Brandon Prust’s one-game suspension is putting the bite on Rangers coach John Tortorella to make changes to his starting lineup for tonight’s Game 4 against New Jersey. One guy we won’t see replacing Prust is Brandon Dubinsky.
Dubinsky is back practicing with the team but he told reporters after the team’s morning skate he won’t be in tonight’s lineup. When asked for a percentage of where he’s at physically, Dubinsky had a great one-liner.
“This team doesn’t do percentages…it’s yes or no and tonight is a no.”
All right then. John Tortorella was asked if Stu Bickel would be the guy to take Prust’s spot and Tortorella did his usual game day thing saying, “I don’t know what my lineup is today.” He also said he wouldn’t know what his lineup would be three weeks from now either. We’ll note that in case the Rangers make the Stanley Cup finals.
Bickel didn’t play in Game 3 as Steve Eminger got the call to play on defense. Expect Bickel to get the call tonight as a forward, however, as the Rangers don’t appear to have anyone else ready to go immediately. Mats Zuccarello is still coming back from a broken wrist and isn’t ready to play while AHL forwards like Kris Newbury haven’t practiced with the rest of the big squad.
Update (12:24 p.m. ET): Dan Rosen of NHL.com says Bickel is in.