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Buffalo Sabres News » News » RENNEY'S RIDDLE - RANGERS TRY TO DETERMINE BEST LINEUP
RENNEY'S RIDDLE - RANGERS TRY TO DETERMINE BEST LINEUP
RENNEY'S RIDDLE - RANGERS TRY TO DETERMINE BEST LINEUP
In Tom Renney's perfect world, Chris Drury is in the middle and Lauri Korpikoski is on the wing, or maybe that's Drury on the wing and Korpikoski playing at center."You know something, I'm not sure that I have the answer right now to that question," Renney said following yesterday's morning skate. "Part of me really likes Chris in the middle because of how responsible he is without the puck, but part of me likes him on the wing because that allows him to be the great garbage collector that he is around the net. With Lauri, I like the intensity he shows when he's at center. I think that he feels more freedom playing that position even though I know he gives us size and strength when I have him on the wing.


"It's a bit of a dilemma, but I do know that both are quite capable of playing both spots. It's also something I don't have to address until Scotty's situation is cleared up."

The head coach was referring to Scott Gomez, who did not play in last night's match at the Garden against the Bruins because of pain from a lingering ankle injury that's kept him out of the last two games.

Renney said he did not know whether Gomez, who originally sustained the injury when struck by a puck in Detroit on Oct. 18 and has not skated since playing Monday, would be able to return tomorrow night when the Senators come to Broadway.

"Scotty is probably in the best shape of his career, so missing a couple of games won't be an issue for Ottawa," Renney said. "As of now, the only thing that might prevent him from playing in that game is pain tolerance. "He's going to skate [today]. If he comes through that without a problem, then I imagine he'll be good for Monday. But if pain remains an issue and he can't go, then we're looking at a scenario where he's going to have to go through the protocol of rebuilding his conditioning and meeting certain requirements before we'll clear him to play."

*

At 12-5-2 going into last night's match against the 10-3-3 Bruins, the Rangers were facing a team with better winning percentage than themselves for first time this season. The Blueshirts and Sabres both were unbeaten when 2-0 Buffalo beat the 5-0 Blueshirts at the Garden on Oct. 15.

"I think that Boston might be one of the top three teams in the NHL ," Renney said of a Bruins' team that had won five straight. "It's a complete team that pays strict attention to detail, is good in its own end, has excellent goaltending and attacks with numbers."

Rangers (.684) were seventh overall in NHL winning percentage going into last night behind San Jose (.806), Detroit (.781), Boston (.719), Montreal (.714), Washington (.688) and Pittsburgh (also .688).

*

The Rangers, third in the NHL in faceoff efficiency last year at 52.3 percent, entered last night's match 23rd in the league at 48.5 percent. Gomez is the only Rangers center over 50 percent on his draws, going 155-127 for 54.96 percent. Brandon Dubinsky was 105-116 for 47.51, Blair Betts was 108-120 for 47.36, Drury was 108-122 for 46.95 and Korpikoski was 21-33 for 38.88 percent.

With Patrick Rissmiller in Hartford for conditioning, Petr Prucha was the lone healthy scratch.



Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: November 19, 2008

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