Lineup decisions: Kreider or Eminger?

Update 12:40pm: Per Andrew Gross, John Scott has a nameplate above a locker tonight. Steve Eminger, Jeff Woywitka, and more importantly Chris Kreider do not have name plates up. This likely means Scott will be inserted into the lineup tonight.

Original Post: With the news that Carl Hagelin is gone for the next three games, the Rangers have a few decisions they need to make regarding the lineup. The loss of Hagelin is a big loss, as the Rangers lose their fastest skater and a top six forward. That is not easily replaced in the lineup. Rookie Chris Kreider is the best option to fill in for Hagelin, as discussed earlier today, but the coaching staff may be hesitant to insert the rookie into the lineup so quickly.

The reasoning here is that Kreider may not be the best option for a series that has taken a dirty, physical, and nasty turn. Zenon Konopka, Chris Neil, and Matt Carkner have taken liberties with the Rangers, and there might be some retribution.

Since John Scott is likely not the answer the Rangers are looking for, that leaves another option that I mentioned on Twitter. When the club had a few injuries at forward, they left Stu Bickel in the lineup at forward on the fourth line, and inserted Steve Eminger into the lineup on defense. This is still an option for the Rangers, who may want to have some added toughness up front without losing much on defense.

Flexibility is nice, and it’s tough to really say there’s a right and wrong answer here for the Rangers. It really depends on what the coaching staff feels is a bigger need for Game Three. Do they need to replace the skill, or do they need the toughness? Personally, I would insert Kreider, but I don’t coach the team.

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  • I definitely follow your logic here. However, I would hope the Rangers would have enough muscle with Rupp, Prust, and Bickel regularly in the lineup. Since Bickel has played so few minutes in the first two games, they could roll him out there as an inforcer and if they lost him be fine with 5 D’s. I would hope we get a chance to see what kind of wildcard Kreider can be.

  • What could John Scott do in the 2:30 Torts would give him that would hurt the Rangers? Send him out early (very early) to set the tone, and have him in your back pocket in case things turn nasty. If you want Kreider in, dress him for Mitchell and have Dubi double shift as 4th line center. He should have plenty left in the tank after the quick shower on Saturday.

  • Mitchell sits, Scott replaces him for one shift, headhunting Neal. Kreider replaces Hags, the kid gets his chance, and the message is sent. Then pound the crap out of Karrlson, and see if the boy has any gonads. I suspect not!!!

  • Could the Hagelin suspension been appealed? If so, then why not do it? It, at least, gives Krieder more practice time. No?

    • Yes, they can. However, at this point they won’t as Shanny and Co. will never concede a mistake.

      You might see an appeal if Alfredsson returns to play tonight, as a HUGE portion of the justification for 3 games was Alfredsson’s alleged concussion. With him back, the Rangers might have some more ammo for an appeal. Still very unlikely though.

    • It can be appealed any time before Hagelin serves his first game (tonight). Since Alfredsson is skating, it wouldn’t shock me to see an appeal.

  • Anyone else notice the excessive celebration from Karrlson (and Spezza) after MDZ deflected his centering pass past Henrik? You would have thought he was Bobby Orr going end-to-end for a Cup winner rather than getting a lucky bounce in game 2 of the conference quarterfinals.

    • This is a moot point no that it seems that only John Scott is going to join the lineup. But, considering that Mitchell and Rupp are seeing about 4 minutes a night, how hard would it be to double shift someone to center that line?

  • The reason I’m not coaching: Torts has more class than I do…the best way to prove a system is flawed is to follow it exactly. I would put John Scott in the lineup and send him out early in the game to go after someone with the clear instructions that he is to punch them in the face until the drop and then continue to punch them exactly 7 times while they lay vulnerable on the ice. At that point I would publicly dare Shannahan to give Scott more than a 1 game suspension. If Shannahan continues to serve as the league’s director of player safety I project it will take no more than two seasons before some team goes out and hires professional fighters and the Hansons to destroy their opponents. As long as they do it by slamming their face into the boards it will only cost them $2,500 a piece.

    Since Torts is a better person than I am, I hope he lets Kreider play in Hags place and puts Bickel up front with the clear direction that he is to protect the skill players and play the most physical grinding game he can muster.

  • With all due respect to Scott, he simply cannot skate well enough for this league, let alone a key playoff game. I suppose if his mission is soley to fight Neil and they both go off to the box, we come out ahead in that exchange. However, I would prefer we play Kreider on the 3rd/4th line — he was signed for this very reason and his speed/skill could very well surprise us and add some kick that will be lost with Hagelin.

  • I am glad John read my comment way back.

    Tonight he needs to play his big package.

    You really need a skill, big, and speed package.

    You play those lineups against your opponent and beat them at their own game.

    Tonight’s game will get nassssssty.

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