Other than P.A. Parenteau, who never saw the ice on Tuesday anyway, the Rangers have the same personnel at their disposal tonight against the Flyers. But it looks like Tom Renney will at least tinker with the forward lines.
Among the changes:
<li>Chris Drury will move back to center between Greg Moore and Brendan Shanahan. Shanahan will likely be playing his first full game as a left wing as a Ranger, although he’s hardly inexperienced there. The veteran, after starting out as a center in New Jersey, moved to the left side in his second NHL season, and stayed there until the end of his time in Detroit.
“I’m comfortable on either side,” said Shanahan, who while falling well short of declaring his left knee healthy, said it was fine enough for him to play. “It’s just worked out that way.”
The move for tonight was precipitated by Moore, who is more comfortable on the right side. For what it’s worth,Â I always thought a player with a shot like Shanahan’s would be more effective playing the opposite side since you get a cleaner look at the net that way. Just look at Jaromir Jagr.
<li>Drury’s move from the top unit opens the door for…drumroll please….Marcel Hossa to play with Jagr and Scott Gomez. Say what you want about Hossa, but in the absence of Martin Straka, he gives that line a defensive conscience that Nigel Dawes can’t provide. Plus, it was Hossa’s hustle that set up Jagr’s goal on Tuesday.
<li>Dawes will play with Brandon Dubinsky and Petr Prucha. Speaking of Dawes, the wing was voted as a starter for Canada in the AHL All-Star Game. “Thanks,” Dawes said upon accepting congratulations. “I hope I don’t go.”
<li>The HBO line remains intact, and Renney said he anticipates the same for the defensive pairings, meaning Marek Malik would be a healthy scratch.
<li>Martin Straka rode the bike for the second consecutive day, and didn’t experience any lingering concussion symptoms. The next step is to work with weights to see if that induces anything. While Saturday hasn’t been ruled out for the left wing, it seems unlikley.
<li>Speaking of concussions, Simon Gagne is expected to return for the Flyers tonight after two months out of the lineup.
OK, I’m off to change diapers. More from the GardenÂ later…