Archive for Lineup Changes

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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Gettinger (Photo: Adam Bell, OHL)

A little late on this stuff, but better late than never. The Rangers signed 2016 5th rounder Tim Gettinger to an entry level contract yesterday. Gettinger has a line of 30-22-52 in 60 games this year. That is close to double his goal total from last year (17-22-39).

Also with Jesper Fast returning from injury, Pavel Buchnevich will be the healthy scratch. Tanner Glass will remain in the lineup at the expense of a promising kid’s development.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

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As expected, Tanner Glass will dress for Matt Puempel, and Steven Kampfer will dress for Adam Clendening tonight, based on the attendance at the optional morning skate. This shouldn’t surprise anyone, despite Alain Vigneault stating he wouldn’t dress anyone without at least one practice under his belt.

I’m not going to beat the dead horse. You all know where I stand on this. But it’s going to be funny when, because of the light schedule, the Rangers win three in a row and it’s all because of Glass and Kampfer.

Just saying: We all know that will happen.

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mika zibanejad

Some practice notes that you may have missed with the trade deadline excitement, or lack thereof:

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brandon pirri

Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

Alain Vigneault has made one lineup change tonight, and it is going to upset a few people. Brandon Pirri will be back in the lineup for the first time since January 31, while Pavel Buchnevich will sit as a healthy scratch.

AV mentioned that Pirri will be used on the powerplay as an attempt to get some life back into the unit, as it has been struggling of late. That said, one of their better puck movers is still stapled to the press box.

Buchnevich was a healthy scratch against the Islanders last week, and then played in the two following games.

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Some thoughts on the lineup changes

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pavel buchnevich

Bruce Bennet/Getty Images

Much was made yesterday when news broke that Alain Vigneault would be scratching Pavel Buchnevich for a game, subbing in Matt Puempel. I’m actually glad I wasn’t around to peruse the Twitters yesterday, because I’m sure I would have lost my mind. I did see a few reactions, and I have to admit, it’s really not worth getting all worked up over this.

I understand that a lot of folks are sensitive to Vigneault’s lineup choices. The defense choices this year alone would make anyone cringe. I understand that last year scarred people for life, as Tanner Glass was routinely in the lineup over significantly more skilled forwards. I get it. But let’s also be clear that sitting a rookie for a game in the middle of a slump can be an educational tool.

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AV juggles lines, Pirri to be scratched

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brandon pirri

Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

Alain Vigneault juggled the forward lines for tonight’s game in Buffalo. Oscar Lindberg will be back in, and Brandon Pirri will be scratched. The full lines:

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

The defense pairings remained the same.

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adam clendening

With Jesper Fast and Marc Staal returning to the lineup tonight, coach Alain Vigneault has announced that Oscar Lindberg and Adam Clendening will be the healthy scratches. Antti Raanta is likely the backup tonight, as the Rangers have not recalled Magnus Hellberg.

Fresh off his two year contract extension, Vigneault has highlighted his main weakness, which is defensive evaluation. Clendening wasn’t perfect, but added an offensive flair to the back-end that the Rangers sorely needed. At this point, he’s no worse than Kevin Klein in the defensive zone, so adding puck moving is a critical need for this club.

In regards to the forwards, Lindberg was the likely odd-man out once the Rangers got healthy.

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Mika Zibanejad

Here are your updates regarding the lineup for tonight’s game. Some of these came yesterday, so I’m a bit delayed:

  • Mika Zibanejad will return tonight. Oscar Lindberg will be the healthy scratch. It was either him or Brandon Pirri. Since Pirri scored the other night, Lindberg was the logical choice.
  • Marek Hrivik cleared waivers, and has been assigned to the Hartford Wolf Pack. I’m not surprised he cleared, his baseline numbers weren’t sexy.
  • Antti Raanta will be out for 7-10 days. Magnus Hellberg was called up, but expect Lundqvist to play all games during that span.
  • Matt Puempel and Marc Staal skated, but will not play tonight.
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AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

After Antti Raanta pitched a shutout on Friday night in Chicago, Alain Vigneault is going to ride the hot hand and start Raanta tonight in New Jersey. Henrik Lundqvist, who has struggled to start the season, will be the backup for the second straight game. This will be the first time since 2013 that Lundqvist will be the healthy backup for two straight games.

Most people, like myself, have no problem with riding the hot hand. Raanta has been great, and Hank has not been comfortable in net. It’s perfectly fine to let him work on things and get comfortable. The major source of controversy is that the coaching staff seems to pick and choose accountability situations.

There is no goalie controversy in New York. Hank is still the starter and will carry the workload. Raanta is getting extra games while he is hot.

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