Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Del Zotto Stays 'For Now'; Rangers Rework PP Units, Extra PP Practice

After yesterday’s day off, the New York Rangers hit the practice ice today to work on things in hopes of ending their current five-game winless streak.  In a change of the normal reactions to a game where the team fails to score consistently, coach John Tortorella is leaving the forward lines exactly as they have been for the last two games.  This move allows the lines to attempt to build some chemistry together instead of having to figure out new people every game.  The lines were:


After a 45 minute normal practice the team left the ice for it to be resurfaced and then came out just to work on the power play which has cost them dearly of late.  The team worked with mainly two units.  Per Jesse Spector the units were as follows:

Unit 1: Callahan-Prospal-Gaborik up front; Staal-Wolski on the points
Unit 2: Dubinsky-Anisimov-Zuccarello up front; Del Zotto-Stepan on the points

During the course of the power play work there were also times where Erik Christensen filtered in for Artem Anisimov.  Also during the work on the power play, Jesse Spector passed along that John Tortorella was yelling for the team to shoot the puck during the drill, and later confirmed that it at Marian Gaborik whom he was scolding.

Following practice the news on Drury came down as well as, per Andrew Gross, John Tortorella confirming that Michael Del Zotto is staying with the team ‘for now.’  The other line of the day regarding Del Zotto was that he would not being going down “anytime soon,” according to Arthur Staple.  I still am not a fan of the mixed messages that sends to the young player, as I wrote yesterday in telling them to make a decision and stick with it, but at least on the surface it seems to be for a decent amount of time.

The reason for Del Zotto staying according to Tortorella was because he had seen some improvements in his play, but that there are still concerns about him playing nervously.  I can certainly understand him playing nervous hockey, when it seems every other game he is basically told in the press, do something or we might send you down.

With Del Zotto remaining in the lineup, it is expected that Eminger will continue to be a healthy scratch.