The Rangers hit the ice for practice this afternoon for the first time since returning from Europe, and head coach John Tortorella was already rolling new offensive lines and defensive pairings. Today was also the first time defenseman Jeff Woywitka - claimed off of waivers last week - practiced with the team.
Here's what the lines on offense looked like, per the Daily News:
Dubinsky - Richards - Gaborik
Fedotenko - Anisimov - Callahan
Prust - Stepan - Boyle
Zuccarello - Christensen - Rupp
As well as Ruslan Fedotenko has played with Artem Anisimov and Ryan Callahan on the second line, that spot should be Brandon Dubinsky's. Dubi is capable of skating on the first line, but his real home is with Artie and Cally, and it baffles me that the coach chooses to ignore that.
Wojtek Wolsi (groin) did not skate today, but once he returns he should fill the left wing spot on the first line. He may not be the best option, but putting him there will better balance out the bottom two lines for the Rangers.
And why is Brian Boyle on the wing? He had a career season just a year ago playing center, so it makes absolutely zero sense that Tortorella would go ahead and change that.
And now for the defense:
McDonagh - Girardi
Erixon - Eminger
Del Zotto - Woywitka
That is scary looking, and I don't mean scary in a good way. There is very little depth on the Blueshirt blue-line right now, especially since Del Zotto seems to be getting gradually worse as each game goes by.
I'm sure you noticed that Mike Sauer (shoulder) is not listed in the above lineup, and that's because he sat the day out for maintenance. Or at least that's what is believed to be the reason he did not skate today.
And as of right now there are no new updates on the status of Marc Staal. He is supposed to go in for acupuncture treatments later in the week, though.