Friday, January 7, 2011

Daily Recap: McDonagh Debut in Dallas?; Rangers Scout Leafs Again; Del Zotto, Grachev Key Whale; Best of 1st Half;

With no game today there was not a lot of news out, but there was more fuel added to the story of the other day concerning the Rangers and Leafs possibly making a deal as the Rangers scouted there for fourth time in the last 9 days.  Here is the story of from the other day about the Rangers continually scouting the Leafs and my analysis of who they might be looking at acquiring.  Being in attendance tonight they saw one of the guys I discussed, Grabovski, have a magical shootout attempt that could have raised his price some. On the play he  showed off his skill with a beautiful shootout goal that featured not only a spin-o-rama but a move back to his forehand and a sharp angle lift to score.

In terms of official news there was some interesting news out of practice that could impact tomorrow’s game.  Both Brandon Prust and Michal Rozsival were absent from practice with Prust being because of his shoulder that has been a recurring issue and Rozi being out with his newest ailment, an injury in the rib area.  It is expected that Prust will play with the injury again tomorrow, but the status of Rozsival is less certain.  With Rozi hurting Ryan McDonagh might make his NHL debut against the Stars.  The full article gives the details of when Rozi sustained this injury originally, when it was aggravated and what the team is trying to do in order to determine his availability for the game against Dallas.  Beyond that there are my thoughts on whether Rozsival should sit regardless of if he heals enough to play and how I would shape the defense if Rozi cannot go.

Speaking of the game against the Stars, I previewed the game, in terms of the quality of the two teams, what players are going to be crucial for each team’s success and even a prediction on the score.  Certainly give me your thoughts on if someone else might be the key player in the game, what you think the score will be.  There will be a lot of storylines going into the game with Avery returning to Dallas and the Rangers taking on Brad Richards, but the team will have to focus on the two points above all else.

This morning I took a look back at the first half from an individual standpoint to see what worked and some things that failed in the first 41 games for the team.  With that there are awards to be handed out, so see which players picked up the prizes both good and bad as we hit the new starting point on the year.  Let me know which guys you think can maintain the level they had in the first half, which guys cannot keep their career years going, the ones that will turn things around and finally the ones you have lost all hope for.

For those of you who are unaware of what went on in Michael Del Zotto’s debut for the Connecticut Whale he had the primary assist on Tim Kennedy’s PPG that would be the game winner.  The play was one where Tim Kennedy drove hard to the net and Michael Del Zotto spotted him, they made eye contact and DZ then fired the pass right on Kennedy’s stick for the finish.  The pass was one of those that DZ has had little confidence to make and no completions on at the NHL level this season.  The general consensus was that after a slow start to the game Del Zotto got better as it went along and played well at the end.

In other Whale news Evgeny Grachev continued to show some signs of life with a SHG on a play that I saw described as Jagr like in the way he used his massive frame to shield the puck and despite the defenders best efforts, which had him going to the penalty box, Grachev managed to force the puck in low.  Great to see two more young guys have an impact along with all the ones that are doing it for the Rangers right now.

In the video section today we have Rangers and non-Rangers material.
  • For the Rangers there are the interviews for Mats Zuccarello (postgame) and Artem Anisimov (pregame) from the Carolina game
  • We have Tuukka Rask doing his best to try and outdo his fellow Boston netminder in the save of the year race with his leaping save.