Minneapolis, MN – The Minnesota Rink Rats snapped a downward skid last night in a win at home against the Nashville Stampede. The Rink Rats have gone 6-4 in their past 10 games but they haven’t looked that great especially on offense. Center and leading scorer, David Krejci, has now gone 7 games without a point. Meanwhile, starting goaltender Ryan Miller remains sidelined with a groin injury, but the Rink Rats have found some help in backup goaltender Scott Clemmensen who has filled in very well since being acquired from the Lunatics. Clemmensen has a 2-2-0 record with a 2.25 gaa and.927 sv% in the 4 games he’s played since being acquired by Minnesota. Miller is expected back later this week and it will be interesting to see if Coach Dan Bylsma decides to keep Clemmensen in net or replace him with franchise goaltender Miller.
Nevertheless, the Rink Rats are confident in their current defensive and goaltending units but offense remains the question mark. Minnesota has moved Krejci to the second line to play alongside Derek Roy and Patrick O’Sullivan in hopes of finding his scoring touch again. Mike Cammalleri will remain on the first unit paired with Matthew Lombardi and Brad Richards.
Minnesota has made a few deals to help them defensively the past couple of weeks, but the team is still lacking an offensive jolt to their lineup. Rumors started late last week that Minnesota was shopping disgruntled forward Daymond Langkow. Langkow has been openly complaining about his lack of ice time all season and it has affected the rest of the locker room. Coach Dan Bylsma bumped Langkow from the first line early in the season in favor of Krejci, and ever since Langkow hasn’t quite been the same player. He’s a guy that can contribute a lot to other teams and the
rumor last night was the Rink Rats proposed moving Langkow along with prospect goaltender, Brian Elliott in a deal for the Saints’ Paul Stastny.
The teams are unlikely to come to terms as the Saints want John-Michael Liles added to the deal as well and the Rink Rats won’t part with all three players. Still though, the Rink Rats are looking to make a change to help the squad offensively. Langkow is the big name on the block but the team is considered willing to move Martin Straka, David Jones, Vladimir Sobotka, Tyler Kennedy, or Dustin Boyd in a deal to bring that extra jolt to Minnesota. There are additional names to the trade block which is posted below.
The Rink Rats acquired Kyle Cumiskey early in the week, adding a solid offensive-defenseman to the lineup in the coming years. Cumiskey has amazing speed and has shown to have a reputation for finding the back of the net. He was immediately placed on the Rink Rats’ squad and played in the past two games. Although the team plans to use him in a more defensive role this season because of the offensive abilities of John-Michael Liles, Brent Burns and Bryan Berard it’s definitely possible Cumiskey will be a main cog on a scoring line & power play unit next season. For now however, Cumiskey will take a break in the minors. He was sent down this morning in favor of veteran Jamie Heward. The Rink Rats have a rotating defense at the moment, with players like Kyle Quincey, Jordan Leopold and Cumiskey struggling to assert themselves in the lineup.