Thursday, November 25, 2010

Rangers Thanksgiving Practice News: Team Meeting; New Lines; Rozsival Takes Contact But Still Out; Drury Skates No Stick

The Rangers had practice on the holiday and hopefully they did it more energy than last night's first two periods which looked like a vacation day being taken.  There are reports that while Henrik Lundqvist and Martin Biron worked with goalie coach Benoit Allaire on the ice the rest of the team had a meeting presumably to address the atrocious effort last night and maybe even the coach calling out his star in the media. Gaborik for his part did say he has to do more and he is looking forward to playing with Dubinsky.  I for one expect a better effort tomorrow and that should be obvious in that if they do not respond after the last performance things will turn ugly quickly, but my question is not if they will respond but how long will it last this time?
When they take the ice tomorrow expect to see different lines on the ice.  You knew it was coming when the team could not muster much consistent pressure as Tortorella does not need much of an excuse to start playing match maker with his lines.  The only line that survived the roulette wheel today in practice was the fourth line, which frankly surprises me.  The reason I am surprised is despite the ineffectiveness of the top two lines lately the third line that was Ruslan Fedotenko - Brian Boyle - Brandon Prust has remained good and been the best combination so to break them up seems counterproductive.
Here were the lines as reported by Jesse Spector:
Boogaard did not skate because of sore shoulder.
With each of the top three lines it is a little bit of mix and match of partial combinations that have worked before.  Dubinsky and Gaborik have played well together as have Stepan and Gaborik at times; Fedotenko and Boyle have shown excellent chemistry in their time together and maybe adding similar grit to Prust but more skill in Callahan improves that; Anisimov and Prust have played well together in the past as well.
On the injury front Michal Rozsival took part in practice in a red jersey today like all the other D and unlike the yellow non-contact one he has worn the past few days.  He is still said to be out tomorrow, but no definitive word on Saturday or Monday.
Chris Drury once again did conditioning work on the ice after practice but still is said to be unable to grip the stick, insert your own jokes, and check out my take on the situation here.