Well, I just had my first access with Tom Renney since taking over the blog and we chatted about Petr Prucha’s situation.
Renney feels that Prucha — who, as we know is not afraid to play a physical game for a smallish player — wears down. And wears down significantly, to the point where it affects his skating.
“With a guy like Pruch, it’s a matter of him getting in and being able to sustain it,” Renney said. “He’s not a big guy. For our needs, at least, a guy like Petr is good for a while and then it seems to dry up on him. Then I can get him back in again. The bottom line is it’s his size. It’s getting banged around, and then because of that, not being able to sustain what he can deliver over the period of more than four or five games. And that’s the dilemma that I have.
“And it’s too bad,” Renney said, “because he’s a helluva guy.”
The two new guys, Artem Anisimov and Eric Reitz, will play tonight.
“(Reitz has) got some size to him, he’s got some bite to his game, he’s got some aggressiveness,” Renney said. “We want to make sure that, from that point of view at least, he’s delivers on the physical play. He’s got to keep it within the context of what’s required, naturally.
“With Artie, we’re going to give hm some good minutes, have a good look at him, watch him transport the puck from one end to the other, how he moves it, how he reads off the speed of the game. He can make some things happen for us. It does allow us the latitude of doing some other things with some lines, which I think could be interesting tonight. So as long as Artie is competent in what I think he can do — or he wouldn’t be here — he’ll have a good night.”
It’s not just a matter of need, Renney said.
“We’ve got guys who can play the position. Dubinsky’s going to try the wing tonight. Korpikoski can play center, too. So we have people who can play center ice. Artie’s had a very good season so far in Hartford, so we feel the need to have a look at him while the opportunity is there to see if we in fact can take it even further.”