Following last night's 1-0 loss to the New Jersey Devils at Madison Square Garden, head coach John Tortorella switched up the offensive lines during today's practice in hope that he will bring more offense out of his hockey club. The team has been struggling to put the puck in the net lately, especially on the powerplay, and that's a problem they don't want growing into a larger issue at this stage of the season.
These were the lines, per Andrew Gross:
Artem Anisimov - Derek Stepan - Marian Gaborik
Carl Hagelin - John Mitchell - Ryan Callahan
Ruslan Fedotenko - Brad Richards - Mike Rupp
Brandon Dubinsky - Brian Boyle - Brandon Prust
As you can see, the "GAS" line has been reunited with Stepan centering Anisimov and Gaborik. This trio was very successful earlier in the season, but was eventually rearranged when becoming stale. Hopefully they will be able to regain some of that chemistry and raise this team's goals per game average.
Also, we now see John Mitchell moving up to the second line to play alongside Carl Hagelin and Ryan Callahan. For Mitchell, who came in as a fourth liner, this is a big step forward and it certainly shows that he's impressed the coaching staff. Hagelin and Callahan have worked well together, so maybe adding another grinder type to that line will make them even stronger.
With the first and second line center positions filled, Brad Richards is left on the third line between Fedotenko and Rupp. Following practice today, Richards admitted that he feels "lost" offensively and that he needs to "free" himself up.
Coach Tortorella says he's confident that Richards will find his way. As am I, but when exactly is that going to happen?