According to Andrew Gross at Rangers Rants, Torts juggled the line combos today at practice with both his even strength and power play units. Gross reported the following line combos:
Should these lines stay in tact, it appears Hagelin is moving up to the second line and Pyatt is going back to the third. These lines on paper make sense. However, Hagelin has to get going in order to keep his spot in the top 6.
I hope Ferriero is able to stick in the line up tomorrow. I don’t know how everyone else feels, but I would like to see more of him. I thought he displayed some good foot speed against Toronto and he played well along the boards. He’s generously listed at 5’11 195 lbs, so he’s on the smaller side for a bottom six player. However, if the kid can compete at both ends of the ice, then this may be a good pick up for the Blueshirts.
On to the power play…
Gross had the new power play lines as well, which were as follows.
Rick Nash-Brad Richards – Ryan Callahan
Michael Del Zotto-Dan Girardi
Taylor Pyatt-Derek Stepan-Marian Gaborik
Ryan McDonagh-Anton Stralman
Again, I like these on paper, but in order for us to start planting goals on the power play consistently – two things have to happen.
1) Brad Richards and Derek Stepan have to start winning faceoffs. This is killing our setup time. We lose vital seconds on every power play because our defense has to retreat to our own endzone to pick up cleared pucks.
2) Michael Del Zotto and Dan Girardi have to get their shots through. Stralman isn’t great at zone entries or outlet passes, but he walks the blueline quickly and has been finding lanes. MDZ has to take a page out of Anton’s book if he’s ever going to be a complete quarterback. In my opinion, although he’s improving overall, right now he’s only half way there as a PP QB.
Gross was able to get some good quotes from Torts and others about their power play struggles. I don’t want to steal quotes from the beat guys who actually attend practices, so please read on here.