So just how competitive is Henrik Lundqvist?
Competitive enough that after locking down four points in two games for the Rangers by stopping four of five penalty shots, he was still frustrated enough to break his stick in two when rookie Lauri Korpikoski beat him in practice today (with a phenomenal backhand move, by the way).
And competitive enough that after Tom Renney originally said he would consider putting Stephen Valiquette in net for tomorrow against the Panthers, he’s decided to go back to the King instead.
Granted, the schedule is such that Lundqvist could play tomorrow and still get two days of rest. But even then, when I asked the King about playing back-to-back games against Pittsbugh and Montreal Wednesday and Thursday, he said he’d want to play both of those, too.
“I like to play,” he said.
“We’ll see how he does,” Tom Renney said. “He feels good. He’s well rested. And he’s on top of his game, obviously.”
At the other end of the spectrum is Petr Prucha, who has been a healthy scratch for nine straight games, and who could be spared a 10th game only because he might be on his way to Hartford on a conditioning assignment.
The plan according to Renney is to talk the issue over with Jim Schoenfeld and Glen Sather this afternoon. Although the coach wouldn’t tip his hand one way or the other, it does sound like some time with the Wolf Pack is in store for Prucha.
“The bottom line is I’d like to get him playing,” Renney said. “And that’s not easy to do when you’re not changing your lineup.”
The plan is for the Rangers to play the same lineup tomorrow.
So what does an NHL team that has spent pretty much the last three months on skates do for its Christmas party? Why go skating of course.
The Rangers are planning to have their party on Friday at the Museum of Natural History, where they’ll skate at the adjacent rink. I’m told the skating part is really for the kids. But maybe Tom Renney will try to get in some defensive zone work while he’s got everyone there.