The Rangers opened their season with a 5-3 win over the Islanders, showing signs of improvement in many aspects of their game that was expected of them following their offseason moves. The power play looked great, the defense and penalty kill looked structured, and all four forward lines were effective.
With the addition of players like Pavel Buchnevich, Jimmy Vesey, Brandon Pirri and Michael Grabner, the Rangers added a lot of speed and talent to their forward groups, which seemed to make Alain Vigneault structure his lines differently.
Rather than opting for a traditional structure, with a physical, checking fourth line and placing all of the talent on the top two lines, Vigneault had a balance of scoring, defense and skill across the four lines. Having four lines was something that many blogs, including my own, wrote about as a possibility. And last night, it worked extremely well. Read the rest of this entry
After a win in the first preseason contest against the Islanders, the Rangers host the Devils tonight at Madison Square Garden as the team continues to look at players fighting for roster spot and their roles in the regular season.
The Rangers announced the lines and defensive pairings the other day, and the top line is the most intriguing. Jimmy Vesey will make his first appearance with the team on the left wing. Kevin Hayes will center that line, and Rick Nash will play on the right. Read the rest of this entry