It has been the rare game when the Rangers haven’t made some sort of adjustment from the previous outing. Tonight appears to be one of those. According to Tom Renney, he’ll go with the same combinations as Wednesday against the Thrashers, with the lone change Henrik Lundqvist back in net.
Some other notes:
<li>How about that power play? The Rangers have scored only one goal on the man-advantage in the last six games. But in their defense, they haven’t scored that many goals at all. So in that sense, it really isn’t that bad.
Anything else you want me to clear up?
<li>Renney again hedged on the possibility of carrying a seventh defenseman for the trip to California, merely saying it was something he would like to explore. Frankly, it makes no sense that the team wouldn’t call a defenseman up. All it takes is one tweaked something by a defenseman Tuesday night in Anaheim, and suddenly you’re forced to scramble to get Corey Potter on a cross-country flight in time for the next night in L.A.
<li>While Mats Sundin is supposed “to meet with the Rangers brass at some point this weekend”:http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=259423&lid=headline&lpos=secStory_nhl, the center isn’t expected to make up his mind until next week, and then probably wouldn’t join his new team until after Christmas. If the Rangers are truly a possibility — and let’s be clear that’s still very much an “if” at this point — let’s just say it would have to be a busy holiday season for Glen Sather. A lot of good suggestions from readers here over what Sather could do to clear space. But again, I have a hard time imagining the team simply burying salary in the minors, so it means they’d have to find a dance partner.
<lI>Meanwhile, let’s not forget that wherever Sundin ends up, it’s going to open the door for other signings around the league. The most obvious would be Brendan Shanahan — and not just because teams that lose out on Sundin would then be willing to talk to Shanahan. More likely is that a Sundin signing would open the door for more trades, and that would enable some Shanahan suitors to clear up some cap space.
Update, 6:26 p.m.: In the interest of pure speculation, no sight of either Glen Sather or Jim Schoenfeld tonight. Think they could be busy?
Update, 6:49 p.m.: Never mind. The GM and the assistant GM are both in the building. But that doesn’t mean they couldn’t have had an early dinner somewhere!
Update, 8:01 p.m.: So the Rangers dig themselves yet another early hole thanks to their ninth shorthanded goal allowed this season. And now it’s 3-1 after Henrik Lundqvist is left to fend for himself on two Travis Zajac attempts.
Update, 8:20 p.m.: What a mess. It would be easy to pinpoint culprits here, only there’s plenty of blame to go around. The dreadful defensive zone coverage continue, and it goes without saying the Rangers power play is a disaster. That’s 5-1 to those of you scoring at home. I’m very interested to hear just how frustrated Henrik Lundqvist is with the team in front of him, if he’ll even go there.
Update, 8:28 p.m.: And for what it’s worth, I’m all for the Rangers feeling the need to stick up for themselves with the occasional fight. But when you’re dropping the gloves every three minutes in a game like this, it look like an awful lot like a team that can’t do much else.