So much for the third D-pair rotation. Steve Eminger, who has one assist in his first eight games and is a minus-2, was declared the No. 5 defenseman by coach John Tortorella a few minutes ago.
“I think Emmy has brought some more bite to our back end,” Tortorella said before tonight’s game, when he said Eminger would be paired with rookie Michael Sauer, who has been scratched for four games. Matt Gilroy, who had dressed for eight straight games and hasn’t registered a point, was scratched. Sauer has one assist in four games.
“I got a young kid (Sauer) we need to develop and I don’t want to send him down, we want him to stay with us, so he needs to play a little bit,” said Tortorella. “We feel Emmy’s No. 5. I don’t want to put that in a negative way towards Gilly, I think he’s tried to do the things we want him to do, he’s given us good minutes, coming out isn’t due to that. But I think Michael and Gilly are our sixth guy. I just think Eminger’s played a little bit better.”
Eminger, who turned 28 on Sunday, was acquired from Anaheim for Aaron Voros and Ryan Hillier on July 9.
Derek Boogaard was a healthy scratch and Todd White was inserted on the left side of the fourth line, which is centered by Derek Stepan. Evgeny Grachev is dressing for the third straight on right wing.
"Same situation as Mikey Sauer, we want to develop our kids," said Tortorella. "I think Grach has skated pretty well; he's still a work in progess as far as protecting pucks at certain times, but we certainly want to look at him a little more here…" Boogaard, Tortorella said, continues to work on his conditioning.
Henrik Lundqvist is starting his third straight.
Danny Briere's suspension knocks him out of the Rangers visit to Wells Fargo Center on Thursday...The Pens' Jordan Staal, just back from a damaging foot infection, may have a broken hard..Dave Maloney, former captain-turned-MSG analyst, will be sliding into the Versus studio on occasion. His well-deserved first gig is tomorrow night.
Sweet automotive set on WBGO driving south along the Hudson to MSG: Jimmy Thackeray and the Drivers' "Mercury Blues', Bill Perry's "Heaven in a Pontiac", Charlie Musselwhite's "Where Highway 61 Runs" and Magic Dick and J. Geils' "Pontiac Blues".....