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Dominic Moore’s role for the upcoming season

Bobby Bevilacqua

dominic moore shooting 5-16

Dominic Moore was a very effective forward for the Rangers last season, and his offensive skills are sometimes overlooked, mainly due to the role he plays. Could he fulfill the role of third line center? Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

The Rangers have a problem. But fear not, because it’s a great problem to have. Currently, they have a plethora of centers and quality bottom six players that they can fit in the lineup, even more so following the addition of Jarret Stoll.

Yesterday, I posted an article posing the question, “Who should assume the third line center role,” with the options being Kevin Hayes, Jarret Stoll and Oscar Lindberg. The most votes were for the newcomer, Jarret Stoll.

But it seems that I have actually left out an option. Dominic Moore, a Rangers draft pick who was re-signed two years ago, has become a very important part of this team. Arguably the most important penalty killer, the best faceoff man, and a pretty decent offensive option.

This past year, Moore finished with 10 goals, the first time he has hit double digits since the 2010-11 season with the Lightning. He also tallied 17 assists, giving him a grand total of 27 points for this past season. Considering the fact that he was carrying the dead weight of Tanner Glass, Ryan Malone and less so James Sheppard for large portions of the season, that’s pretty darn good.

While Stoll is also a faceoff specialist, a penalty killer and a strong forechecker, his play has regressed over the past few years. His points are down, possession is down, and he’s not the same player from four or five years ago. He can still be effective, but may be better suited for a fourth line role.

Moore has some surprising offensive skills that he breaks out every now and then. First and foremost, he focuses on playing good defense, winning key faceoffs, and foechecking. But when given the chance, he does things like this.

A great deke past the defender and a great finish past the Carolina netminder.

Dominic Moore scores on a great backhand, beating Holtby with almost no space.

Moore has played the center on the third line a few times throughout the season, filling in for injured players, or to shake up the lines a bit. He’s capable of handling a more offensive role, and his other skills could complement his linemates.

Putting Moore as the third line center also accomplishes what the Rangers were trying to fix in the first place. Moore and Stoll are both great on faceoffs. That means that they would be able to take on more of the defensive zone shifts, leaving Brassard and Stepan in the offensive zone more frequently. That should translate to more goals from them. The longer that Brassard, Stepan, Nash, Kreider and other spend on offense, the better chance they have of scoring.

Also, it really seems like the Rangers are intent on moving Hayes to the wing and making him a top six player. Going into this season, I thought that he would be able to match his 45 points, or perhaps reach 50. But now, playing with Brassard or Stepan every night, he could be a huge offensive threat.

Making Stoll the fourth line center does mean that someone is the odd man out. Unfortunately, that seems like Oscar Lindberg. He can win faceoffs as well, plays a strong two-way game, and he can also score, evident by his 56 points (28-28-56) last season with Hartford.

Based on the way that Stoll was interviewed and Gorton’s remarks about him, it seems like he is a part of their plans for next season. Whether that be as an everyday player or as a spare forward, I’m assuming that he’ll be on the team.

It also looks like Tanner Glass’ spot is in jeopardy. While he did play better toward the end of the regular season, it wasn’t enough to dismiss his defensive miscues, lack of possession and scoring, and poor play overall. Larry Brooks, who knows a lot about the Rangers and what the organization is feeling at times, alluded to this as well.

Jeff Gorton pursued Viktor Stalberg pretty aggressively, so I don’t see him out of the lineup either. Oscar Lindberg is on a one way deal, and I don’t think the Rangers will risk losing him on waivers. And Jarret Stoll’s experience and faceoff prowess seem to have enticed the team into giving him a spot on the roster.

But let’s not forget about Dominic Moore. I highly, highly doubt that he loses a roster spot. After one of his better offensive seasons in a few years, his continued success on faceoffs and killing penalties, and his durability, he’s an asset when playing every night. If Alain Vigneault isn’t ready to trust Oscar Lindberg, then Moore should be looked at to play in the top nine.

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Posted on August 12, 2015, in In the Crease and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Interesting Stoll stat from2014/2015 season ithat seems no one has mentioned is 3 of his 6 goals were on the PP…hmmmmmmmmmm

    Like

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