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Contrary to what I said earlier, it doesn’t sound like a recall from Hartford to replace Blair Betts is imminent.

(For the record, you’re right: “whopper” may be overstating things. Let’s call this a Whopper Jr. with cheese.)

And if ever there was a time to call someone up, it would be tonight since the Wolf Pack are literally across the parking lot playing the Phantoms at the Spectrum (Greg Moore Highway? Get that guy a golf cart!). Tom Renney said he first wants to see how Ryan Hollweg fares tonight, but the coach also expressed some reticence in bringing in a new body when both Hollweg and Petr Prucha have already been waiting for their opportunity to get back in the lineup.

That said, if it turns out Betts will be out for longer than two weeks and a Greg Moore or someone else is needed for the playoffs, Renney said he would want that player up for the final few games of the regular season.

Some other notes:

<li>There is also the option of dropping Martin Straka down to center in the near future and slipping in Prucha in Straka’s old spot on the third line. That would be a more likely option if not for the fact that “Straka alongside Chris Drury and Ryan Callahan has recently been showing signs of life”:www.lohud.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080321/SPORTS01/803210390/-1/SPORTS. Callahan and Sean Avery also have experience playing center, but the same concerns about disrupting chemistry apply.

<li>It’s worth also noting that the fourth line in general has been seeing less ice time over the last few games, anyway, and this might cost the unit even more. The one real drawback there is the need to maximize Fred Sjostrom, who has been one of the team’s best forwards the past few games. Don’t be surprised if Renney starts mixing Sjostrom in on other lines on occasions.

I also wouldn’t be surprised to Sjostrom see some time on the penalty kill, although for now, Renney will primarily cut his PK rotation down to five forwards (Drury, Brendan Shanahan, Straka, Callahan, and Scott Gomez).

More later…

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42 Comments

  1. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    Beer Me, from previous thread…

    Before criticizing anyone, at least get the story, the whole story.
    Colorado Mark wrote this:
    “The Weekes thing is old news and I’ve explained before that that was just Renney doing what he needed to do to try to give Weekes some confidence. HE knew Hank was his man way before any of us did and whatever he says to the press is nothing more than lipservice.”

    And then I disagreed and wrote my opinion.

    You’re the only one assuming anything by not getting whole exchange big guy. Simple mistake.

  2. renney also knew about Dubi being the #1 C in training camp, but just didn’t tell anyone about it. sure, and I’ve got a bridge in Brooklyn

  3. Who Needs Lohan (so Scarey) on

    I hope going down the last 2 weeks of the season wont hurt Betts’ chance of being nominated for top defensive forward. i think he deserves the nomination. Any others agree/disagree?

  4. I don’t see how that changes your comment.

    All I can say is I’m on my new blackberry and its a pain 2 go back n forth from comment 2 comment. I saw what I said and took it @ face value. Which @ face value is absurd.

  5. SeamusORiley on

    I think Sam was being sarcastic about malik on the PP. At least, that is what I tell myself.

    kick the puck to the stick?

    I cannot believe that this guy plays while Hutch is in hartford having a season

  6. SeamusORiley on

    if it is a 1 goal game, either way, Malik will be on the ice for the last minute of play

    and…

    if it goes to speedy overtime, 4 on 4, Malik with his demon like speed, will be out there.

  7. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    Why do you guys blame Malik for that? Blocked shots happen, where was Rozsival going?

  8. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    Another Rozsival play! Rozy allowed the breakaway by being so far ahead of the shooting defensman, Girardi let up an odd-man rush just now, Backman allowed the second 2-on-1. Geez, stop blaming Malik and look at who’s making the mistakes.

    And for anyone praising these rangers for “getting ready for big games,” I hope you’re watching. This defense, led by Rozy, is bad. Girardi is still the most puzzling, getting worse by the day.

  9. I bet Gomez broke either some ribs, his collar bone…
    This Rain-jur 1 is gonna be a huge loss…

  10. what are you nuts. if you think anyone but malik was responsible for that goal, you have never played hockey before

  11. If anything, it was malik’s fault but it’s not the first time and it won’t be the last time a defensemen shoots the puck in to an oncoming winger where the winger blocks the shot and has the momentum towards the opposition’s goal and has a break away and scores.

  12. The rangers power play is past bad, it’s a enigma. Without a power play it will be hard to win close games in the playoffs.

  13. when a guy is right in front of you, you have to dump it into the corner, not try to force it thru him

  14. I’m more concerned about gomez than if malik made a bad play, it’s 1-0, plenty of time to come back but if gomez is hurt seriously that would be huge problem for the rangers.

  15. Plus Malik got a re-do when the first try bounced right back to him —- and at that point if you are he, you know you are in trouble and you unload it immediately deep, without even thinking about trying to get the puck through the same guy again.

  16. I hope Gomez isn’t hurt badly. Given the carnage of injuries that many teams have had this year, to date the Rangers have been amazingly fortunate in that area.

  17. Bathgate,
    it’s funny you said that because i was thinking the same thing how the rangers have been fortunate with injuries and here it’s at the end of the season and in one day we lose betts and gomez.

  18. Staal Wart,
    I’m only going to say this one more time this year and than I’m done. I was saying that shanahan is slow since the second month of the season. I like shanahan but lets face it, he is done. Unless he stands in a open spot and somebody feeds him the puck for a one timer or the shootout, he is useless. if sather brings him back next year than sather is a idiot.

  19. The rangers best player tonight on the ice is straka, I predict if any ranger player is going to score a goal it will be straka.

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