Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Down Goes Dubi!

Speak of the Devil (not our opponents tonight – I was using a figure of speech). What I mean is – I was just talking about what would happen to the top line when Vaclav Prospal rejoined the Rangers.

And, what do you know; word is that Prospal will play tonight against our most hated rivals: the New Jersey Devils.

And so, John Tortorella was faced with the dilemma (Editor: he means problem) we had written about. With Christensen playing so well (he's plus 5 in the last six games) and Dubinsky seeming to do better at wing - who was the odd man out on Gaborik's line?

And we are hearing that Brandon Dubinsky is the man to drop down. He'll join Drury and Callahan on line two.

We like the move because it helps both lines.

Gabby and Prospal have played well together all season. But Erik Christensen is more of a natural center than Vaclav is. So this way - you get a real center plus the Gaborik-Prospal combination.

And this helps the second line as well. The line of last year's Ranger favorites: Dubi, Cally, and Drury will be sure to work hard for loose pucks. I'm assuming the captain will play center - which frees Dubi up to play the wing where he suddenly looks more comfortable.

Of course - I'm guessing here, but this puts Sean Avery on the 3rd line, with Anisimov and, I suppose, Higgins.

Rounding out line 4 to Boyle, Kotalik, and whoever is not a healthy scratch tonight.

Also notable - Chad Johnson's demotion to the AHL was temporary and for a purpose - to keep him sharp. He won a 2-1 shoot out game. And now he's back with the Rangers.

Who the hell are we playing? Tonight - we play the team we really don't like - the New Jersey Devils. It's an interesting test for us. We’ve been playing much better lately - but the schedule's been kind to us too. This is our first contest against an elite team in a while, so this will be a good way to see where we are as a hockey club.

Dave Puck Predicts: I always pick wins. I can't help it. And tonight I'm saying we score 3 on fatso and Hank only let's 2 by him. The Rangers only have one regulation loss in their last 11. It has to end sometime - but let's home it's not tonight.

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