at this very moment (in Doodie’s argument). Plus their starting goalie is also 2 1/2 years younger.

      Nasty 1 – You lighten my day as well; maybe you should be Sam’s jokewriter and you two couldn’t be stopped. LOL @ Browns to the SuperBowl.

    2. I hate to beat a dead horse — but I will. Anyone notice how well The Rangers have done sans Malik? I’m just saying…

    3. Thank you, it is nice to be appreciated. It is rough being a teacher sometimes when your stomach is not on your side. Sometimes the train is ready to leave the station and you haven’t even bought your ticket yet. Not fun.

    4. Chris, the Rangers started their win streak with Malik playing. I do believe that we are a better team with him in the line up. Strudwick has not looked bad on D for us. But I’d take a Malik outlet pass any day of the week.

    5. According to the stats, this is an anomoly of the past three seasons to be doing well without Malik in the lineup. Maybe it’s because we actually have a capable replacement in Staal this time.

    6. i dont want malik back but strudwick is pretty damn slow, wish we hadnt sent down pock but no real way we can recall him without losing him. need to start scoring some goals, these 1-0 games in the third are too dangerous

    7. Win lose or shootout (that felt funny to type) the boys need to get back on track tonight. They got away from their game in the third two nights ago. I’d like to see them pick up where they left off against the Flyers.

    8. Doodie Machetto on

      If Renney called on Strudwick to center the PP, do you think the players would revolt? I would.

    9. good catch spider – in the past when malik was out of the lineup rozy looked lost. now, with a suitable replacement in staal, its not as much of a loss.

      malik @ $2mil+ or struds at $600k ???

    10. Renney needs to realize that that HBO line can’t counter the speed that top lines have. If you want Betts and Hollweg (who both can skate) out there, fine, but have them joined by Hossa, not Orr (at least once Straka comes back).

    11. OK Sam – who stole how’s title for the last entry? Or are you and Zippy sharing a brain these days?

    12. Rosival still looks pretty bad even with Staal, he is playing himself out of a big contract right now

    13. What do you guys think about Mara of late? I think He has looked pretty strong… and he score a nice goal the other night.
      Lets go Rangers!

    14. Strudwick might be slow, but he outraces forwards to pucks, something Malik was never able to do. Malik is easily the slowest D-Man on the team.

    15. If we’re going to have a shutdown unit, Avery-Betts-Drury-Tyutin-Girardi should be assembled.

    16. He doesn’t use them as a shutdown unit…he uses them to dump and chase with hits and grind in the offensive zone, tiring them out and keeping them on the defense. They’ve been surprisingly effective in that role.

    17. HBO has been doing well, but I would be much more comfortable with Straka or Hossa instead of Orr.

      Mara has been doing well because he has been put in a position where he can succeed, on the third D-line with some power play time. Renney should take a lesson from this and put Malik down there when he comes back. But Rozsival is getting totally shown up by Staal right now. Maybe Rozsival should be scratched in the game when Malik comes back, or even put Rozsival down with Mara and have Staal play with Malik, as I think Malik has been playing pretty solid.

    18. If Renney is going to match lines, I’d rather have that line out when Ruutu is out. If Reney puts that line up against Crosby, it keeps Ruutu free to be out against Jagr. Wee all know how he loves to cheap shot Jagr.

    19. Doodie Machetto on

      “Strudwick might be slow, but he outraces forwards to pucks, something Malik was never able to do. Malik is easily the slowest D-Man on the team.”

      Actually, I think Struds is probably slower, just that Malik is lazier, which is much worse.

      I have always been interested in the jerseys people wear to games, and I love spotting really unique jerseys. I’m going to the game tonight and I’m going to take note of the better ones that I see and ask that others who are going do the same, just out of my own curiosity of who has the most unique or coolest jersey.

      Two of the more unique jerseys that I saw recently were a Kocur (I’m sure there were plenty back in the day, but not now) and an autographed Blair Betts jersey. That one surprises me because who would actually try and get Betts’ autograph?

    20. Doodie Machetto on

      That reminds me, at the Caps game last week, they showed Bonnie Blair on the jumbotron, and my girlfriend said that she would rather have Bonnie Blair than Blair Betts.

    21. I should break out my Brother’s DON MALONEY jersey from way back when.

      That would be pretty unique

    22. I think Dubinsky will have something to say about it if Ruutu starts getting out of line against Jagr.

      Doodie – I guess someone who is a defensive specialist on his own team would go get Blair Betts’s autograph, but I would rather have Ortmeyer’s, unless of course he got the autograph this season or while Orts was out last season. Is your girlfriend looking to have a threeway because she wants the other Blair? ;-P

    23. Evgeni Malkin’s name anagrams to “evil mean king.” Let’s get him!

      Someone asked for names for the lines; I came up with an anagram of the first line’s last names: bossy husking Jarda. Not perfect, but that J is hard to use

      (I’m really bored after just taking an exam)

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