by Patrick Hoffman on 04/07/11 at 02:00 PM ET
With New York Rangers’ forward Ryan Callahan injured, head coach John Tortorella decided to give defenseman Matt Gilroy a shot at forward.
While this may seem odd, it really isn’t because Gilroy started out as a forward and did not become a defenseman until he went to Boston University. So really, the position should come naturally to Gilroy.
Here is what Rangers’ beat writer Andrew Gross had to say about the switch to forward:
Gilroy has been a healthy scratch the past six games and it would be surprising for Gilroy to log heavy minutes as a fourth-liner - think around 7 or under - though he could see time on the power play.
What will help Gilroy most is his skating ability and coach John Tortorella said Gilroy just needed to keep it simple. Gilroy was a forward through most of his sophomore season at Boston University before injuries necessitated his move to defense, where his game blossomed.
As Gross mentioned, Gilroy has been a healthy scratch for the last several games so at least now, he will be able to get some game action in before the playoffs, if the Rangers get in, begin.
“Excited to get to play a game,” Gilroy said of his reaction to be told by coach John Tortorella yesterday morning he would, temporarily at least, not be a defenseman. “It’s not uncomfortable. I’m just excited to play hockey.”
Gilroy certainly has a lot of talent and while he hasn’t always shown it, it is definitely there. Hopefully, the Rangers’ organization and their fans will get to see it tonight, even if it is limited, against the Atlanta Thrashers.
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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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