Manny Malhotra: Back Onto The Radar?

By Brandon LeBourveau
After a horrible season last year in which Manny Malhotra couldn’t get out of John Muckler’s doghouse, Malhotra looks reborn under new head coach Ron Low. After playing for 4 different teams last season, it appears Manny may be on his way to once again earn a full time job in the NHL.

Malhotra was recalled on November 25th after Eric Lacroix went down with a fractured finger and is expected to be out of action for 4-6 weeks. Malhotra has played in 4 games so far since being recalled and each game he was close to being the Rangers top forward. He has been playing an aggressive physical game, while finishing every check and chipping in offensively. He has been very good in the offensive zone, cycling down low and making nice plays to get by the defensemen. He has 2 goals so far, scored against Jamie Storr and Martin Brodeur. Some people may criticize the goals because they were both lucky, but I don’t care how they go in as long as they count.

On his goal against the Kings, he took a backhander as he was cruising down the boards and the puck trickled in between Jamie Storr’s legs, who appeared to be out of position and misplay the puck. The next night in New Jersey, Malhotra got the Rangers back into the game and tied it at 1-1 as he took a slapshot from the top of the left circle and it went in over Martin Brodeur’s glove. Brodeur’s glove was interfered with as his teammate Scott Stevens accidentally hit it with his stick.

I think this is the best I’ve seen Malhotra play in the last year or so. Right now he is centering a line with Adam Graves and Michal Grosek, and they have been playing extremely well. Last night after an 8-2 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs Ron Low said that Malhotra’s line was clearly the best line for the Rangers. If Malhotra continues this great play, he probably will force the Rangers to trade someone like Tim Taylor or Eric Lacroix to make room for Manny permanently. Tonight Malhotra and the Rangers face the NHL’s best team in the Colorado Avalanche.

News and Notes: It really is great to see Malhotra playing well after all that John “Schmuckler” did to him last season…In other news, all the players profiles have been updated with their current statistics, so I hope you all enjoy that.