According to Alain Vigneault, defenseman Michael Del Zotto (flu) is out of the line-up tonight in Washington and will be replaced by Justin Falk.
…so if the Rangers win tonight do we have to send thank you cards to the influenza virus?
AV added that for Falk to remain in the NHL, he needs to play with a physical edge and be a hard player to play against.
…before Falk started his run on interference penalties in St. Louis, he was playing with an edge which included being the first Ranger this season to clear the crease after a Ludnqvist save. If Falk can continue that kind physical play, it'll be hard for AV to take him out.
Meanwhile, John Moore will reportedly take Del Zotto's spot on the Rangers top power play unit tonight.
Here's Moore on the opportunity (via Bergen Record)…
“Yeah, I was given that opportunity last year and I know why I’m there and I’m going to stick to my strengths and hopefully contribute,” Moore said. “The last couple of games I’ve been there, not with the unit I’ll be with tonight but in practice the last couple of days and in video. I’m excited for the opportunity. I’m there for a specific reason and I’ve just got to play to my strengths and do everything I can to get pucks on net and even if those don’t go in it has a positive impact on the chances that other guys can get based on them getting back a little bit.”
…really looking forward to see how Moore quarterbacks this much improved power play unit. Here's to hoping after tonight Del Zotto becomes the Wally Pipp of the Rangers power play.
During his post practice presser, Vigneault gave Derek Dorsett a vote of confidence after his disasterous game in St. Louis (via Bergen Record)…
“He’s a real solid person, he knows that he can’t take those penalties but that’s a tough role, that type of player, you’re always walking that fine line there and I would feel very confident in saying that most nights he’ll be on the right side of that fine line in that particular game he wasn’t. He’s very aware of it, he knew the impact it had in the game and I’m confident he’s going to be better for us.”
…i completely agree with that assessment, but if Dorsett finds himself on the wrong side of that line more often than not, I don't see how AV can keep him in the line-up.