Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Notes From Rangers Practice: Stralman and Richards Work Points On First Power Play Unit
The Rangers were back at it on the ice at practice today, as Brandon Dubinsky (flu) and Brad Richards (maintenance) both returned after missing practice yesterday.
It seems as if we may get our first look at Anton Stralman in a Rangers uniform as soon as tomorrow night against the Panthers. Stralman was working with Brad Richards on the points of the first power play unit with Brandon Dubinsky, Erik Christensen and Ryan Callahan playing up front. Yes, you read that right. Erik Christensen was working on the first power play unit, not Marian Gaborik. Why? I have absolutely no idea.
Anyway, I don't think John Tortorella would use Stralman on the first power play unit at practice unless he was going to be in the lineup. I mean, what exactly would the point be to work on an already struggling power play if the coaching staff didn't plan on using the same personnel in games that they used in practice?
Here are the forward lines from practice that you'll likely see tomorrow night in Florida (hat tip to Andrew Gross):
If Stralman suits up tomorrow the general assumption is that it'll come at the expense of Steve Eminger or Jeff Woywitka. But I also wouldn't rule out the possibility of Michael Del Zotto being a healthy scratch. He's coming off a terrible game in Montreal and was bumped from the top power play unit in favor of Stralman. John Tortorella, of course, won't confirm any lineup changes until game-time tomorrow, so we'll see what happens.
Also, in case you missed it earlier, there was some big news that Marc Staal has accompanied the team on the trip to Florida, along with Mike Rupp and Wojtek Wolski. Here's to hoping Staal is closer to returning than we all thought.