Originally written on The Rangers Tribune  |  Last updated 11/20/14

NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 15: Blake Wheeler #26 of the Boston Bruins fights to retain possession against Michael Sauer #32 of the New York Rangers during the game on September 15, 2009 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

As expected with Brendan Bell being assigned to the Connecticut Whale of the AHL yesterday, defenseman Michael Sauer (shoulder) fully anticipates to play in tomorrow's home opener against the Toronto Maple Leafs, per the Daily News. Sauer has not been in the lineup since October 8 when the team went up against the Anaheim Ducks over in Europe. 

With Marc Staal out and the defensive depth shoddy at the moment, Sauer coming back will make a huge difference. His importance to the club skyrocketed by the end of the season in 2010-11, so he left a big hole on the second pairing while out in the last five. Getting his grit and leadership back in the lineup is certainly going to uplift the spirits of a blue-line that's taken some time to get solidified this year. 

Meanwhile, on offense, head coach John Tortorella will be rolling with a new set of forward lines tomorrow against Toronto. They are as follows:

Fedotenko - Richards - Gaborik

Dubinsky - Stepan - Callahan

Wolski - Boyle - Prust

Newbury - Anisimov - Rupp/Christensen

I like the way the first two top lines have been formed, but the bottom two are a little whacky. Anisimov on the fourth line is a terrible idea and I think he should be swapped with either Boyle or Wolski. You just can't put an up-and-coming player on the fourth line with grinders like that. Sends the wrong message for sure. 

But anyway, Andrew Gross tweeted this picture of the transformed Madison Square Garden ready to go for Thursday's home opener: 


Looks fantastic - I'll be the one in the "Broadway Hat" if you want to say hi tomorrow night. 

MORE FROM YARDBARKER

13 amazing NFL stats from Week 16

JJ Watt's bloody face defines 2014 campaign

Dominic Raiola insists he didn't intentionally stomp opponent

Jets call themselves the best 3-12 team in NFL history

Cam Newton calls out 'classless' Panthers fans

Report: 49ers to part ways with Harbaugh after season finale

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Brad Stevens shoots down rumors he's headed to Hoosiers

Jameis Winston cleared in code of conduct case

Sherman: Patrick Peterson would be benched on Seahawks

Fans struck by lightning after Buccaneers-Packers game

Report: Philip Rivers playing through painful back injury

Report: Bears could have interest in Jim Harbaugh

NFL flexes Bengals-Steelers into 'Sunday Night Football' slot

Miami Dolphins electing to keep Joe Philbin a smart decision

Coughlin tells Beckham Jr to tone down TD celebrations

WATCH: Lynch ‘thanks the media for asking’ questions

10 takeaways from NFL Week 16

Tony Romo leads Dallas Cowboys to NFC East title

Ole Miss QB arrested after fighting, threatening bouncers

WATCH: Marshawn Lynch's ridiculous TD run

WATCH: Steelers' Gay draws flag for taunting teammate

WATCH: Three players ejected after Giants-Rams fight

WATCH: Dominic Raiola stomps on Bears player's ankle

WATCH: Arian Foster throws TD pass, drops scoreboard taunt

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.

13 amazing NFL stats from Week 16

JJ Watt's bloody face defines 2014 campaign

Jets claim to be best 3-12 team ever

10 takeaways from NFL Week 16

Cam Newton calls out 'classless' Panthers fans

Raiola stomps on Bears player's ankle

Bears interested in Jim Harbaugh?

Shanahan to return to 2015?

Browns interested in drafting Mariota?

Mullen wears funny Christmas sweater

RG3 returning to Redskins?

Tom Izzo hot after bad loss

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.