Lines at practice give insight to roster decisions made today

filip chytil

Photo: NYDN

The lines at practice today were revealed by the Rangers, and it may have provided some insight to Alain Vigneault’s thought process.

Chris Kreider-Mika Zibanejad-Pavel Buchnevich
Rick Nash-Filip Chytil-Mats Zuccarello
Michael Grabner-Kevin Hayes-JT Miller
Jimmy Vesey-David Desharnais-Paul Carey
Andrew Desjardins-Jesper Fast

Ryan McDonagh-Kevin Shattenkirk
Brady Skjei-Brendan Smith
Marc Staal-Tony DeAngelo
Nick Holden-Steven Kampfer

Right off the bat, we see that Chytil has forced his way onto this roster. He’s being put in a position to succeed, between two great veteran players with tremendous offensive instincts. It’s nice to see the KZB line return as well.

The third line makes sense, given who is on the fourth line, and boy does that line leave a lot to be desired. Maybe it’s because Fast is still hurt, but I don’t really like that line. That said, it’s not a bad fourth line, just I think it can be better.

I love the top four defensemen, and it shows that AV knows who belongs in that role. As for the bottom pair, I thought Pionk outplayed Staal, Holden, and Kampfer. Perhaps it was just a matter of getting Pionk more minutes in Hartford. That I’m fine with. That said, the Staal-DeAngelo pairing is a defensive zone nightmare in the making.

No point in getting upset over Holden or Kampfer as the spare defensemen. As mentioned this morning, it makes sense right now to hold on to the vets to see if there can be a trade. That said, it still seems that AV has a soft spot for Staal.

I don’t know what Andrew Desjardins is still doing here, though.