by Patrick Hoffman on 10/13/10 at 04:14 PM ET
According to Andrew Gross at Ranger Rants, there’s a good chance that on Friday night against the Toronto Maple Leafs in the team’s home opener, New York Rangers’ team captain Chris Drury will be put on the first line with Marian Gaborik and Alex Frolov.
Gross reported the following in his blog today:
Coach John Tortorella has confirmed that captain Chris Drury will return to the lineup for Friday’s home opener against the Maple Leafs. He’s not ready to say where Drury might fit into the lineup and answered it was still a possibility Drury could play wing.
Tortorella also said Artem Anisimov’s line with Brandon Dubinsky and Ryan Callahan was the team’s best during Monday’s 6-4 loss to the Islanders and that Derek Stepan’s line with Sean Avery and Ruslan Fedotenko was not far behind. Therefore, Tortorella said he’s not inclined to tinker with those two lines. If that’s indeed the case, Drury would seem ticketed for the top line since nobody on the Derek Boogaard-Brian Boyle-Brandon Prust line is likely to fill a top-line role.
With Erik Christensen not available for Friday’s game due to injury, having Drury on the first line seems to make sense.
With that said, one has to wonder if that’s too fast. Drury has not played a game with the team yet and being put on the team’s first line seems to be asking him to do too much too early.
I know he’s being paid millions of dollars but remember, Drury is more of a second/third line player rather than a top line player. If he doesn’t accomplish anything on Friday night against the Leafs, we all know how fans will react and what they’ll start saying.
Yes, it’s going to be great to have his defensive and penalty killing abilities because those are his best attributes. Putting him on the first line in his first game of the season, however, is a bit questionable IMO.
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.
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