New Rangers lines: Kaapo Kakko back to the top line.

Per Arthur Staple, we have some new Rangers lines today after their loss in Columbus, with Kaapo Kakko rejoining the top line. Jimmy Vesey hasn’t really looked good on the top line, and that’s no slight against him, he’s just not a top line forward that can survive against the opposition’s top defenders. That trio was sub-50% in high danger scoring chance share, which is what the Rangers’ systems are based off.

Kakko rejoining the top line is likely a stopgap until the trade deadline, but it is fair to give him another shot. For starters, the confidence boost he got while that third line was rolling might just be what he needed to play a more offensive role. Secondly, that trio was starting to see its on-ice results fade, so it was time to try other options.

Worst case scenario is this doesn’t work, the Rangers get a 1RW, Kakko moves back to 3RW, and Vesey moves back to 4LW. Best case scenario is this works and the Rangers don’t need to spend assets on a 1RW. The most likely scenario is in the middle, where Kakko can survive but isn’t a long-term solution this season.


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