Archive for Lineup Changes
In case you missed it, both Derek Stepan and Kevin Klein are on the current road trip for the Rangers. Both will be promptly inserted back into the lineup in prominent roles upon their returns, and both will require some lineup maneuvering to ensure the best lineup is on the ice. That said, there will be a few difficult decisions to make when they do return.
Klein’s return is likely to be easier to manage, as the Rangers will likely return Brady Skjei to the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack. It may not happen immediately with Dan Girardi still injured, and it may not be the best move for the defense given the decline of Girardi and Marc Staal, but it’s what will happen. While Girardi is out, I expect some kind of rotation between Skjei, Dylan McIlrath, and Dan Boyle.
On the heels of a disastrous trip to western Canada that represents the low point of a troubling first quarter, it appears the Blueshirts have reached an impasse wherein they are in danger of taking a clear step back in the contender pecking order. The growing warts in the lineup have deteriorated the team’s quality of play and the Rangers have come crashing down to earth where it appears they’ll stay unless changes are made.
The biggest issues are defenders Marc Staal and Dan Girardi, who for so long ably handled critical roles as stalwarts in the rearguard. But there are also team-wide problems including a less effective forecheck in part due to the loss of Carl Hagelin, frustrating mental mistakes defensively up and down the lineup and nonexistent production offensively from some of the team’s most talented players.
Alain Vigneault shook up the lines a bit during yesterday’s practice. This usually happens with injuries and following a loss.
The defense pairings remain the same. Emerson Etem will be a healthy scratch.
To try and halt this three game skid, Alain Vigneault is trying out some new lines for tonight’s game against Carolina:
It looks like AV reads my tweets on defensive pairings (joking). McIlrath will likely be the healthy scratch, but those defense pairings are probably the Rangers’ best bet for efficiency from what they currently have on the roster.
Alain Vigneault tried out some new lines at practice today, and it is likely these are the lines for tonight’s game against Nashville.
Emerson Etem is the healthy forward scratch. The defense remained the same.
Rick Nash has returned to practice, skating on his usual line with Mats Zuccarello and Derick Brassard. Emerson Etem is back as the spare forward. Dan Boyle will also stay in the lineup, and Dylan McIlrath will sit.
Per Andrew Gross, Alain Vigneault moved J.T. Miller up to the second line with Chris Kreider and Derek Stepan. Jesper Fast was back to the fourth line, rotating with Dominic Moore, Jarret Stoll, and Emerson Etem. The other two lines remained the same.
The defense pairings remained the same.
Update: Rick Nash is day-to-day after twisting his back at practice.
The Rangers have some new lines today at practice:
PP1: Nash-Stepan-Zuccarello, Brassard-McDonagh
PP2: Kreider-Hayes-Lindberg, Yandle-Klein.
Viktor Stalberg was skating with the team during this morning’s practice, and was medically cleared to play. There was some changes to the lines in practice, and it appears Alain Vigneault will be holding Stalberg out for at least the weekend:
The defense pairs remained the same.