Tom Renney was at the MSG Training Center this morning before what was expected to be a lightly-attended pre-game skate, but he didn’t hang around long. Still unclear is if the coach, who is still recovering from a stick to the head last night in Columbus, will be behind the bench tonight against Pittsburgh.
And should that happen, it’ll be interesting to see how the Rangers divvy up the responsibilities. Between them, Perry Pearn and Mike Pelino have head coaching experience at the junior, international and collegiate level, but neither has been a head coach in the NHL.
I’m sure even if Renney can’t coach, he can chime in on lineup decisions, although given the team’s performance last night, my guess is nothing will change anyway. More important is the deployment of personnel over the course of the game. This is particulary important at home when the Rangers have the luxury of the last change, and it’s even more pressing against the Penguins, when Renney has occasionally used his fourth line to defend Sidney Crosby.
In other news, a quick word on officiating: For once, I think the Rangers got the benefit of a crucial call last night, when reviews allowed Brandon Dubinsky’s goal to stand even though the puck caromed off his skate. The rationale was that Dubinsky’s “distinct kicking motion” was evident only on the follow-through. But even then, I wouldn’t have been shocked if the goal was disallowed.
The point isn’t that the Rangers got away with one. But at least this time, most would fans say, they weren’t hosed, either.