Note to Tom Renney: Keep Petr Prucha in the Rangers Lineup

Ryan McFaddenCorrespondent IDecember 30, 2008

By the skin of their teeth, the Rangers managed to pull out a 5-4 victory against the lowly New York Islanders Monday.

Although it was a much-needed two points, it was not quite the assurance Rangers fans may have wanted. They continued their trend of playing mediocre defense and—no surprise here—DimitriKalinen and Wade Redden were responsible for a goal apiece.

Regardless, if there's one thing Tom Renney can take away from this game, it's that his inhumane treatment of Petr Prucha, who scored a big goal tonight, has gone on long enough.

Prucha once again showed he deserves to be in the lineup. More importantly, he showed that his energetic style of play can help this struggling Rangers team. If there's anything Renney must do in the coming weeks, it's keepPrucha regularly in the lineup.

Prucha is much more valuable to the Rangers donning his No. 25 that sitting in a press box in a shirt and tie for weeks at a time. He's a player who scored 30 goals his rookie season, followed by 22 in his sophomore year.

His production fell last year as he was removed from the power play and began occupying a spot on the fourth line. Nonetheless, he still has the ability and, more importantly, the desire to be a good NHL player.

The Rangers need a confident, scoring Petr Prucha. If he is given the opportunity to return to his previous form, he will give the team everything he has.

And if he fails? He's still a better option than Dan Fritsche, Patrick Rissmiller, or Freddy Sjostrom on the third line.

The only question is whether Renney will keep Prucha in the lineup, or will he once again return him to his spot as a permanent fixture in the doghouse?

If Renney knows what's good for the team, he will keep playing him. But, then again, I don't think many Rangers fans would be surprised if he isn't in the lineup once again in the new few games.