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Rangers-Isles rematch preview....The Merit System

 

                        In John Tortorella's merit system, if you're bringing your A or high-B game, you're dressing and playing some serious minutes. If not, well, down the ladder ya go....

                        Which brings us to tonight at MSG in the seventh B2B of the season, with 11 to go, and the Rangers riding a 6-0-0 streak in those second games.

                        Alex Frolov is one of those on the fringe, it seems, although Marian Gaborik was double-shifted with Frolov and Artem Anisimov last night.

                         We don't know yet for example, if Brandon Prust (left arm/shoulder) can play tonight. Or whether Tortorella thinks it's time for Todd White to get in a game.

                        At some point, you'd think Anisimov would climb his way back to the Dubinsky-Callahan pairing, rather than Derek Stepan, because of his two-way play, especially if Avery-Christensen-Gaborik flourish. But as the season rambles on, change comes quickly.

                        And when Chris Drury comes back, if his hand allows it, he should be at center to help with faceoffs. Does that mean Brian Boyle moves to wing? Perhaps.  Wonder how Frolov would do on that line? Or Fedotenko? Or should Drury center Dubi and Callahan and have Anisimov/Stepan between Frolov and Feds/Prust. Intruiging to watch how this all unfolds... Line combo suggestions welcome, although again, they probably won't last long in Tortorella's merit system....

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                       The holiday trade freeze is Dec. 19. So if the Rangers are moving on acquiring a defenseman before January, it'll have to happen soon.....  

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                      Lundqvist-Roloson tonight. Roloson is 4-6-2, 2.61 in his five-team career vs. Rangers.  In last 16 Rangers-Isles games at Garden, Rangers are 12-1-3.. Thinking Rangers will tighten up at home, where they are seeking a sixth win...Blueshirts have killed 10 straight PPs in last four games.

                 

                Remember to follow me here and twitter.com/stevezipay. Newsday's Katie Strang and Arthur Staple also will be at the rink tonight, so please follow their coverage as well...
 

 

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