Saturday, January 15, 2011

Daily Recap: Practice; Burrows No Punishment; Young Defense Is Ready; Rangers New Devils?; European Opener?

Following last night’s huge win over Vancouver the New York Rangers had practice before heading out for tomorrow's road game.  In practice six of the most used players: Dubinsky, Fedotenko, Boyle, Prust, Staal and Girardi were all given the day off to rest and recuperate before being abused again tomorrow.  It is a smart move by coach Tortorella to take those who have been carrying the team in terms of minutes and key situations and give them time off with the back-to-back games this weekend.

In terms of last night's game there was news regarding Alex Burrows blatant spear of Marc Staal’s genitals that found the league deciding no suspension was warranted for the play.  It is ridiculous for the league to not penalize such a blatant use of the stick as a weapon, which was no different than the kind of dirty plays they are trying to get out of the game in terms of headshots.  In the aftermath of the decision there was discussion about whether the fact that the play happened against the Rangers had some part in why there was no punishment.  Beyond that there was discussion of if certain players had done it or it had been done to certain others the severity of the punishment that would have been handed down.  Obviously there is not proof for those discussions, but what is obvious at the moment is the complete lack of consistency on what is and what is not a suspension worthy offense.

As for the list, first was this concern all week since the trade of Rozsival about the youth that is in the defense core.  The talk has been about if because of their combination of youth and inexperience as a group there was a need for a veteran to be brought in. I believe this group has proven that despite the youth they are ready for the challenges they will face the rest of the way.  I looked at the rationale on both sides of making or not making a move and where these specific players have shown that they can handle the task relieving the pressure to make a move and even causing the ability to make the Rozsival move in the first place.

Beyond the defense I passed along a link to an article today that hit on something I noticed watching the Vancouver game in the similarities between these Rangers and the old Devils.  Like many Rangers fans the idea of being in the same sentence with anything Devil related is unpleasant for me, and there are still differences between the two teams, but if it means the Rangers start winning championships like those Devil teams then I can live with it.

Turns out that the injury to prospect Ethan Werek that started out as a day-to-day thing and has lasted over a month is actually a torn ligament in his wrist.

E.J. Hradek passed along a tweet saying that the Rangers are under consideration to once again open the season in Europe next season.  I am not a big fan of doing that as it can become a hindrance to the club both in camp and to start the season, but with the right matchups it could be fun.  See who the other teams are, let me know if you want the Rangers to go and what matchups you want to see inside the story.

Finally there is video of a scary moment in the Colorado Minnesota game when Ryan O’Reilly went crashing head/neck first into the boards and had to be taken off on a stretcher.   Luckily reports later indicated that he had movement in his extremities and was also making the team trip back this evening.