Nikolai Zherdev was benched for the entire second and third periods last night. No comment from Tortorella or Zherdev after the game last night or today at the Rangers morning practice. But, it's fairly obvious that Zherdev was in Tortorella's dog house after a bad turnover in the offensive zone that resulted in a Nashville goal seconds later. In my opinion it wasn't the turnover that led to Zherdev being benched the rest of the game, it was the fact that he didn't even try to get back into the play. Tortorella has been heaping praise on Brandon Dubinsky since he took over for Tom Renney and I think one of the main reasons is because he likes Dubinsky's work ethic. Dubinsky may never have the skills that Zherdev has, but when he turns the puck over, you always see him skating his hardest to get back into the play.
Naslund is another player that had his ice time diminished heavily last night. It was somewhat expected since he started the game on the third line, with Sean Avery moving up to play alongside Gomez on the top line. Naslund had just 1min 8 secs of ice time in the final 10 minutes of last nights game.
Breakdown of Naslund's ice time last night:
1st period: 2:23
2nd period: 4:47
3rd period: 2:33
Naslund definitely had a significant decrease in icetime and I think it's about time. Now if only he'd started holding Wade Redden accountable.