Monday, October 24, 2011
Biron, Wolski, Woywitka in Lineup for Rangers Tonight
News today from the Rangers is that Wojtek Wolski will make his return to the lineup for the first time since Opening Day in Sweden and Marty Biron will make his season debut in Winnipeg tonight against the Jets. Jeff Woywitka will also suit up for tonight after being a healthy scratch Saturday in Edmonton in favor of Brendan Bell.
Wolski's return to the lineup means that Erik Christensen (thankfully) will take a seat in the press box. As much of a disappointment as Wolski has been since being traded to the Rangers last season, there's really no way he can provide any less than Erik Christensen has so far this season. I expect Wolski will open the game on the fourth line, but he'll probably move around and get some power play time as the game goes on. Wolski, you'll recall, was called out by John Tortorella last week when Torts took a subtle shot at Wolski by insinuating he was taking his sweet time recovering from a groin injury that has lingered ever since the preseason.
Evidently, the Rangers weren't all that impressed by Brendan Bell on Saturday because Jeff Woywitka is back in after a one game absence. Ideally, neither of these guys should be suiting up regularly for the Rangers (or any other NHL team for that matter), but the Rangers really don't have any choice with Marc Staal still suffering from concussion symptoms and Michael Sauer's right shoulder still an issue.
Tonight's game will break a string of 37 consecutive games that Henrik Lundqvist has started for the Rangers (including the postseason) dating back to last season. The decision to start Biron, apparently, has nothing to do with Henrik Lundqvist leaving Saturday's game against Edmonton with cramps in his foot from the new skates he's been wearing this year. Lundqvist has insisted he's fine and he practiced fully, so I have no reason to believe this is a lingering thing. Fact is, Biron was likely to start at some point on this road trip since John Tortorella likely wants to get him into a game early in the season so he can get some work in.
More later from Winnipeg as game time draws near...