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The “final” roster was announced yesterday, and to the pleasure of all, there were a lot of new kids on the team taking the place of vets departed (or demoted). Jesper Fast, Anthony Duclair, J.T. Miller, and Kevin Hayes all cracked the roster, giving fans some fresh faces to get excited about as the season approaches.
There are still 15 forwards on the roster though, with Derek Stepan headed to LTIR and Kevin Hayes probably headed to IR. As they return, the Rangers are going to have to make more moves and send people down to the AHL (or, in Duclair’s case, the QMJHL). The opening night roster is clearly not going to be the roster for the entire season.
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Per Pat Leonard, defenseman John Moore was back in his usual spot on the blue line, next to partner Kevin Klein on the third pair. Leonard also noted that Moore was on the second powerplay unit with Dan Girardi. Moore missed Game Six of the ECF and Game One of the SCF, serving a suspension for his high hit to Dale Weise.
Alain Vigneault announced yesterday that J.T. Miller would be returning to the lineup, probably in light of the Dan Carcillo suspension. Some doubt may have been cast when Derick Brassard announced he would be returning tonight, but now with the confirmed news that Derek Stepan will be out with his broken jaw (not surprising, despite what Doctors Gallagher and Briere say), it is certain that Miller will play tonight.
No lines have been announced, but my guess is that Brassard skates on the top line with Rick Nash and Chris Kreider. Dominic Moore would slide into the third line with Mats Zuccarllo and Benoit Pouliot, and Miller would play on the fourth line with Derek Dorsett and Brian Boyle.
Per Ryan Rishaug, injured center Derick Brassard was taking line rushes this afternoon with regular linemate Mats Zuccarello and J.T. Miller (in Benoit Pouliot’s spot). Per Pat Leonard, Pouliot was just taking a maintenance day. AV alluded to the fact that Brassard may play tomorrow, and it looks like he will be back in the lineup after missing Game Two.
Per Andrew Gross, injured defenseman Ryan McDonagh has confirmed that he is 100%, and will return for the playoffs. McDonagh has been out since April 1, after taking a “questionable” hit from Vancouver’s Alex Burrows late in the third period. Although he is 100%, he will not be playing tonight in Montreal.
In addition to McDonagh, Dan Girardi, Martin St. Louis, and Henrik Lundqvist will also be out of the lineup tonight to get some much deserved and/or needed rest. For Girardi, this will be just the fifth (!!!) game he has missed in his entire NHL career (two last season, two in 2010-2011).
People may not agree with Alain Vigneault here, but the game tonight is meaningless. There’s no point in ruining Hank’s confidence (he has a better shot at being president of the US than winning in Montreal it seems); it’s a good idea to give Girardi some time to order some new robot parts for his body; and it’s probably a good idea to get MSL out of his own head.
Per Andrew Gross, the Rangers have inserted Jesper Fast into the lineup on a line with Brad Richards and Carl Hagelin. This means Derek Stepan will be skating with Rick Nash and Martin St. Louis. The third and fourth lines will remain the same, with Dan Carcillo likely serving as the healthy scratch tonight. The full lines:
The defense pairings will be the same, and Henrik Lundvist will get the start in net.
Per Andrew Gross, defenseman Ryan McDonagh is out tonight and is day-to-day after being on the receiving end of a questionable hit –that received no supplemental discipline– from Alex Burrows. John Moore, who has been out since March 21, will take McDonagh’s spot in the lineup.
After last night’s debacle in Calgary, Alain Vigneault has decided to switch up his lines. Per Steve Zipay, the new lines are:
Dan Carcillo-Derek Stepan-Rick Nash
Carl Hagelin-Brad Richards-Martin St. Louis
Benoit Pouliot-Derick Brassard-Mats Zuccarello
Brian Boyle-Dominic Moore-Derek Dorsett
If you are perplexed about Carcillo on the top line, you should know that you are not alone. J.T. Miller was skating with the extra forwards.
Per Steve Zipay, Martin St. Louis will replace the injured Chris Kreider on the Rangers’ top line with Derek Stepan and Rick Nash tonight against Philly. Zipay also noted that this likely means the recently recalled J.T. Miller will slide into the Derick Brassard line.
Dan Carcillo is a scratch as well tonight, as he has the flu.