How often have we said that this year? Well, Jaromir Jagr finally broke out of his goal scoring drought last night in a 4-2 win over the Hurricanes with a pair of goals. Derek has all of the rest of the scoring in his post below, so here are some more thoughts and happenings from me:
- The collision between Colton Orr and Matt Cullen was scary, but there is no doubt in my mind that it was not intentional. I don't even think Orr was looking to even hit him as hard as he did. The main brunt of force came when Orr's head hit Cullen's head, and then when Cullen hit the ice. It's unfortunate to see things like that, and even more unfortunate that the officials had to jump to the conclusion that it warrented a game misconduct. Petr Prucha has been on the receiving end of blows high or led with elbow that I swore he would never get up from, but this was completely different. Cullen suffered a possible concussion, needed three stitches and has a broken nose. Orr is scraped up as well. Speedy recovery to Cullen.
- Speaking of Prucha, there's a chance you may not see him in a Ranger uniform much longer. According to several sources, there is a deal in place with the Columbus Blue Jackets to send Prucha over for David Vyborny. There would be more to the package, with the names of Nigel Dawes, Brandon Dubinsky, Ryan Callahan, Marek Malik and Paul Mara all being mentioned. Adam Foote is the only other name I have heard coming to us other than Vyborny. Vyborny is said to be very good friends with Jagr, which could help with chemistry. Either way, this will not happen until midnight at the earliest, as that is when the Christmas trade freeze is lifted.
One has to wonder if a trade like that is what the Blueshirts need. Does Prucha need a change of scenery? Is Vyborny the answer to our scoring woes? Should we be giving up on Marek Malik for Adam Foote? Simply put, no. Prucha keeps trying and eventually the puck will bounce his way and he'll be back to scoring 20 goals a season. Jagr and Vyborny might be good friends, but why break up Martin Straka, Scott Gomez and Jagr. They have finally clicked as a unit and are playing great hockey. Vyborny is in no way a first line player either. Adam Foote was fantastic in his prime, but he is coming to the end of his career. Injuries and inability to keep up with the speed of play are right around the corner. Don't do this trade. I see nothing changing from it, especially if we give up on other players like Callahan, Dawes and Dubinsky also.
- Sean Avery and Andrew Ladd deserved to be thrown out last night. Looking at some message boards, people were saying how Avery had no choice. Avery may be my favorite player for the Rangers right now. I even got a new jersey for Christmas with his name on the back, but it's hard to stick up for him in this instance. Ladd should have skated away, but he goaded Avery into a litte more. I don't think any suspensions are warrented, and really there was not much harm in what happened, but you can't muscle your way through a linesman. Another one should have grabbed Ladd as well, but hopefully nothing comes down from the Toronto offices.
All and all it was a good game yesterday. Little fiestiness, scoring, defense and Henrik Lundqvist looks like he is back on track. This kind of intensity will bring around plenty of wins. There are two games this weekend, Saturday at Toronto and Sunday against Montreal. Then the Rangers take on Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver to finish the Canadian tour. I'll weigh in before then, especially if a trade goes down.