Scratch those visions of Scott Gomez threading passes through the crease to Petr Prucha; or Jason Strudwick standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Paul Mara at the blue line.
After Tom Renney had tinkered with both possibilities yesterday in practice, the coach is going the other way: Both Prucha and Strudwick will be scratches, meaning Christian Backman stays in at defense, and Brendan Shanahan most likely stays on the second line with Scott Gomez and Sean Avery.
In Prucha’s place, Ryan Hollweg looks like he’ll be making his series debut. Go figure.
So was this deception on Renney’s part? Or was there another intent? The coach wouldn’t say today, but it’s worth noting the last time he toyed with moving Shanahan down to the fourth line—in the regular season finale against Jersey—the veteran came back the next game and scored a goal.
Something to think about.
Meanwhile, some other updates:
Later, it was noted that Therrien’s complaints seem out of place seeing how the Rangers are not going to the net nearly as hard as they did against the Devils. Renney just nodded and smiled.
“Let him think what he wants,” Renney said. “I know where we have to be better as a team. There’s no doubt about that…As we’ve said many times, that’s the end point when it comes to playing this game. It’s not anywhere else but the net.”
In Lundqvist’s place, the recently-acquired David LeNeveu saw his first action against the big club. He looked decent enough, but it’s hard to tell on a day like today.
OK, folks, a lot to do before game time.