Per Andrew Gross, Brad Richards will be a healthy scratch tonight. Richards was on the ice with the extra skaters following today’s optional skate. For those saying players are never held accountable, here’s your proof that they ARE held accountable.
Category: Lineup Changes
Per Andrew Gross, Dan Girardi and Ryan McDonagh are back together as a pairing on defense. After an abysmal Game Two with Michael Del Zotto, Girardi will be reunited with McDonagh to form that top shutdown pair the Rangers split up after the Washington series. Del Zotto will be with Anton Stralman, and the John Moore-Steve Eminger pair remains the same.
The change is likely two-fold: Realizing that the current pairs weren’t working, and that the Rangers have home ice (and last change) for the next two games.
Per Andrew Gross, coach John Tortorella has flipped his defensive pairs to prep for the Boston series, as “Ryan McDonagh is skating with Anton Stralman while Dan Girardi is with Michael Del Zotto. John Moore remains with Steve Eminger and Marc Staal (blurred vision) is not skating.” This makes sense, as the Bruins are a much deeper and less top-heavy team than the Caps, requiring the Rangers to adjust their pairings to be able to deal with four strong lines.
Gross also notes that in addition to Staal, Darroll Powe and Ryane Clowe are not skating.
Per Dan Rosen, Ryane Clowe said there is a “good chance” he plays tonight. Clowe, who hasn’t skated in the playoffs, will likely take the place of the injured Darroll Powe. Powe appeared to suffer a concussion in the Game Three victory, as he left in the first period and did not return. Powe, who suffered a concussion earlier this season, is likely done for the playoffs if this news is true.
Per Dan Rosen, Ryane Clowe left the optional skate early this morning, while Arron Asham stayed on the ice a bit longer. This generally suggests that Asham will be a scratch, and Clowe will make his return to the lineup. Rosen also noted that Marc Staal is physically ready (reading between the lines of his tweet), but it’s more of a mental thing with Staal. He has to be able to play without feeling like his decision-making will burden the team.
Naturally, Torts isn’t revealing any of his lineup decisions until the warmups, so don’t expect any updates until just before puck drop.
Per the Rangers Twitter account, Derek Dorsett and Brian Boyle are partaking in warmups and will play tonight. Kris Newbury and Chris Kreider are not in warmups, and will be scratched.
Per Pat Leonard, there were no major changes to the Rangers lineup during practice today. Marc Staal (regular jersey) and Derek Dorsett (non-contact jersey) both skated. Brian Boyle and Ryane Clowe did not skate. This is semi-good news, as Staal in a regular jersey is a very good sign. His return is the most important, as the Rangers need him against Alex Ovechkin.
Per Steve Zipay, the only change in the practice lines has Micheal Haley joining the fourth line trio of Darroll Powe, Kris Newbury, and Arron Asham. The other lines remained the same.
Per Andrew Gross, Jesper Fast has officially arrived with the Rangers, and is taking full part in practice today. Fast is skating on a line with Brian Boyle and Taylor Pyatt. Fast is probably capable of skating two laps before either Pyatt or Boyle complete one lap, so that infusion of speed can only be a good thing.
Meanwhile, Chris Kreider and J.T. Miller are skating on a “line” with Arron Asham and Darroll Powe. If Fast plays, half of that line will be healthy scratches.
Per Steve Zipay, Mats Zuccarello’s insertion to the lineup has had an effect up and down the lineup. Zuccarello was skating with Brad Richards and Chris Kreider, while Marian Gaborik was shifted all the way to the fourth line with Kris Newbury and Taylor Pyatt. With the top line remaining the same, the third line will have J.T. Miller, Ryan Callahan, and Brian Boyle.
With these new lines, Arron Asham is the newest member of the Press Box Club. He will be joining Darroll Powe and Matt Gilroy in the press box.