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Buffalo Sabres News » News » RANGERS: Redden starts to show why he was signed
RANGERS: Redden starts to show why he was signed
RANGERS: Redden starts to show why he was signed
GREENBURGH, N.Y. - Wade Redden now stows his gear in the stall that used to belong to Brendan Shanahan in the MSG Training Center locker room.

Redden had been tucked off on the side with Nigel Dawes, Dmitri Kalinin and Nikolai Zherdev. Now he's nearer to Chris Drury and Scott Gomez. "Heavy hitters over here," Redden said.

With the Senators, Redden's team for his first 11 NHL seasons, at the Garden tonight, the defenseman is stepping into the spotlight a bit more. After 20 games, the Rangers' marquee free-agent signing has been much like his new team - up and down from game to game, even period to period. But Redden has been looking more and more like the guy the Rangers spent $39 million over six years to sign.

"There's always a feeling-out process, and hopefully that's done for me now," said Redden, who played his best game as a Ranger in Saturday's 3-2 shootout win over the Bruins. "You definitely want to come out and make an impression [with a new team]. We've all been finding ourselves as a team. I tried to come in and fit in, but I also feel like I can step it up when I have to."

Redden is not flashy and never has been, but the Rangers definitely need him to be flashier than he had been. Michal Rozsival has become the Garden's new whipping boy, justifiably so after two more giveaways that led to Bruins goals on Saturday. Marc Staal, Paul Mara and Dan Girardi have been very steady. But Redden was going to be the power-play quarterback and the tape-to-tape passer who negated teams' aggressive forechecks.

Redden has two goals and eight points in 20 games. "We've certainly seen the incline in his play," coach Tom Renney said. "It's been pretty much game to game, especially over the last four to five games."

Redden is excited about Saturday's trip to Ottawa. "It's going to be a fun week," he said. "I'm a Ranger first and foremost, but it'll be interesting for sure."

Notes & quotes: C Scott Gomez (bruised ankle) missed practice and Renney called him "unlikely" for tonight ... F Markus Naslund (undisclosed injury) also missed practice, but Renney said Naslund will play tonight.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: November 17, 2008

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