The blog skipped the morning skate to tend to some household chores, but Gross reports that Blair Betts “will be back in tonight”:http://njmg.typepad.com/rangersblog/2008/12/betts-good-to-go.html#more after missing Thursday’s loss in Montreal with what is believed to be a shoulder injury.
Worth noting, of course, is that Betts broke in with the Flames, playing 35 games with them over three seasons after Calgary took him with its second round pick in 1998. He was traded to the Rangers in the deal that sent Chris Simon out of the town in the great purge of 2004.
Betts takes some shots on this blog because of his offensive limitations, but there’s no question is he has been a vital player to the Rangers the past few seasons. I’m not saying his absence was the reason the Rangers spent most of the Montreal game chasing the puck aimlessly in their zone, but I will say it didn’t help.
With Betts returning Lauri Korpikoski returns to the left wing alongside Chris Drury and Ryan Callahan. Nigel Dawes is expected to be the scratch.
(By the way, reader Mark reached out and expressed interest in buying a Korpikoski No. 29 jersey, but wanted to make sure the Korpedo was going to keep the number. I asked Lauri yesterday and he said that was the plan. He said he’s worn No. 28 in the past, but this year, “That would mean I’d have to fight Orrsy.”)
In other news, the Corey Potter Era begins tonight, where he’ll take Wade Redden’s place at defense. Potter will play with Dmitri Kalinin while Paul Mara will switch to the left side with Dan Girardi.
More from the Garden later…