Whatever ails the Rangers of late, I’m fairly confident the problem cannot be traced to Lauri Korpikoski, who has instead been one of the Rangers’ few bright spots the past few weeks.
Tom Renney said Korpikoski hasn’t been a problem, either. But that still won’t prevent the coach from sitting the rookie down so that Aaron Voros can get back in, where he’ll presumably play on a line with Brandon Dubinsky and Nikolai Zherdev.
If the Rangers need more size, why take out a player who has actually been one of the team’s most physical forwards?
“Getting Voros back in, getting his game back into the lineup, and his presence at the net to help our power play,” Renney said when explaining his rationale.
When asked if the move was a reflection of Korpikoski’s play, Renney shook his head. “No, he said. “It’s a matter of getting Voros in and I had to move someone. It’s as simple as that.”
Renney went on to acknowledge that Voros, who has been a scratch the past two games in part because of a drop-off in his fitness level, has worked his way back into shape; and that the move tonight was an effort to reward that.
“For him it’s about sustainability, too,” Renney said. “If he’ll do it, fine. If not, somebody else will get the chance.”
As for my previous post about Sean Avery’s nightclub reunion with his former teammates, don’t pull those No. 16 jerseys out of the storage bins just yet. The New Year’s Eve run-in with Avery may have only been a coincidence.
“We just ran into him,” said Nigel Dawes. “We didn’t know he was going. It was pretty much like we got invited to the same party.”
I asked Dawes if he thought Avery would ever be welcomed back into the Rangers dressing room.
“At this point it’s tough to say,” Dawes said. “With the way the room is now, I don’t think it would be easy for him to come back. Stranger things have happened. But everyone gets along in this room and there haven’t been any disturbances. I don’t know exactly what happened (in Dallas), but it sounds like something.”
OK, fine. But there’s a very good chance that some of us—myself certainly included—may have overrated the importance of a team needing to get along perfectly.
By all accounts this team is one of the tighest Rangers groups in years. And look where that’s getting them.