Well, here we go: A week that started with two devastating injury announcements and took a pit stop in a couple of split-squad games now concludes with three games in two nights. The games of relevance are surely restricted to the metro area, while Quebec likely gets a band of longshots packaged for Habs slaughter.
The official site lists the lines for tonight in Newark (reposted here after the jump). Doug Weight looks to play, and the Rob Schremp-Josh Bailey duo sticks together and takes on Rhett Rakhshani, with Nino shifting to a Frans-Moulson line. (Note: Chris Botta's Rhett-focused post says he'll be with Bailey and Frans, so someone has a typo. Regardless, lines change as quickly as coaches' minds.)
No matter what, the rookie Rhett will be playing with "veterans" who are barely younger and older than him. Bailey's 20, Schremp's 24, Rhett's 22 -- Frans, if he's in this picture, is the "old" guy at 26, but I like the idea of he and Moulson providing safe harbor for Nino NIederreiter.
Meanwhile, it's a huge weekend for all of the roster aspirants -- perhaps Nino most of all, since a cut for him would mean export to the West Coast. Come Monday morning, this roster should be a lot lighter.
Prospects who go to juniors if not kept: Calvin de Haan, Nino Niederreiter
Other Story Lines
Doug Weight's health (groin) ... Rick DiPietro's health and form ... Radek Ma-- no, not going there ... Bruno Gervais' place in the pecking order, having missed the other games before his preseason debut tonight next to de Haan ... Matt Martin's foot (walking cast. Seriously.) ... Mike Mottau's debut Saturday night against his old team, and as a new father...
Friday Night's Projected Lines (according to official site)
58 Jesse Joensuu, 93 Doug Weight, Kolanos
12 Josh Bailey, 44 Rob Schremp, 49 Rhett Rakhshani
26 Matt Moulson, 51 Frans Nielsen, 25 Nino Niederreiter
14 Trevor Gillies, 37 Dean McAmmond, 18 Jed Ortmeyer
3 Calvin de Haan, 8 Bruno Gervais
38 Jack Hillen, 27 Milan Jurcina
47 Andrew MacDonald, 36 Travis Hamonic
30 Dwayne Roloson
34 Manny Legace
Reportedly Legace will even get some on-ice action tonight. Order your replica jerseys now.
If you're going to either game, do let us know what you see, won't you?
P.S. If you have Dish in the NYC area, you are now officially caught in a corporate pissing match between MSG and Dish.
P.P.S.: The week in New York sports courtesy of SB Nation New York. If you like this sort of thing, I'll keep sharing the links (or telling you to go to SBN-NY). In addition to being a carpet-bagger, I'm very hockey- and soccer-focused, so other sports just don't hit my radar much anymore. (This really, really struck me when I realized I couldn't even order who won the last three World Series.)