After yesterday's final cuts, the 23-man roster took to the ice to begin prepping for Thursday's season opener in Phoenix.
I should say everyone took the ice but Rick Nash, who apparently hurt his foot blocking a shot in the Kings game Friday night. Andrew Gross at the Bergen Record noted that the Rangers said the injury is not believed to be serious.
Alain Vigneault expects Nash to be back on the ice for the next practice on Tuesday.
...wait, I thought injuries from blocking shots was supposed to end when Torts wasn't the coach anymore.
...after a poor preseason, let's hope this injury isn't a setback of any kind.
Meanwhile, here were the lines from practice...
When Nash returns on Tuesday, Vigneault said he'll be skating on Stepan's line with Richards.
...man, you got to wonder what's going through Richards' head at this point. A year and a half ago the guy was on top of the world after a great playoff run in which he played a major part in. Now the guy can't even make it on the team at his natural position. Just have to hope this move jump starts him.
...also, that third lines is awful. Flipping Miller and Pyatt would have me a little more confident about the line-up.
Here's Richards on the move to wing (via Bergen Record)...
“We’ve still got two guys out and we’ve got three centers that want to play in offensive situations,” Richards added. “I haven’t even talked to (Vigneault) about it. Playing with Rick and Step, hopefully we can get something going and if it works it means we’re staying and if we’re staying it means its working. When I have played wing it’s because I’m playing with smart players and fun players to play with and those two are. So really it’s line it up for the faceoff and then as the game goes on you’re a 100 different places anyway. I’ll probably take some faceoffs on my strong side because Step is a righty I don’t anticipate it being a big deal. We’ll see how it goes. We’ve all done it during our career, played different positions. It’s not that complicated. Hopefully it just works and it’s the last time we talk about it.”
Scott Burnside at ESPN says Richards and Nash have something to prove this season.
Despite being cleared for contact, Vigneault says he wants to wait seven to 14 days before Callahan plays in a game. Which obviously will rule the Rangers captain out of the season opener, which Cally confirmed yesterday...
"Today was probably the most I’ve done so we’ll see how it reacts to that. As of right now, I’d rule myself out for the first one. It’s just to see how I feel day to day. I’d love to give you guys an exact date but I can’t. I have an idea in my head but we’ll see how it goes day to day with the contact. As of right now, I’d rule myself out for the first one.”
...just looking at the lines, I have no idea where Callahan fits in (third line for Pyatt?). But where ever he ends up, his tenacity and aggressiveness will be very much welcomed.
Meanwhile, Pat Leonard at the Daily News says Carl Hagelin (offseason shoulder surgery) will go on the long-term injury list to start the season, which makes him ineligible until an Oct. 29 visit to Long Island.
Finally, here's Stepan on his first practice with the team since signing...
To watch at Blueshirts United, click here.
Hey, look! Nash blaming more poor performances on alleged injuries that no one witnessed. What a shock.
That 3rd line, simply put, is not an NHL caliber 3rd line. Boyle is a 4th line player at best and Pyatt shouldn't be on this roster. Seeing Boyle and Pyatt on the 3rd line pisses me off. Pathetic is the only word I can use to describe it. Would rather see Miller centering Fast on the 3rd line. Why keep Miller and put him on the 4th line????
I don't know but when we blew up the team to get Nash I was hesitant. At first everyone was saying how amazing the trade was, but for a team that made it to the ECF, a huge move was not necessarily the wisest move. I hope I am wrong and that this trade helps, but right now it puts us at the cap and as the players age, we might not be able to clear cap space. This means it is now or never! Hopefully they come out hard this year.
This team has its work cut out.
I don't believe we'll see that 3rd line. Maybe it's useful in practice, but if we see it in a game, hopefully we all learn something new.
This team has 82 games left and they're nowhere near a playoff spot yet, they need to wake the hell up!!!!
If Richards puts up 3 points in the first 10 games, then there's valid reason to wonder if he's done. Nash probably takes 15 games to get a read because he can be a relatively slow starter.
Richads to wing is the only thing that makes sense, particularly since we are short wingers. Step and Brassard are 1 and 2. Ritchie is not a 3rd line center. For once, I actually have a good feeling about this move.
@TheNYRBlog goin to end up like richie, a huge bust
I think when the dust settles and the lineup solidifies, we will see a faster, more offensive team then we did under Torts but with that said, who's going to enforce when Hank, and Nash and any other teammate for that matter gets run by our opponents??
This team is looking very soft to me, and that is a big concern. Curious to see how Slats and AV deal with that as we move forward. Teams like Boston are going to run us over, because they know they can. Who's going to stop them? Dorsett?? Asham??? I think not.
@TheNYRBlog he wasn't blocking...it hit him...two totally different injuries...right?
It won't be long before Tortorella's absence is missed. I have had bad feelings about AV as the Rangers' coach, and the preseason games did nothing to dispell my doubts.
..But he will be watching from the rafters (I hope) when Hags Cally and Nash are back. So Its should look more like:
Haglien - Stepan - Nash
Richards - Brassard - Callahan
Pouliot - Miller - Zucc
Boyle - Moore - Dorsett/Asham
I don't think Boyle is a 3rd line guy at all. I cant put him with Pouliot and Zucc. He doesn't fit in. Miller looks better in his spot. Plus, that now looks like a real 4th line now with a 3rd line with scoring potential. I just hope miller doesn't come out instead.
it's just a practice line ... 'til further notice
@JustinRP37 Frankly, it's not when we got Nash that was bad. It was when the NYR signed Richie.
@gravey94 "This team has 82 games left and they're nowhere near a playoff spot yet, they need to wake the hell up!!!!"
Hey, we're tied for 1st! ;)
@cruland I still think he'll have a big year but his preseason performance does have me scratching my head.
this is problem ...
the best thing the Rangers can do to deal with that, given their current lineup, is to score first and score often ... also, given their current lineup, i'm not sure they can do that, but it would make the other team have to play a differnt game and they wouldn't be able to take the same liberties without pretty much ensuring their loss
@Rangerfan41 Not for the purpose of my tweet it's not. lol
@AG_Blue @TruBluEsp Hope you're right but I fully expect to see Boyle centering Pyatt and Fast and Moore centering Asham and Dorsett. If I think this way I won't be more pissed off than I already am at thought of watching Pyatt on the ice and the Rangers get zero scoring support from their 3rd line again.
@TheNYRBlog I hope you're right but it seems that both Richie and Nash ate shying away from the physicality and just cherry picking.
Hahaha! Alright, then. I can see you have things under control here!
@AG_Blue @TruBluEsp Agreed ... I would rather have Miller on the third line. My point of expecting Miller to NOT be in the lineup is that it makes too much sense to have him in the lineup over Pyatt. Thus if I don't expect him to be in the lineup I won't be over the top pissed if he's not.
Regardless .. I'll be supporting the Rangers no matter what even if I don't like certain players. LGR!
So you're benching Miller?
If the third line is a checking line, Pyatt can do the job. He's actually pretty good in that limited role. A lot of fans are expecting AV to favor an up-tempo, offensive-minded game plan. In that case, the third line checking line doesn't fit the same way and we would prefer to see something like Miller-Boyle-Fast.
In any case, don't be too pissed. The coaches are way better at this than we are. Enjoy your team for all it's worth.
Richie was okay his first year -- not the savior you'd think that contract would pay for (that's why we now have an "amnesty buyout" -- use it, Glen) -- but he was good that first year. The lockout year provided an excuse, not only because of the messed up schedule but because Brad was tied-up in organizational meetings and so forth. This year there is no excuse. At this point I almost don't want him to succeed because it makes it that much trickier for management to but him out at the close of the season. His contract is not sustainable moving forward, especially at his age. But New York is one of the few markets that can afford signing a many-year contract for a guy that's good for what appears to be one year. And New York is big enough that they were certainly instrumental in getting the amnesty deal as part of the new CBA. While Brad wasn't on his knees as much this pre-season as he was last year, he didn't look like the comeback kid. Gotta think he's outta here this year.
Ken Dryden wrote a great line in his book, "The Game," where he said something like: "if you enter the game as a kid, you come out middle-aged." That's not quite it. Does anyone have it handy? He was saying that it accelerates your aging. You go in as a kid, having to compete with men, and you come out middle-aged before your time.
@TheNYRBlog 13 years younger than me. sports is different. How many people outside of sports do you know that have to retire in their 30's?
@cruland Shit, I'm 37, what the hell would that make me.
@TheNYRBlog yes but there are so many really young, fast, skilled guys out there now. Maybe 29 is the new 40 lol
@cruland Nash is 29! Age better not be an issue with him. He's in his prime.
@TheNYRBlog age is a big part. maybe if both were on a line with 2 young studs it wouldn't be noticeable but together they"ll be outplayed
@cruland Then it's on AV to get in their face and let them know that's unacceptable.
Time to go to work, AV! Can you get these guys to put the puck in the net? If not, it's gonna be a long year for you and all of us