Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Biron Starts In Goal Tonight Versus Devils, Staal Coming Along Slowly
In what would qualify to me as very surprising news, John Tortorella announced today that Martin Biron will start in goal tonight against the Devils in Newark. According to the Daily News, this will break a string of 32 consecutive starts for Henrik Lundqvist against the Devils. The last time Lundqvist wasn't in goal when the Rangers faced the Devils was Dec. 17, 2006 at Madison Square Garden. Kevin Weeekes started in goal that night and the Rangers lost to the Devils 6-1. Hopefully, tonight will have a much better outcome for the Blueshirts.
John Tortorella also spoke to Pat Leonard of the Daily News about Marc Staal's slow progress since returning on Jan. 2 from concussion symptoms. Torts acknowledged that Staal's play has been inconsistent, but believes that Staal will be back to logging major minutes in important spots again as the team gets deeper into the season this spring. My own opinion is that it seems like John Tortorella has developed major confidence in Michael Del Zotto this season and won't be afraid to give him more minutes if he sees that Staal is struggling on any given night. I do think that Staal will eventually be back to normal, but it may not be until next season after going through training camp that he's 100% back to his old self again.
As far as tonight goes, besides Biron in goal there are no other lineup changes for the Rangers. Brian Boyle's ankle is still banged up, but it's the kind of thing he can play with as long as he can tolerate the pain.
The Rangers and Devils faceoff tonight in Newark at 7 p.m.