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…