Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Last Time The Rangers Visited Philly: The Pain of Being a Fan

As a fan there are many bad things that come from rooting for a team in any sport.  In hockey other than just injuries the list includes: missing the playoffs; losing to a rival; being beaten by a backup goalie; having stars not show up for critical game.  For the Rangers fans in their teams’ last trip to Philly for Game 82 of the season last year all of those things happened.  To miss the playoffs is always a bad feeling, to miss it by one point is even worse, to miss it by losing to the Flyers worse yet to miss it by 1 point because you lost a shootout pitting your star goalie against Brian “Water Boy” Boucher is only exponentially compounds the anger and heartbreak.  

More Late Injury News: Lundqvist and Gaborik

As I am sure you have read everwhere by now Henrik Lundqvist was hit in the neck by a Brian Boyle shot in practice, was dazed, short of breath momentarily but is now said to be fine and could start tomorrow vs Phi.  The one who seemed the most shaken was Boyle because if he had actually seriously injured the King all of NY might have sought to destroy him.  This is what happens when you unleash the wrath of the new Brian Boyle, you just cannot ask him to contain his dominance at any point, even practice against his own franchise goaltender.

On the Gaborik front he took another step in his recovery skating again, this time with gear, though still alone.  He took shots again and still no timetable on his return.  If I was to project one for his return I figure he gets at least a week with some contact and in practice and since he hasnt even started skating with others even without contact yet I say 11/17 vs Boston as the general time I would expect him back.

Personal Note: Sorry for the lack of either updates or timely news the past few days, but as you know yesterday was Election Day and I was in a bunch of places for that and this morning was a recharge the batteries moment.  As of now should be back to normal here.

Who Should/Would have Taken Cally's Spot Tomorrow

In one of those score one for not having to actually face the decision moments because it appears that Ryan Callahan will be able to play tomorrow after sitting out practice this morning after taking stitches to his ankle, let's look at what could have been.  It would have been unlikely that they would have broken up the Avery-Boyle-Fedetenko line because it has been producing and the combination of Avery and Ruslan has been very effective all season virtually regardless of their center.  The main options to take the spot on the first line RW probably would have included: Frolov, Prust, White and possibly Grachev or Stepan.

Join me after the jump to take a look at the rationale for and against each of those options.