Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Drury Returns on Fourth Line; Torts Will Scratch White or Christensen

There has been a lot of speculation as to what the return of Chris Drury to the Rangers lineup will mean for the rest of the guys on the team, especially those on the fringe, but today’s statement by coach John Tortorella concerning who might be the scratch tomorrow against the Penguins caught many of us off guard.  I will not say that we did not think this guy was above being scratched, especially when Vinny Prospal comes back, but to possibly scratch him in favor of Todd White would be surprising.

According to Andrew Gross reported earlier that coach John Tortorella has said that the healthy scratch for tomorrow’s game will be either Todd White or Erik Christensen.  Many of have said that Christensen is in trouble when Prospal returns but to see White who has done little to nothing might play over him is a little stunning.  Christensen is probably the most frustrating New York Rangers player because the skill is obviously there to be a very solid NHL player but there is absolutely no consistency to his play, so as excited as he can make you with a brilliant play it is even more infuriating when he fails to do anything.  This talk from Torts could be a mind game with Christensen to put the pressure on him to keep producing and earning his minutes and he could back that up by sitting him tomorrow and bringing him back on Thursday, we will see.

As for my question yesterday of where Drury will slot into the lineup, score one for me, for correctly predicting at least for the opening shifts of the game he will be on the fourth line with Avery and either Christensen or White as Torts does not want to disrupt the other three lines.  Word of advice for Stepan, Anisimov, Fedotenko and Frolov would be to produce early in the game because we know Tortorella will not hesitate to mix it up and now he has a new ping pong ball to put into the line lottery drawing.

Lines to expect tomorrow:
Ruslan Fedotenko-Derek Stepan-Marian Gaborik
Brandon Dubinsky-Artem Anisimov-Ryan Callahan
Alex Frolov-Brian Boyle-Brandon Prust
Sean Avery-Chris Drury-Erik Christensen/Todd White