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Category: Lineup Changes

Practice notes: New powerplays/lines, Hank out with “minor” issue

Per Pat Leonard, Henrik Lundqvist did not practice today due to a “minor” issue. In another tweet later, Leonard noted that Alain Vigneault is not 100% certain that Hank can play on Thursday in Philadelphia.

Also per Leonard, AV switched up his lines once more, which answers some questions from yesterday’s confusing combos:

Chris Kreider-Derek Stepan-Brad Richards
Benoit Pouliot-Derick Brassard-J.T. Miller
Taylor Pyatt-Brian Boyle-Jesper Fast
Mats Zuccarello-Dominic Moore-Derek Dorsett

PP1: Del Zotto-Richards, Kreider-Stepan-Brassard
PP2: McDonagh-J. Moore, Pouliot-Miller-Boyle

Zuccarello, who has been struggling to start the season, has been placed on the fourth line and removed from the powerplay completely. This at least answers questions about the second line and answers questions about kids on the fourth line. People will still have problems with Pyatt ahead of Zucc, but it’s not like Zucc is playing infinitely better than Pyatt and deserves to be a spot up in the lineup.

Kreider on top line with Stepan and Richards

Per Pat Leonard, the newly recalled Chris Kreider is getting another shot at top line minutes, this time skating with Derek Stepan and Brad Richards. The rest of the lines:

Richards-Stepan-Kreider
Taylor Pyatt-Brian Boyle-Matz Zuccarello
Benoit Pouliot-Derick Brassard-Derek Dorsett
J.T. Miller-Dom Moore-Jesper Fast

On defense, Michael Del Zotto was back in the lineup:

Ryan McDonagh-Dan Girardi
Marc Staal-Anton Stralman
Del Zotto-John Moore

It is interesting to note that Brandon Mashinter, who was just called up, is not skating with a forward line at the moment. The next game isn’t until Thursday, so that may change.

Pyatt on top line with Callahan out

With Ryan Callahan out for 3-4 weeks with a borken thumb, coach Alain Vigneault has moved Taylor Pyatt up to the top line. J.T. Miller was moved  up to the second line, and Jesper Fast moved down to the fourth line:

Brad Richards-Derick Brassard-Taylor Pyatt
JT Miller-Derek Stepan-Mats Zuccarello
Benoit Pouliot-Brian Boyle-Derek Dorsett
Darroll Powe-Dominic Moore-Jesper Fast

Pyatt also moved up to the top powerplay unit:

1st PP: John Moore-Richards-Pyatt-Brassard-Stepan
2nd PP: Dan Girardi-AntonStralman-Pouliot-Miller-Zuccarello

The defense pairings remained the same, as Michael Del Zotto is not expected to play tonight.

Practice notes: New lines; Miller on 4th line; no Del Zotto (flu)

Per Pat Leonard, the Rangers have new lines at practice to account for the roster moves made yesterday:

Brad Richards-Derick Brassard-Ryan Callahan
Benoit Pouliot-Derek Stepan-Mats Zuccarello
Taylor Pyatt-Brian Boyle-Jesper Fast
J.T. Miller-Dom Moore-Derek Dorsett

It’s worth noting that Miller is on the fourth line again, with Moore and Dorsett. The attention is going to focus solely on Taylor Pyatt and his presence on the third line, and I’m inclined to agree here. There’s no real point in having Miller up if he’s not in the top-nine. He needs minutes. If they wanted a fourth line guy, there were other options available that were better suited for those minutes.

There were also new defensive pairings, with Michael Del Zotto not in practice today:

Ryan McDonagh-Dan Girardi
Marc Staal-Anton Stralman
Justin Falk-John Moore

These are the pairs/lines we will see in Washington. Del Zotto did not make the trip to DC.

Zipay: Lines altered for Nash’s absence

Per Steve Zipay, the Rangers have altered their lines to compensate for Rick Nash’s injury:

And #NYR lines: Pouliot-Richards-Callahan;Pyatt-Step-Fast:Boyle-Brassard-Zuke: Dorsett-Moore-Asham

AV also altered the ineffective defense pairings:

#NYR dpairs: Staal-Girardi;: Stralman-McD, Moore-Del Zotto

These are, well, interesting to say the least. Let’s see how it all plays out.

Asham in, Fast out for tomorrow

Per Steve Zipay, Arron Asham will dress for the first time this season when the Rangers are in Los Angeles tomorrow to take on the Kings. He will be taking Jesper Fast’s spot in the lineup. Asham will skate on the fourth line.

While the initial reaction will likely be outrage (How dare this team sit a kid? He should be in the AHL then. Insert complaint here), it’s worth noting that the Rangers need to carry an extra forward since they are out west for a few weeks. When they return east, they will be able to slide with 12 forwards. Hence, Fast in the press box instead of the AHL.

Leonard: Callahan in with Pyatt, Boyle

Per Pat Leonard, Ryan Callahan is back on the ice, skating between Taylor Pyatt and Brian Boyle. This likely (not likely, is) means Cally will be returning to the lineup on Monday in Los Angeles. Leornard also noted that the fourth line consisted of a rotation of Derek Dorsett and Jesper Fast on the right side of J.T. Miller (LW) and Dom Moore (C). It is expected that Fast will be returned to the Hartford Wolfpack of the AHL, who just cleared a forward spot on their roster.

Rangers announce final cuts

Jesper Fast and J.T. Miller made the roster, while Chris Kreider, Oscar Lindberg and Marek Hrivik were assigned to Hartford

The Rangers announced their final roster cuts this morning, assigning Chris Kreider, Oscar Lindberg, Marek Hrivik, Darroll Powe, Brandon Mashinter, Stu Bickel and Conor Allen to the Hartford Wolfpack.  Powe, Mashinter and Bickel must all clear waivers.

The following players made the opening night roster:

Forwards: Arron Asham, Brian Boyle, Derick Brassard, Ryan Callahan, Derek Dorsett, Jesper Fast, Carl Hagelin, J.T. Miller, Dominic Moore, Rick Nash, Benoit Pouliot, Taylor Pyatt, Brad Richards, Derek Stepan, Mats Zuccarello

Defensemen: Michael Del Zotto, Justin Falk, Dan Girardi, Ryan McDonagh, John Moore, Marc Staal, Anton Stralman

Goalies: Henrik Lundqvist, Marty Biron

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Breaking: Brad Richards a healthy scratch tonight

Per Andrew Gross, Brad Richards will be a healthy scratch tonight. Richards was on the ice with the extra skaters following today’s optional skate. For those saying players are never held accountable, here’s your proof that they ARE held accountable.

Lineup changes: Girardi and McDonagh back together

Per Andrew Gross, Dan Girardi and Ryan McDonagh are back together as a pairing on defense. After an abysmal Game Two with Michael Del Zotto, Girardi will be reunited with McDonagh to form that top shutdown pair the Rangers split up after the Washington series. Del Zotto will be with Anton Stralman, and the John Moore-Steve Eminger pair remains the same.

The change is likely two-fold: Realizing that the current pairs weren’t working, and that the Rangers have home ice (and last change) for the next two games.