Thursday, October 18, 2007

Welcome in the Era of Nigel Dawes and No Marek Malik

The best news the New York Rangers' fans have heard in a long time was announced today. Marek Malik will be a healthy scratch tonight in favor of Thomas Pock. Pock will play alongside Roszival on top unit, although it can now be debated that Fedor Tyutin and Dan Girardi are the top defense pairing in New York. Malik needed a day off to compose himself, and Pock deserves a look. I don't expect this move to be permanent though. Jaromir Jagr and Malik are friends, Tom Renney has a thing for sticking with the veterans, and Pock is in no way a top defenseman.

Also, as said yesterday, Nigel Dawes will be skating with Jagr and Scott Gomez tonight. What's interesting is what will happen if Dawes clicks with them. Marcel Hossa is very expendable, so Dawes can have his spot if he is producing, although I am really not ready to give up on Hossa. The big problem arises when Sean Avery comes back. Avery is a different player than everyone else on the roster. Does Dawes sit when he comes back? Do we lose someone else? Or is someone stashed away on the 4th line, like Prucha or Callahan? These questions are a couple of weeks away from needing answers but it's still not a bad idea to think about them now.

I'll check in period by period during tonight's game against the Thrashers.

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