Update, 11:55 a.m.:Â More on the lineup tonight. This is likely to change, but here’s what I had written down. Note that both Lauri Korpikoski and Ryan Callahan are expected to get looks at center, where Tom Renney said not having a “natural NHL center” in that fourth slot is an outside possibility.
Also note that Dale “The Iron Horse” Weise is slated to play his third game in four nights:
Forwards: Rissmiller-Betts-Weise; Parenteau-Nedved-Prucha; Sjostrom-Korpikoski-Orr; Voros-Callahan-Fritsche.
Defense: Fahey-Pock; Redden-Girardi; Potter-Kalinin
<li>Artem Anisimov skated with the game day squad and Renney said he’ll be a game day decision. But seeing how Anisimov wasn’t in a rush to pack his bag for the city, I doubt he’ll play.
<li>As for the different configurations from the earlier skate, Renney said it was more conceptual, and the lines tomorrow will be a better reflection of what the team will skate with on Saturday.
<li>I’ll have more in a paper about the growing contest for fourth line center. Blair Betts said he doesn’t feel safe, but said he hasn’t felt safe the last few training camps, either. “Training camp is a mind f—“, the mild-mannered Betts said.
OK, off to The Journal News office for the live chat at 1. Hope to see you all then….
Earlier: It doesn’t sound like the Rangers’ 1-3 record this preseason is of much concern to the Rangers coaching staff, because the lineup for tonight isn’t exactly a Cup contender.
Other than a few exceptions, pretty much all of the team’s top forwards skated in the earlier practice for players who are not playing tonight, including Chris Drury, Nikolai Zherdev, Scott Gomez, Markus Naslund, Brandon Dubinsky, and Nigel Dawes.
That leaves Ryan Callahan, Blair Betts, Petr Nedved, Fred Sjostrom, Lauri Korpikoski, Colton Orr, Aaron Voros, and Patrick Rissmiller as the headliners up front tonight, with Wade Redden, Dan Girardi, and Dmitri Kalinin in at defense.
Stephen Valiquette is slated to play all 60 minutes. More on lines in a bit.
I would imagine the light lineup tonight opens the door for the Rangers to produce close to a full NHL lineup in Saturday’s North American exhibition finale against the Devils.
For what it’s worth, Tom Renney experimented with new lines in the earlier practice. Given some of the other players involved, I wouldn’t read too much into them. They were:
Dawes-Gomez-Jessiman; Naslund-Drury-Moore; Byers-Dubinsky-Zherdev.
More in a bit…