Does anybody else think about the “Leetch-wing lock” employed once upon a time by coach Muckler, when the Rangers play in Sunrise? I do. That is always my first thought when the Rangers play there (I have different memories of when the Panthers played at Miami Arena, in one of the scariest neighborhoods in America).
Imagine if John Tortorella told Marian Gaborik and Vinny Prospal that their only responsibility tonight is to stop one single player on the Panthers, and that they would have Michael Del Zotto on their wing, but Del Zotto would barely ever cross the offensive blue line, and that those guys would only go on the ice when that one Panther was on, and they would come right off whenever he came off, even though they don’t have the final player change as the visiting team, and they wouldn’t even practice this before trying it? Would you say there was a good chance the Rangers would get shut out in that game? Then imagine that Tortorella, after the shutout loss, gave the strategy a glowing thumbs-up, and yet when the teams meet again at MSG, he wouldn’t try the same thing, even with the last change and time to practice it?
Sounds like the captain is back tonight. Chris Drury missed only five games, and that’s pretty quick from a concussion that wasn’t his first. I don’t like it one bit, a guy coming back that soon because, as I’ve said, concussion history tells us: That there is a cumulative effect with concussions, that each ensuing concussion is more serious, that further concussions are likely to be caused by lesser collisions. I’d be very careful here.
That said, if Drury is healthy, he helps. I know a lot of you think he’s a detriment, and it’s true that he has been a zero for a lot of this season. But he’s a better player than whomever comes out of the lineup for him. And that might be Ales Kotalik, who was banged up Monday against the Blue Jackets.
Me, I’ve got another major meeting with Mr. Titleist, and each one now could be the last until 2010. So don’t bother me for, oh, about four hours or so. I’ll stop in later, pregame.