Monday, November 14, 2011

When Stralman Plays Should Rangers Sit Woywitka or Eminger?

Given the New York Rangers current six game winning streak it is hard to see coach John Tortorella changing anything in terms of the lineup, but shortly there will be a decision to make on defense.  Anton Stralman was signed to play and add to the offense from the blue line and while he is still being worked into the system his shot is coming soon.  The question is whether it will be Jeff Woywitka or Eminger will be the one to take a seat in the press box.

Eminger brings more to the team physically than Woywitka does and given his history with the club Tortorella trusts him more if the team needs a third pair player to move up into a top four role.  Eminger also has been given more of an opportunity to kill penalties, which is a role that they are unlikely to use Stralman in, so that is another advantage for him in the direct competition.

However Woywitka has outplayed Eminger in the totality of the season and should be given every opportunity to keep his job even when Stralman moves into the lineup.  Obviously the question of which third pair defender stays in the lineup should be rather inconsequential with the way the Rangers use their defenders in terms of ice time.