Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Fedotenko Back Tomorrow?; McDonagh Talks Redden; Del Zotto New Number

When Ruslan Fedotenko went down on Sunday after taking a puck off his hand all New York Rangers fans collectively, “not again,” when it comes to another player going down with a broken hand having just lost Ryan Callahan, Chris Drury twice this season and Brandon Dubinsky in similar scenarios.  Everyone would take a sigh of relief after the game when it was announced that it was just a bad bruise and nothing was broken.  The news continues to get better as Fedotenko was able to practice today with his typical line and is expected to play tomorrow against the Hurricanes.

Fedotenko, 31, was originally brought to New York as a tryout player mainly due to his history with coach John Tortorella but he has made the most of his opportunity and become a vital part of the Rangers lineup.  If you missed the play from Sunday’s game here is the video of not only Fedotenko blocking the initial McCabe shot, getting injured, but how he got back up and continued to drop down to block more shots.  That is the kind of play the Rangers have been getting from him all season and why having him available for tomorrow’s game against Carolina is very good news.

In terms of recent recall Ryan McDonagh, Andrew Gross, has quality as always in the wide ranging discussion that touched on his relationship with Stepan both at Wisconsin and this season while they have been separated and further evidence of what we have talked about before concerning the mentoring that Wade Redden has done in Hartford.

The article talks about how not only have McDonagh and Redden played on the ice together, but been roommates on the road allowing McDonagh to inundate Redden with questions which has helped in the transition in all facets of the game; particularly the mental ones.  Gross also addresses the issue of whether McDonagh will actually get to play and it is not at all surprising having followed McDonagh from his Wisconsin days to see the way he handled himself in answering questions on the topic and his philosophy on how to play the game in general.  Check out the link, it is worth it as always.

Finally as always Bruce Berlet and the crew over at Howlings do a great job covering the Whale and he discusses among other things Michael Del Zotto and his adjustment to being down in the minors.  Del Zotto is saying all the right things today about doing the work and what he has to change in his game, but personally I am going to wait until he shows it this time to believe he fully understands playing simple is what is necessary.  The quotes and work are worth the read and there is also discussion of the change in McDonagh’s game from the beginning of the year to where it is now.

The only bit of news from the article I will spoil is that Del Zotto has chosen a number for the Whale and it will not be his typical number 4 as Stu Bickel already had the number 4.  It will be the number 2 which is not a way to lessen the pressure on the young man, but Rangers fans do not get excited it is not in ode to Brian Leetch it is still about Bobby Orr as it was the number Orr wore while he was in Junior hockey.