It’s only the middle of January, but the Rangers have had a brilliant season to this point, currently sitting on top of the Eastern Conference standings.
Lost on all that excitement has been forward Wojtek Wolski and the fact that he has contributed absolutely nothing to the Rangers’ success this season. Injuries have forced him to miss all but six games this season, and the recent play of the Blueshirts has left him as a healthy scratch for the past couple of weeks.
But it looks as if Wolski might be getting his chance to break back into the lineup on Thursday night, when the Blueshirts visit the Ottawa Senators.
Brandon Dubinsky was injured against the Phoenix Coyotes on Tuesday after a brutal hit from Taylor Pyatt. He returned, but is still listed as questionable for the Rangers’ Thursday tilt. If he can’t go, it’s going to be Wolski in the lineup.
Since being traded to the Rangers from Phoenix last season, Wolski has posted 21 points in 43 games. That includes the two assists he has in six games with New York this season.
Getting into the lineup could save Wolski from a stint with the Connecticut Whale of the AHL, as there was plenty of speculation that he could join them on a conditioning stint, rather than just wasting away in the press box. Forward Erik Christensen already accepted his stint, and Sean Avery has been sent back there as well, after being waived.
We should know more about Dubi’s status and his shoulder pretty early on Thursday, but Wolski’s situation is certainly one to keep an eye on. If Dubinsky can’t go, Wolski will go, as John Tortorella has already said, and he’ll likely do everything he can to stick around.
If not, he’ll put serious consideration into taking that conditioning stint with the Whale.