Originally posted on The Rangers Tribune  |  Last updated 10/3/11

NEW YORK - JANUARY 25: Sean Avery #16 of the New York Rangers skates against the Pittsburgh Penguins skates against on January 25, 2010 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Penguins defeated the Rangers 4-2. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

The New York Rangers will close out the 2011 preseason when they take on EV Zug in Zug, Switzerland this afternoon. The Blueshirts have posted a 4-1-1 record so far and have won each game since coming over to Europe; today they will have the opportunity to sweep their overseas preseason road trip. 

More important is the fact that this will be the final game for the Rangers before Friday's season opener against the L.A. Kings in Stockholm, Sweden. For head coach John Tortorella, this will be the final opportunity to decide on his opening night lineup, which means one last round of cuts will be coming sometime in the next four days. 

Offensively the Rangers already have their four lines planned out and set, but it is the extra thirteenth forward that the coach wishes to carry that has yet to be decided upon. The battle, as stated by Torts, is between Sean Avery and Erik Christensen. Being that Christensen was in yesterday's lineup against HC Slovan and Avery was not, I would assume Sean will be getting his last opportunity to leave a lasting impression against Zug this afternoon. 

Like I've been saying, Avery has been the more effective of the two so far through the preseason. However, one of our readers made a good point yesterday in saying that cap-wise, Christensen is an easier option to go with since he takes up less room and is more likely to be claimed should he be put on waivers. So from a managerial standpoint, Christensen makes more sense, but if they want to go with the player who will contribute more, I think Avery is their man. 

The Rangers also have a surplus of two on defense (counting Marc Staal), but with Staal out of the lineup then they only are left with one extra on the blue-line. For now the club will role with the defense they have and the only way they make a cut is if Marc Staal somehow is able to join the team in Europe and play on Friday. If that were to be the case, my cut would be Stu Bickel but that's just me. 

Mike Sauer is expected to play in his first preseason game this afternoon but that depends on how he feels when skating this morning. There are no guarantees, but he did say that he expected to play in one of the final two preseason matches and he did not play in yesterday's so that leaves today. I think having Mike back in the lineup will be a huge help to a defense that has been very inconsistent throughout the preseason. 

It will be interesting to see if the Rangers start this game with fatigue as they did yesterday having traveled to three different countries in two days. They flew over to Switzerland yesterday so they did have plenty of time between then and this afternoon's game to recuperate, but still, at some point the jet lag has to catch up to them. Thankfully they have three full days to rest up in Stockholm before Friday's opener - they're going to need it. 

New York Rangers Lineup (confirmed, unconfirmed)

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

DeMarcus Cousins traded to Pelicans for players, picks

West teammates hilariously celebrate Durant and Westbrook oop

Report: Romo willing to rework contract to facilitate trade

Lonzo Ball's father says son is better than Curry right now

Report: Rams could have interest in Cousins if Goff flops

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Mike Trout talks about 'frustrating' struggles of Angels

Report: Butler to Celtics talk will loom over All-Star week

Report: Carmelo expects to remain with Knicks

James Harden: ‘For sure’ I’m the best player in the world

Report: Pats expected to make good effort to keep Bennett

Glenn Robinson III dunks over three people to win Slam Dunk Contest

Is the NBA All-Star Game worth saving?

There will never be another Dirk Nowitzki

The Rewind: Michael Jordan's last All-Star Game

Best of Yardbarker: NBA All-Star Games past, present and future

Eat, Drink, Watch: Everything goes better with a side of New Orleans

Box Score 2/17: Happy birthday, Michael Jordan (and welcome to 1000 point club, Sid!)

The 'Michael Jordan might still win the Dunk contest if he entered' quiz

How to reboot NBA All-Star Weekend

Second-year NBA stars who can salvage the season

Observations from a day at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show

Box Score 2/16: Getting ready for the ASG

Too much to Process: Can Simmons match the Embiid hype?

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Best of YB: NBA All-Star Games past, present and future

Who will break these NBA All-Star Game records?

Is the NBA All-Star Game worth saving?

There will never be another Dirk Nowitzki

The Rewind: Michael Jordan's last All-Star Game

Eat, Drink, Watch: Everything goes better with a side of New Orleans

How to reboot NBA All-Star Weekend

Baseball movies you can stream now to hold you over until Opening Day

Second-year NBA stars who can salvage the season

Observations from a day at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker