Update, 7 p.m.: Shanahan is in after all.
The Garden has already begun its preparations for Brian Leetch Night on the 24th, as evidenced by this dimly lit cell phone picture from yours truly (credit goes to John Dellapina of the News for even pointing it out just now, because when I first walked past the ice surface earlier, I never noticed anything different).
With seven of nine games at home before the All-Star break, January could conceivably be the month that elevates the Rangers from a middling unit scrambling just to make the playoffs. But given the challenges directly in front of them, they first have to worry about not taking any major steps backwards.
Among some updates:
<li>Greg Moore has been deemed well enough to play, and will likely skate in the middle between Nigel Dawes and Pierre Parenteau (who apparently now wants to be know as P.A. Parenteau) on a relocated Hartford unit.
<li>The above is contingent on Brendan Shanahan not playing tonight, and that, according to Tom Renney, is a safe bet. Although the veteran will take part in warm-ups, Renney’s inclination is to leave Shanahan out and have him ready for Thursday.
(Proof that I am in a sleep-deprived haze: I had to look up to see the Rangers are playing the Flyers on Thursday, because I completely forgot).
<li>Chris Drury will indeed skate on the left side with Scott Gomez and Jaromir Jagr. The over-under on how many minutes the line logs tonight is at 25.
<li>Renney conceded that amidst all the roster movement today, he at least considered calling Ryan Callahan back up, but opted against it in order to get Callahan back playing and in a positive frame of mind.
<li>Although word is the Rangers were not going to make much of Marek Malik’s storm-off Saturday in Edmonton, the defenseman looks to be the team’s only healthy scratch,
<li>Martin Straka showed moderate improvement today, and has not been placed on injured reserve yet since the Rangers want to at least leave open the option of a weekend return.
<li>A quick plug for my own newspaper and its website: Although the blog will look the same, “the LoHud.com”:http://www.lohud.com/apps/pbcs.dll/frontpage site has been impressively redesigned, and debuted today. Check it out when you can.