Monday, October 1, 2007

Rangers' Opening Day Roster Set

The Rangers have made their final cuts, trimming their roster down to 23 players. As expected, Artem Anisimov was sent down today along with tough decisions in Nigel Dawes and Al Montoya. Marc Staal, Thomas Pock, Stephen Valiquette and Brandon Dubinski all survived the last round of cuts, and are now playing for a shot at starting on Thursday. Perhaps the toughest decision was the demotion of Nigel Dawes, who certainly made a case to stay up with the big club. Dawes was perhaps one of the top six forwards on the ice this preseason. There are just too many wingers with NHL experience blocking him right now. Look for him to be called up at the first injury or lackluster play of one of the veterans. For now, lets look at how the opening day roster could look one of two ways:

Straka - Drury - Jagr
Shannahan - Gomez - Avery
Callahan - Dubinski - Prucha
Orr - Betts - Hollweg

Roszival - Malik
Tyutin - Girardi
Mara - Staal

Scratches - Hossa, Strudwick, Pock
or
Hossa - Drury - Jagr
Shannahan - Gomez - Straka
Callahan - Avery - Prucha
Orr - Betts - Hollweg

Same defense pairings

Scratches - Dubinski, Pock, Strudwick

It really depends on it the Rangers want the tough puckhandler in Hossa or the playmaking winger in Straka on the first line with Jagr. There are about five other variations of the lineup that could happen as well, but these are the two most likely choices, in my opinion. Thoughts?

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