Monday, December 28, 2009

The Good With the Bad

While the Rangers received some good news about their future from the World Junior Championships in Saskatchewan, they received bad news about their immediate future with word that Vinny Prospal will miss the next 10 days to 3 weeks after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his knee this morning.

The bad news is pretty bad for this Rangers team that already has enough issues scoring.  Prospal is currently the second leading scorer on the Roster behind Marian Gaborik, posting 8 goals to go along with 24 assists.  He's also one of the team's alternate captains, we suspect due to his strong work ethic that is visible every time he hits the ice.  I expect to see both Aaron Voros and Erik Christensen get chances in the lineup while Prospal is out.  Christensen will probably see more time than Voros since he has more puck skills and is very effective on faceoffs, but coupling Brian Boyle's bad play of late with Prospal's injury makes me believe that they could both crack the lineup on Wednesday night against the Flyers.  If the Rangers are going to survive this stretch while Prospal is out, it will be because the middle of the pack scorers are contributing on the scoresheet nightly (Callahan, Drury, Anisimov, Lisin, Avery, Christensen).

On the good news front, Rangers prospects had a good first weekend at the WJC, with all 4 attendees cracking the scoresheet.  Derek Stepan leads Team USA with 4 points (1g, 3a) and has won almost 60% of his faceoffs, this year's 1st round pick Chris Kreider has a goal and an assist and was named Player of the Game in the 3-0 USA victory over Switzerland, and Ryan Bourque has registered an assist.  It would be nice to see Bourque get more shots on net (he only has 2 throught he first 2 games), but he seemed to find his game a bit more in the 2nd game.

Roman Horak, the only non-American Rangers prospect at the WJC, picked up a breakaway goal in the Czech Republic's second game to put them up 3-0 on Finland.  The Finns stormed back in the 3rd period and won the game 4-3, putting Horak's Czech side in an 0-2 hole and making them a longshot to advance beyond the preliminary round.

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