Markus Naslund said today after practice that he’d like to see lines with a little more chemistry, and he might get to see how that works as soon as tomorrow night in Dallas. Naslund worked on a line with Scott Gomez and Aaron Voros in today’s practice.
That makes the rest: Nigel Dawes, Lauri Korpikoski and Ryan Callahan; Blair Betts, Colton Orr and Fredrik Sjostrom; and Chris Drury, Brandon Dubinsky and Nikolai Zherdev.
“We played a number of games with the lines exactly as they’d been, I don’t know 6, 7, maybe in a row,” Renney said. “We went into Boston did a few changes there and gave them a heck of a run for their money. I thought we were dominant against Atlanta. So, at the end of the day you put combinations of people together that you think are going to work and there’s no question chemistry or continuity or synergy is important. At the same time if the game plan is something everyone understands and gets their head around, it shouldn’t matter a whole lot who you’re playing with. But you try to capitalize on what each guy can bring to the line.”
The other piece of news out of the day has to do with the flu. Goalie Henrik Ludqvist and defenseman Paul Mara missed practice with the flu. Coach Tom Renney said he expected Lundqvist to play, but might pull a player from Hartford to make the trip to Dallas in place of Mara. Dmitri Kalinin will not make the trip.
Steve Valiquette said he was ready should he be needed, despite his own cold.
“My life is, I’m ready to go,” Valiquette said with a laugh.
Petr Prucha is a healthy scratch again.
And our own Journal News columnists Rick Carpiniello (aka Carp) and Sam Borden will take on the issue of Barry Bonds and steroids (gotta love the Daily News backpage tease to the story “Urine Trouble”) on the Faceoff Blog.
AFTERNOON UPDATE: The Rangers just recalled D Corey Potter from Hartford. You’d have to guess he’d be a scratch tomorrow unless Mara doesn’t make the trip.