Archive for Lineup Changes

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There is no way around it; Mika Zibanejad going down with a concussion is about the worst case scenario for the Rangers short of losing Henrik Lundqvist (especially on a senseless, late hit like that).  With already severely compromised center depth, both the short and potential long-term blow to the lineup is massive.  When the season started there were serious concerns about the lack of qualified replacements for Derek Stepan and Oscar Lindberg.  The Blueshirts were left with a ragtag group in the bottom six, and now their depth will be tested even further. Read More→

Alain Vigneault activated his lineup blender. This time, he broke up the KZB line, putting Pavel Buchnevich on the fourth line.

Rick Nash-Mika Zibanejad-Mats Zuccarello
Chris Kreider-David Desharnais-JT Miller
Jimmy Vesey-Kevin Hayes-Jesper Fast
Michael Grabner-Paul Carey-Adam Cracknell/Pavel Buchnevich

Ryan McDonagh-Tony DeAngelo
Brady Skjei-Brendan Smith
Marc Staal-Kevin Shattenkirk
Nick Holden-Steven Kampfer

If this doesn’t illustrate the need for a center, then I don’t know what does. Yikes.

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Alain Vigneault has thrown more darts at the board in an attempt to find defense pairs that “work” according to him.

Ryan McDonagh-Nick Holden
Marc Staal-Kevin Shattenkirk
Brady Skjei-Brendan Smith

I don’t know what dart he threw that made him think Holden and McDonagh would work. But at least Kampfer isn’t in the lineup. Nothing like trading your 1C for a healthy scratch defenseman, though.

Can you sense the snark, frustration, and hopelessness?

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With all the roster movement over the past two days, Alain Vigenault has settled on his defense pairings for tonight’s game:

Marc Staal-Ryan McDonagh
Brady Skjei-Kevin Shattenkirk
Nick Holden-Steven Kampfer

AV seems hell-bent on making what could be a great New York Rangers defense into a mediocre one at best. This is not optimal lineup usage, at all. The Rangers traded Derek Stepan to get Tony DeAngelo and committed big money to Brendan Smith. Let’s chalk this up as bad decision making, no sugar coating needed.

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Oct
05

Lines for opening night

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The lines for opening night have been set. For the first time in over a decade, that opening night lineup will not have Dan Girardi, which despite his last few seasons here, is still a weird thing to see. However the Rangers have two talented rookies cracking the lineup, and have skill up and down.

Chris Kreider-Mika Zibanejad-Pavel Buchnevich
Rick Nash-Filip Chytil-Mats Zuccarello
Michael Grabner-Kevin Hayes-JT Miller
Jimmy Vesey-David Desharnais-Paul Carey

Ryan McDonagh-Kevin Shattenkirk
Brady Skjei-Brendan Smith
Marc Staal-Tony DeAngelo

PP1: Zibanejad-Kreider-Buchnevich-Zuccarello-Shattenkirk
PP2: Nash-Desharnais-Miller-McDonagh-DeAngelo

Mere hours away…

Categories : Lineup Changes
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pavel buchnevich

Per Dan Rosen, Pavel Buchnevich is skating on the top-six with Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider. That line is also skating on the top powerplay with Ryan McDonagh and Mats Zuccarello. This is a good indication that Buchnevich will be skating in Game 4, likely at the expense of Tanner Glass. Buch gives the Rangers a must needed skill and goal scoring boost. The full lines:

Kreider-Zibanejad-Buchnevich
Jimmy Vesey-Derek Stepan-Rick Nash
JT Miller-Kevin Hayes-Mats Zuccarello
Michael Grabner-Oscar Lindberg-Jesper Fast

Nick Holden is back with Marc Staal, so it’s likely he plays Game 4 as well. Probably over Kevin Klein. But at least the forward lines look great.

Categories : Lineup Changes, Playoffs
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mats zuccarello derek stepan ryan mcdonagh

AP Photo/Julie Jacobson

Rick Nash, Mats Zuccarello, and Jesper Fast are confirmed to be out of the lineup tonight. All three missed practice yesterday for maintenance days. By skipping today, they are guaranteed five off days before the final two games of the season next weekend.

The lines for tonight’s game are going to be a little bit of a mess:

Chris Kreider-Derek Stepan-Pavel Buchnevich
Brandon Pirri-Mika Zibanejad-Jimmy Vesey
Michael Grabner-Kevin Hayes-JT Miller
Tanner Glass-Oscar Lindberg-Matt Puempel

The defense pairs are still TBD, but expect some guys to get maintenance days.

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jimmy vesey

The Rangers had some new lines at practice today, and it appears Jimmy Vesey is the new scratch.

Chris Kreider-Derek Stepan-Mats Zuccarello
Pavel Buchnevich-Mika Zibanejad-Rick Nash
Michael Grabner-Kevin Hayes-Jesper Fast
JT Miller-Oscar Lindberg-Matt Puempel

On defense, Ryan McDonagh was having a maintenance day, so it looks like Kevin Klein took his place with Marc Staal. If that’s the case the pairs looked a little different.

Staal-McDonagh
Nick Holden-Dan Girardi
Brendan Smith-Brady Skjei

You know what’s going to be fun to watch? Holden-Girardi as the second pair.

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alain vigneault

Much has been made about the lineup decisions made by Alain Vigneault. This is for good reason, as AV routinely dresses “his guys”, sometimes to the detriment of the team. His lineup decisions all year have been questioned, but they have come under a significant amount of fire lately as the Rangers get healthy.

It started with Tanner Glass and Steven Kampfer, and has trickled into Dan Girardi and Kevin Klein. But as Kevin pointed out this morning, the Rangers are in a unique position. They aren’t playing for anything at the moment. Their first round situation is set in stone, even if their opponent isn’t.

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alain vigneault

The Rangers are in an interesting spot with their lineup decisions. On the one hand, there are guys coming back from injury who could probably do for some ice time and the team is looking to get into a pre-playoff groove. On the other hand guys are banged up and worn down from the long season and could probably go for some rest. In either event, these aren’t the lines/combos we’re looking for.

Let’s go with the first scenario. Dan Girardi is now ready to go, and Kevin Klein likely is not far behind. Henrik Lundqvist too is set to play against Anaheim on this upcoming road trip. There’s a a certain logic that says that you want to find a sweet spot with your lineup as the playoffs approach, and so you play your best guys.

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