Just pulled into the Wachovia Center to this whopper from the Rangers: Blair Betts is not only out tonight, but for the next two to three weeks after undergoing minor foot surgery at the New York Hospital for Joint Disease.
The short-term solution will be Ryan Hollweg at center tonight, but I would have to think the Rangers will need to summon Greg Moore from Hartford fairly soon (Artem Anisimov has played well, but has no NHL experience and has hit a bit of a rookie wall). Another option would be to use either Sean Avery or Martin Straka at center — since both have experience there — but that comes at the expense of the other forward lines, and I doubt Tom Renney is willing to take that risk.
Say what you want about Betts. He isn’t flashy, has little to no scoring touch, but he has been one of the Rangers most indispensable players for coming up on three seasons now. This applies especially to the penalty kill, but also at even strength.
More from Tom Renney on this in a bit…