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Conor Allen Sent Back to Hartford; Notes About Last Night’s Throttling of Toronto

January 5th, 2014 at 4:47 PM
By Ricky Cibrano

'Blues vs. Rangers-8793.jpg' photo (c) 2011, Sarah Connors - license: being made a healthy scratch last night, Conor Allen is headed back to Hartford.

The Chicago native played 3 games with the big club, and didn't look bad, but for the time being is the victim of a numbers game. The move really doesn't come as a surprise, given that the New York Rangers were carrying 8 healthy defenseman. Allen, who has a two-way deal, making him impervious to waivers, was the logical choice.

The move will also allow Allen, a first year pro, to continue his development while logging major ice time in Hartford, as opposed to playing sporadic minutes with the big club.

Michael Del Zotto, who by now has used up at least 6 or 7 of his apparent 9 lives with the Rangers, will be the main beneficiary of Allen's departure. Del Zotto played 17:38 last night after being a scratch the previous 2 games.

Part of the decision to send down Allen and play Del Zotto is undoubtedly linked to the desire to showcase the latter. It's very difficult to get anything of value back in return for a player who is a healthy scratch, and Del Zotto has been the subject of more rumors than the Manhattan Project. At this point, it's seemingly just a matter of when–not if–the former 1st-rounder is moved.

Last nights 7-1 demolition of the Toronto Maple Leafs represents–far and away–the Rangers best effort of the season. Not only was the score lopsided, but the Blueshirts fired a season-high 50 shots on net, to go along with their season-best 7 lamp-lighters. 

If there was a concern about the Rangers energy level following a demoralizing loss the night before to Pittsburgh, the Blueshirts put that to rest early, dominating Toronto in the opening frame, and outshooting them 18-7. 

Chris Kreider is really, really fast. We're talking Benny "The Jet" Rodriguez from Sandlot fast. Amazing to think that the prior coach couldn't find any use for him. Mats Zuccarello too, for that matter, who has turned out to be neither soft nor a defensive liability. 

The most noticeable change in Kreider's game from the old regime to the new one is the edge he now plays with. Kreider is a chippy player. He's a chirper, and he's physical. When you play like that, on occasion, opponents will take exception, so it was a good sign to see Kreider ably defend himself in last nights fight/wrestling match with Dion Phaneuf

By the way, the league leader in save percentage is on the Rangers' roster. And no, it's not Henrik Lundqvist.

Tags: Chris Kreider, Conor Allen, Dion Phaneuf, Henrik Lundqvist, Hockey, Mats Zuccarello, Michael Del Zotto, New York, New York Rangers, NHL, Toronto Maple Leafs

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