Brendan Shanahan would never admit it, but the veteran wing’s problem of late seem to be two-pronged.
For one, he isn’t healthy. Although Shanahan said he “felt good enough to play” on Sunday, he also didn’t dispute outright the notion that he is having trouble skating. Hence, Tom Renney’s decision to limit the future Hall of Famer’s minutes in the third period.
The other problem is that Shanahan no longer has a center who can feed him the puck on a regular basis. He had that with Scott Gomez earlier in the season, but with Gomez now with Jaromir Jagr, and Chris Drury still struggling to find his game, the Rangers’ second unit has been invisible of late.
Migh Renney consider giving Brandon Dubinsky, again one of the Rangers best forwards on Sunday, a shot with Shanahan? Does the coach move Drury to wing so that Drury can focus on what he really is—a finisher rather than a playmaker?
Or does, as some have already suggested, the coach make the even bolder move of sitting Shanahan down for a spell in order for him to get healthy?
So many questions, so few answers. The Rangers are on the ice at 11. I wouldn’t expect any miracles. But I’m curious to see where they go from here.