Sunday, December 26, 2010

Zuccarello-Aasen Back vs Isles; Gaborik Practices, Hopes To Play; Del Zotto Healthy Scratch

Scott Levy/NHLI via Getty Images
The Rangers have announced this afternoon that Mats Zuccarello-Aasen will be recalled for tomorrow’s game against the Islanders.  The move is well deserved following the debut Zuccarello had against the Lightning, but was still considered to be somewhat uncertain and partially dependent upon the health of Marian Gaborik.  The announcement that Zuke will be back is said to be independent of Gaborik’s healthy as Gabby took part in practice today and is hopeful to play tomorrow.  The question that remains now will be what the Rangers lines will look like come game time, but here are what today’s lines looked like:

Dubinsky – Stepan – Gaborik
Frolov – Anisimov – Drury
Fedotenko – Boyle – Prust
Avery – Christensen – White

Even though I would slot Gaborik back into the lineup on that second line in place of Drury and put Zuccarello back with Dubinsky and Stepan since the trio worked so well against the Lightning I expect it will be Zuccarello that is moved instead and Gaborik comes in with Dubi and Step.  In conjunction with that expect Todd White to be scratched and Drury to take his spot on the fourth line.

To go with my assumption on the lines for tomorrow comes this according to @thenyrangers twitter feed:
Torts on Gaborik: "It's important that we get Gaby back in and feeling good about himself...we want him to be confident"
I want Gaborik to be confident and feeling good about himself as does every Rangers fan, but it is feeling more and more like coddling to me.  Interesting to see that Torts clearly intimated that Gaborik’s groin issue was new the other day before he sat out and then today Gaborik said it was bothering him for a few games before he finally sat so one is obviously lying and neither would rally be a good thing.

On defense it was announced that Michael Del Zotto, who is feeling better, will be a healthy scratch tomorrow and Matt Gilroy will stay in the lineup.  It was called part of the learning process for Del Zotto which it certainly is, but if this becomes any sort of longer term thing it will risk a Gilroy like erosion of confidence from a year ago.