Lineup Changes

Quick Practice Notes; Lines Emphasize Holes In Roster

After the New York Rangers demoralizing loss last night, coach John Tortorella juggled the lines again in practice, and the final product looked like this:

Wojtek Wolski-Erik Christensen-Marian Gaborik
Brandon Dubinsky-Brad Richards-Ryan Callahan
Ruslan Fedotenko-Brian Boyle-Brandon Prust
Derek Stepan-Artem Anisimov-Kris Newbury

These will sure to rile up some people, especially the Christensen haters. It is a bit curious to see Christensen and Wolski, who have notably been in Torts’ dog house many times over the past few seasons, on a line with Gaborik. The other thing that might disturb people is that Stepan and Anisimov appear to be on the fourth line. I say “appear” here because we know they will get more than fourth line minutes.

While many will read into these combos with disdain, let’s try and look at the big picture. There are three players on this roster that simply would not be on any competing team’s roster. There is a reason why players like Christensen bounce around the waiver wire, why the Wolski’s of the world get traded twice before turning 26, and why fringe players like Newbury go unclaimed on waivers. The reason is simply that they are not consistent players. Right now, they are roster fillers until the prospects with the CT Whale are ready.

Missing from these forward lines is Mike Rupp, who sat out of practice again today with a nagging injury. Also missing was Michael Del Zotto, who sat out with a hip flexor injury.

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  • I think it is pretty clear that when it will be our turn for cup runs these players will no longer be donning the blue, Wolski, Christensen,Fedetenko, Newbury and Eminger instead the roster will have the likes of Krieder, McIlrath, Bourque, Miller and Thomas and possibly a trade or another free agent pick up of sorts. This is why it won’t be the end of the world should we even have a disastrous year. The key is placing the right players first from within the system or a trade that will benefit both teams with out gutting our team.

    • You are right. But, me personally, I would trade a few of those prospects for an established player who provides value. A top LW or a top-four defenseman would be nice.

      • I know the rumors from Eklund are mre made up ideas usually.But he was stating that Calgary was willing to move some players.I heard Rene Bourque was one,he is off to a good start though,so who knows now.I wouldn’t mind Glencross as a cheap addition.Or Rene Borque.If we can fill the spot next to Gabs and Richie,we should be able to come up with some good lines.

  • This is frigging lunacy! Torts is like a 3rd grader in need of ritalin. I think it’s time for him to go. Christensen and Wolski on the top line? Is this for the Rangers or the Whale? And Stepan to the 4th line? Of course, I’m getting myself upset for nothing; there will be new line combos for the morning skate, followed by new lines for the 1st period. But if they don’t get it going early, Torts could always change the lines.

      • Was over at BB,everybody is going nuts over new lines and Torts in general.Wow,long,long,long road trip and 1 I repeat 1 home game and people are acting like we are almost half way in.I personally dont think much of Torts but its early.And I believe there is some sort of animosity in the locker room or something.But geez,it is a little early for this.If they look like this at the end of this homestand,then I agree its time for a shakeup.But still not firing Torts.Maybe in a month if things are not going well.Suit you are usually pretty level-headed What is your feelings towards Torts and the direction we are going?

        • I’m surprised too. This type of talk should be in like February if we are out of the playoff picture. But now shows the ridiculousness of half the fan base.

          • no no no your wrong you should know this Suit I like almost everything you say So I know you know your hockey. That being said This kind of talk would be nuts If and only This was two years ago. And it was the first were seeing it. This is nowhere near the first were seeing it.

            We have seen all of this for three years now. And nothing has changed. Its gotten worse not better. We are going on three years of line changes and players that were brought in here to get one player going. You cant build a team like that. If Richards was brought in here. To get Gabs going then they should be together. Stepan is this teams future so if your gonna give a guy a chance to get going it should be Stepana not Christensen.

      • Yes, let’s wait until February and talk about Torts future when we are out of the playoff picture, instead of now when things could be fixed. That’s a great plan.

        • Who said that was a plan? I said i would expect this type of hate later in the season if we were losing, not after 7 friggan games. Its an observation brother, relax.

          • It’s been more than 7 games and you know it. He either has no plan longer than a game or two in his head or he doesn’t have the patience to follow it through.

          • You can’t see past your own hatred. Richards even agreed with Torts saying he needs to play with grinders to get going. These two know each other inside and out. I trust them to know what works better than I trust you. Sorry it’s time to move on.

  • I find it pretty amazing how many people want Torts gone.Its still early in the season.Our record is not atrocious.But people just have lost their patience.I didnt expect this yet.But people got to realize Torts aint going nowhere unless they go into a complete tailspin.Sather should have been gone years ago,he is still here.

    • Torts isnt getting more time from the fans because its going on three years of the same ole BS. Nothing has gotten better. And doesnt look like it will..

  • Whale wins fourth in a row.Avery seals the game with an empty netter.Beats the Adirondack player to the puck,puts it in then taunts him,then fights him.Missed some of game but they looked good from what I saw.4-2 final.Should have been 4-1 but Zucc got cheapshotted or something and was busy yelling at the ref and a Adirondack player was left alone and scored.Aves was killing penalties and looked good.

  • The home games mean nothing. The rangers play awfully at home.

    I think in sports people forget its not only buy in from the bench but also from the fan base. Ec 1st line …. Really?

    I know the Rangers read your blog. So Sean this is for you.

    We want Avery! We want Avery!

    • I actually wonder if Torts reads some of these blogs.A couple of times things were disussed on the blogs and the next day Torts is adressing the issues.Maybe they are trying to get EC and WW going and maybe showcasing them.Its nice to dream a little.Maybe we can pull another good trade with Calgary and get Glencross or Borque.

        • Yeah I doubt Torts reads the blogs either but I’m sure he may hear some things in passing.So what do you think of them trying to make a trade for a decent true left wing like Glencross or give up a little more for Borque.

          • So you are happy to stick with what we got no matter what place we wind up in and chalk it up as a rebuilding year.I dont really see Glencross as being a “big timelw” but I’m sure he wouldn’t be that cheap either.His contract alone is impressive at 2.5 for the next 4 years.He had a good year last year.

          • I was just speaking in general not to those specific players.

            With that said, both players you mentioned are locked up until 2015. Glencross has a no movement clause and Bourque has a no trade clause. The Flames are building around those players and would likely ask for too much in return.

  • Hey, this guy Vinnie Prospal can play the wing or center and seems to be consistantly putting numbers up early in the season… perhaps he is available?.. no, wait… we had him and he is old so we let him walk away FOR NOTHING!!!!

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