Who Will Step Up For The Rangers? Tonight's Lines, Notes

The Rangers spent the off-season making mostly minor moves: signing Alexander Frolov, offering Ruslan Fedotenko an invitation to camp that panned out, trading away the dead weight contracts of Donald Brashear and Aaron Voros, and adding guys like Todd White, "PT109" Tim Kennedy, and rookie Derek Stepan. When it was all said and done, heading into the season the Rangers felt they had gotten younger and deeper.

With key players Marian Gaborik and Chris Drury now out for extended periods of time, and Vinny Prospal already missing from the lineup, the Rangers better hope they were right, or they could be staring down the barrel of a very long season on Broadway.

You learn a lot about a team's character when they are forced to deal with injuries. Now is the time for guys like Frolov, Brandon Dubinsky, Ryan Callahan, and Marc Staal to step up as leaders of this team and guide them through the rough patch ahead. Henrik Lundqvist is off to a shaky start, so its even more important that the Rangers rally around him. There is plenty of time left in the season, all they need to do is tread water and get through these next twenty games without two key components.

GameDay Notes:

The NHL not taking disciplinary action against Sean Avery for the slash on Mike Komisarek. I have to say, I'm surprised.

Here are your lines for tonight's game against the Avalanche (courtesy of Ranger Rants)

Brandon Dubinsky - Artem Anisimov - Ryan Callahan
Alex Frolov - Derek Stepan - Ruslan Fedotenko
Sean Avery - Brian Boyle - Brandon Prust
Derek Boogaard - Erik Christensen - Todd White

Although not the way I wanted, looks like I am getting my wish of Artem Anisimov on the first line.

Defensive pairings:

Marc Staal - Michal Rozsival
Michael Del Zotto - Dan Girardi
Matt Gilroy - Steve Eminger

Saw a lot of rumors on the "tweets" about Matt Gilroy being shopped (again). All I have to say is this: consider the source. I won't mention any names, but it rhymes with Flottawa Gun.

So far this season, the Rangers and Avalanche have one thing in common: they both lost to the minor league team in Hempstead.

Henrik Lundqvist is expected to get the start in goal.

One last thing: if any of you are at all interested in hearing about my trip to Houston last weekend to see the Giants, check out my recap of the weekend on Big Blue View. I also have video on You Tube, user name is jrs1940 on there, and if you are on my Facebook, I posted a bunch of the pics.