First of all, same lineup, which means no Donald Brashear, and it means Ales Kotalik is prucha’d for the fourth game in a row. Matt Zaba (zaba-do) backs up Lundqvist. I don’t think they’ll need to score six or eight tonight. But they might need four. I wonder if they will have enough toughness in the lineup tonight in Philly (where they’re 12-2-1 in their last 15) , especially since Voros is playing with that nasty gash on his eyebrow. They’ll have to be team tough and smart.
As for the Kotalik rumor, well, I’ll believe it when an agent actually, you know, says it to a news agency of some sort. Not that I doubt some things may have been said or overheard by a blogster. I spoke to somebody with the Rangers today and he had heard nothing about a demand or request to be traded.
And I don’t doubt that at some point Kotalik will ask to be traded. There’s no way in hell he’s defecting because A) Euro teams can’t and won’t take a player under contract to an NHL team without making a deal with that team, so that’s not defecting, is it? And B) If the Rangers could get out from his last two years at $3M per, they’d let him use Jim Dolan’s jet.
As for asking to be traded, who is going to take a forward making that kind of money who also can’t get ice time with one of the lowest-scoring teams in all of hockey?
I actually think that Kotalik will be back in the lineup, lesson learned, at some point But they’re not going to break up the lineup that scored 14 goals in the last five periods, are they?