Archive for Lineup Changes
The Rangers are so shorthanded right now that they’re bringing in Tomas Kaberle to skate with the team today, but that won’t last much longer.
Derek Stepan’s return is imminent, Dan Boyle’s recovery is also in it’s final stages, and John Moore’s suspension will be over after Sunday’s game. Kevin Klein could follow soon after, though no official prognosis has been made on his foot injury.
So how will things change in the coming days and weeks?
For one thing, the return of Stepan and Boyle should, should, get the power play on track. Statistically it can’t be much worse than the three-for-32 slump to start the season (Pittsburgh has 19 power play goals already…), but even a mediocre stretch by the man advantage would mean an extra goal every few games, a not insignificant padding for the patchwork defense. Read More→
Per Brett Cyrgalis, the coaching staff shook up the defensive pairings a bit with John Moore headed towards a suspension. The forward lines were changed up as well, likely due to the success we saw from the Mats Zuccarello-Derick Brassard-Rick Nash trio:
Ryan Malone took a maintenance day.
That fourth line is likely to change, probably moving Mueller to center, Malone to RW, and Hayes as a scratch. Either way, that fourth line is “meh” at best. The bottom four looks, well, it looks like it will get exploited a few times. I think that’s a mild way of putting it.
There were no changes to the defensive pairings.
It’s very early in the season, and Alain Vigneault also said that Duclair may not play every game to start the season. There is value in watching games from above to see how plays develop in the NHL and in AV’s systems. It’s one game, so there’s no reason to panic over Duclair sitting. The staff will make the best possible decision to ensure his growth isn’t stunted by rushing him.
Can’t really say this was unexpected, but after Mike Kostka’s two turnovers last night, he was skating as the 7D in practice today, per Seth Rothman. Marc Staal was skating with Matt Hunwick, and Kevin Klein was still with John Moore.
Per Seth Rothman, forward Ryan Malone will make his Rangers debut tonight against the Islanders, skating on the fourth line with Dominic Moore and Tanner Glass. Mats Zuccarello is also returning tonight, so J.T. Miller and Jesper Fast will be the healthy scratches.
I thought Fast was playing well enough in his role to stay in the lineup. But hey, I’m not the coach. Also, Miller hasn’t been as bad as everyone has been advertising, at least in the small sample size, since he’s the team leader in relCorsi. He certainly hasn’t been perfect, but he hasn’t been awful.
No one could have predicted that Martin St. Louis would end up being New York’s first-line center, or that 19-year-old Anthony Duclair would beat out a slew of veterans and near-NHL ready prospects for a top-nine spot to start the season. But St. Louis’ position change is only temporary, as Duclair’s stay in New York could be.
The first month of the 2014-2015 season will be about treading water in Derek Stepan’s absence, first and foremost, and determining if prospects like Duclair and Kevin Hayes deserve to stick. Read More→
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.
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.