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Blueshirt Varsity Looks Sharp

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09-26-2003, 09:32 AM
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kazo
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Blueshirt Varsity Looks Sharp

BLUESHIRT 'VARSITY' LOOKS SHARP

By LARRY BROOKS
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
NET RESULT:
Mike Dunham allowed a Blue Jacket but no pucks to get behind him in the Rangers' 5-0 preseason victory at the Garden last night.
Neil Miller
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September 26, 2003 -- Two weeks and five games down, two weeks and four games to go in a Ranger pre-season more notable for good intentions than for good performances.
Last night's 5-0 Garden victory over the Blue Jackets featured New York's varsity against Columbus' JV, the Rangers featuring what, with perhaps one exception and allowing for health issues, will be their lineup for the Oct. 10 opener in Minnesota. Up front, Ronald Petrovicky, who has been nursing a sore groin since the third day of camp, was in for the first time, skating on the fourth line with Mark Messier and Dan LaCouture. If Petrovicky is in for the opener, Matt Barnaby, who has been marginalized from the start of camp, will in all likelihood be out.

Indeed, if the Rangers only plan to use Barnaby as a fourth-line winger, there's every chance they'll try to move No. 36 - who played most of last season with Bobby Holik and Eric Lindros - out of the organization. Because understand this: There will be nothing so limited this year as a fourth-line winger's minutes, what with fourth-line center Mark Messier due to accumulate most of his time on the specialty teams.

Meanwhile, Vladimir Malakhov, who had been recuperating from summer left-shoulder surgery, was in for the first time on a defense that included Bryce Lampman but excluded Dale Purinton. Less than delighted with Purinton's performance thus far, management was either sending the defenseman a message by keeping him out of last night's dress rehearsal, or was giving Lampman a credible opportunity to make the top six that until further notice excludes the injured Brian Leetch. There's no way to know.

Now, it's moot in any case, with the 21-year-old Lampman suffering a late second-period, second-degree shoulder separation that will sideline the steady if unspectacular sophomore pro for four weeks.

"It's really too bad," Glen Sather said. "He'd been playing very well."

But if Lampman was getting a credible shot, he's the only young player to receive one on a veteran roster that, despite six straight seasons of failure, has been all but locked since the late-summer signings of Messier and Chris Simon.



Really, Simon has done nothing other than carry a resume and a $1.5 million contract to merit elevation on the depth chart above Dominic Moore or Richard Scott, not to mention Barnaby. Knowing they had no realistic opening in the middle, the Rangers haven't given Moore a single look on the wing, where he might mesh on either flank with Holik.

Two weeks down, two weeks to go.

* The rout was accomplished against Columbus squad that had nine "NHL" players in lineup, one fewer than league-mandated minimum for preseason matches.

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09-26-2003, 10:41 AM
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kazo
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If true, this becomes a three line team (again) with no room for players like Moore or Stals. And how does Barnaby go from one of the top three forwards last season to a spare part this season? What's that based on, two weeks of preseason?

Already I don't like the smell of this.

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09-26-2003, 10:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kazo
If true, this becomes a three line team (again) with no room for players like Moore or Stals. And how does Barnaby go from one of the top three forwards last season to a spare part this season? What's that based on, two weeks of preseason?

Already I don't like the smell of this.
Just remember, "Hockey's different here!"

I have a feeling we'll see the run and gun at it's worst for most of the season, with no commitment to defense yet again.

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09-26-2003, 11:32 AM
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Melrose_Jr.
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I don't care what Barnaby hasn't done this preseason, at least he hasn't been a detriment to the team a la Chris Simon. Moving Barnaby to accomodate this year's Oliwa defies comprehension in my book.

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09-26-2003, 11:47 AM
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Barnaby
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Put Barnaby with Holik and Danny L with Mess!!!!! Barnaby deserves it and Barnaby and Holik should be a tough line!

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