This thread will be updated all day, so keep refreshing it as the day goes along. Just a quick note, if I omitted a source it is due to a previous report with no recent updates. Here are your injury updates for tonight:
- Kari Lehtonen practiced with the team while Mark Popovic remains out.
- Derek Morris sitting this game out. [Boston Globe]
- Milan Lucic looking to return at the Winter Classic. [Boston Globe]
- Mark Stuart remains on IR.
- Chris Butler not expected back.
- No word on Nathan Gerbe, Thomas Vanek or Patrick Kaleta playing tonight, will update later.
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The New York Rangers claimed center Erik Christensen off waivers while putting backup goalie Steve Valiquette on, says Newsday’s Steve Zipay. Christensen found himself on waivers earlier in the year and went unclaimed, probably due to his meager showing of zero points with a minus three rating in nine games. Clearly Ducks management felt Chipchura was a better alternative down the middle.
Andrew Gross of The Bergen Record spoke with John Tortorella on the issue, and found out adding Christensen is a result of an undisclosed injury to Donald Brashear. However, Torts also said the move should motivate Brian Boyle to step up his game when the team is healthy. Boyle may find himself on the block if his play does not improve in the coach’s eyes.
No stranger to the Atlantic Division, Christensen played parts of three season with the Pittsburgh Penguins before getting shipped to Atlanta as part of the Marian Hossa deal. In the 2006-2007 season, the 25-year-old posted career highs in practically every category finishing the year with 18 goals and 33 points.
The larger question could be, why do the Rangers need a better backup goalie? Vally sports a 2-3-0 record with one shutout, a 3.74 GAA and .852 SV% in six games, below average marks in every category. The necessity for a better backup could have something to do with star goaltender not remotely playing as well as his career marks. For now Chad “Ocho Cinco” Johnson fills in for the journeyman as he tries to regain his form in Hartford.
Do you think Lundqvist should be traded?
I certainly do not and with his value lower than usual I cannot see GM Glen Sather getting adequate compensation for the Swede.