Archive for Lineup Changes


What to do with Emerson Etem?

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Last night in Montreal, Emerson Etem made his New York Rangers debut. It was rather unceremonious, as he played a grand total of 7:09 on fourth line duty, and was buried for 86% DZ starts. Not exactly the ideal deployment of a guy who is lauded for his offensive skillset.

Personally, I am not a huge fan of Etem’s game. I will be the first one to admit that he is a tremendously gifted offensive player. He has great hands, shot and skating agility. Decision-making, effort level and one-dimensional skillset are the critical concerns I have with Etem. The Rangers traded an extremely versatile player in Carl Hagelin for the young winger, and while I am not here to lament the merits of that trade, it does create something of a roster imbalance. Read More→

Jarret Stoll, Tanner Glass, and Dylan McIlrath will be scratched tonight against the Montreal Canadiens. Dan Boyle and Jesper Fast will return to the lineup, and Emerson Etem will make his Rangers debut.

Boyle will be paired with Marc Staal. Etem and Fast will play with Dominic Moore.

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Dan Boyle took rushes with Marc Staal today at practice, and Alain Vigneault confirmed that he will return to the lineup tomorrow night. Boyle was a healthy scratch last night, as Dylan McIlrath took his spot in the lineup. Best guess is that McIlrath will sit, despite a strong game.

Jesper Fast will also be in the lineup on the fourth line. Fast was a healthy scratch for two games, as AV juggled his fourth line. Emerson Etem and Jarret Stoll were alternating on the wing, and Etem might get his first game as a Ranger tomorrow. It looks like Tanner Glass, who had a rough night, will sit.

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Boyle to sit tomorrow, Klein on the PP

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Per Sean Hartnett, the Rangers have switched up the powerplay, most notably with Kevin Klein playing in place of Dan Boyle. Boyle will be a scratch tomorrow, and Dylan McIlrath will play.

PP1: Nash-Brassard-Zuccarello, Yandle-Klein
PP2: Kreider-Hayes-Miller, McDonagh-Stepan

There are a few things to note here. First is that McIlrath needs to play. Second is that Boyle is 39 years old, so getting him some extra rest isn’t a bad thing. Third is that, despite what some click-bait articles on the internet may lead you to believe, Boyle hasn’t been bad. He’s been, if anything unspectacular in his first three games.

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Lines remain unchanged for tonight

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Per Andrew Gross, the Rangers will not change up their lines after a strong season opener in Chicago. Emerson Etem, Tanner Glass, and Dylan McIlrath will be the healthy scratches.

Rick NashDerick BrassardMats Zuccarello
Chris KreiderDerek StepanKevin Hayes
Viktor StalbergOscar LindbergJ.T. Miller
Dominic MooreJarret StollJesper Fast

Ryan McDonaghDan Girardi
Marc StaalDan Boyle
Keith YandleKevin Klein

It is expected that Henrik Lundqvist will get both starts this weekend.

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Expected lines in season opener

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The Rangers are expected to use their same lines from practice in the season opener in Chicago tomorrow night.

Rick NashDerick BrassardMats Zuccarello
Chris KreiderDerek Stepan-Kevin Hayes
Viktor StalbergOscar LindbergJ.T. Miller
Dominic MooreJarret StollJesper Fast

Ryan McDonagh-Dan Girardi
Marc Staal-Dan Boyle
Keith Yandle-Kevin Klein

Emerson Etem, Tanner Glass, and Dylan McIlrath will be the healthy scratches.

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Hayes at wing at practice with new lines

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Per the Rangers Twitter, the Rangers are sporting some new line combinations at practice, highlighted by Kevin Hayes at wing.

Rick Nash-Derick Brassard-Mats Zuccarello
Chris Kreider-Derek Stepan-Kevin Hayes
Viktor Stalberg-Oscar Lindberg-J.T. Miller
Dominic Moore-Jarret Stoll-Jesper Fast
Emerson Etem

Tanner Glass is not on the ice, after taking a shot to the leg and limping off.

The Kreider/Stepan/Hayes line was a possession monster on Wednesday, so it’s not shocking to see them together. We still don’t know what will be of Lindberg, but all signs point to him being able to handle the offensive load of a 3C, while providing enough defensive responsibilities to cover the inevitable Miller gaffe in the DZ.

The fourth line can certainly handle the tough DZ starts, even if Stoll is fading a bit.

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The Rangers practiced with a new set of lines today, as they adjust to life without Mats Zuccarello. As expect, St. Louis moves up to the first line, with Fast moving to the third line and Sheppard coming to the fourth line:

Rick Nash-Derick Brassard-Martin St. Louis
Chris Kreider-Derek Stepan-J.T. Miller
Carl Hagelin-Kevin Hayes-Jesper Fast
Tanner Glass-Dominic Moore-James Sheppard

There were adjusted powerplay units as well:

Kreider-Stepan-St. Louis-Brassard-Boyle

Hunwick was in for Yandle, who will practice tomorrow.

On paper, the Rangers are still a scary team with some solid depth. However, that injury to Zuccarello still hurts.

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Rick Nash was named the Rangers team MVP and Player’s Player Award winner this morning. Nash has 42 goals and 27 assists (69 points) in 79 games thus far this season. He almost single-handedly carried the offense while the rest of the lines were being finalized.

Nash and Marc Staal will be scratched tonight, as Ryan Bourque and Chris Summers were recalled to give some guys a break.

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Alain Vigneault is shuffling the lines a bit for tomorrow’s showdown with the Islanders, and will be dressing Tanner Glass on the fourth line over James Sheppard. Sheppard had been used with Dominic Moore and Jesper Fast as the 4LW, providing some much needed defensive stability to a fourth line that really needed a defensively solid LW.

It is likely that AV is worried about Matt Martin running around, and the potential need to drop the gloves. But honestly, you can’t’ hit what you can’t catch, and Martin can’t skate. Let him run around and try to hit someone. He will miss, and the Rangers will take advantage.

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