Found October 11, 2011 on Kukla's Korner:
It might only be two games into the season but New York Rangers’ head coach John Tortorella might need to figure out a way to get his number one line clicking on all cylinders. Through the first two games, Rangers’ forwards Marian Gaborik (1 assist) and Brad Richards (1 goal and 1 assist) have combined for just two points. While it certainly is not terrible, it is worth noting that the pair of extremely talented forwards is expected to produce in bunches this season. So, what does the team need to do to get their line going? For starters, they should consider giving a shot: - Derek Stepan: Stepan is someone who has the ability to put the puck in the net, forecheck hard and make offensive plays. Could be a great way for Stepan to establish himself as one of the club’s best wingers. Continue reading "Tweaking the Rangers’ first line"

Will We See the Old Marian Gaborik This Season?

Two games are simply not enough to completely analyze a player and project the type of season he will have. In those two games, however, there are some indications that can be picked up on that may suggest there will be change in a player's game from one season to the next. From a Rangers standpoint, not many players have shown those early indications, but one individual that...

Stepan Skates On Rangers Top Line With Gaborik, Richards

According to Pat Leonard of the Daily News, Derek Stepan skated with Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik on the top line during practice this afternoon.  It is not set that Stepan will play there on Saturday, but it allows the Rangers to reunite Dubinsky, Anisimov and Callahan to give the Rangers their best line from last season back.  Here is how the lines shaped out today...

More Lineup Changes: Stepan On Top Line

The lineup tinkering at practice continued, with Derek Stepan stepping up to the top line LW with Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik.  The full lines: Derek Stepan-Brad Richards-Marian Gaborik Brandon Dubinsky-Artem Anisimov-Ryan Callahan Ruslan Fedotenko-Brian Boyle-Brandon Prust Mike Rupp-Erik Christensen-Mats Zuccarello The defensive pairings remained the same, as Mike Sauer sat...

Stepan Skating with Richards and Gaborik

On Monday, head coach John Tortorella said that the plan was to keep Brandon Dubinsky on the top line with Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik since two games were not enough for him to evaluate that threesome together. Apparently he's changed his mind, as Derek Stepan skated on line one with Richie and Gabby during practice today according to the Daily News, and it looks like that...

Tortorella post-practice

John Tortorella: (I asked him what kind of things the Rangers can do now that they’re home): “Practice, practice. Practice, practice. Who used to say that?” Told it was Allen Iverson, then told that Iverson used it in a different vein … “Put it in the opposite vein of him. That’s how I feel about it, yes.” “We need to, again, the biggest part is the grinding...

New Lines, D Pairings in Practice

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...

Mats Zuccarello Has Struggled, But Why?

Mats Zuccarello was easily one of the New York Rangers top performers in the preseason, especially while playing against the European teams. But his play against NHL competition this year, although it has only been two games, has left people wanting more. In fact, he has played so poorly that coach John Tortorella has relegated him to fourth line duties with Erik Christensen and...

Quote: Brad Richards On Playing With Marian Gaborik

“I think it helps (to stay together). Ideally you’re winning and you keep your line together when it’s flowing. But over 82 games it doesn’t always happen. It just so happened the first couple of games, we’re not clicking and we have some different looks. I’ve done a lot of that over the years. That’s [...]

Testing, testing, 1, 2, 3

Been working on this since Monday, because I want to be able to post audio for youse guys when I go to games and practices this season. So here’s a test of some old audio from John Tortorella and Henrik Lundqvist. Hope it works. Let me know if you like it. And thanks to our tech guy, Jeff Marx (hockey fan) for setting this up for me. Here’s Torts: Here’s Hank:

The Line Tinkering Begins

Looks like we didn’t have to wait long to see new lines. At practice today, the Rangers showed off new lines and pairings in preparation for their Friday matchup at The World’s Crappiest Coliseum (I don’t mean that as a slight against the Islanders, who may turn some heads this year. I mean that as a slight against the arena itself. My shoes stick to the ground while I’m...

Musings: What South Park Teaches Us About Angry Analysis & More…

It’s Thursdays folks and you know what that means…it’s Musings day!  Chris usually does these, but I think he’s still recovering from his debaucheries in Sweden. Very jealous… Anyway, trying to figure out an easier-to-read format for these musings, let me know what you think. Johnny Be Good If you’re going to tell me that John Tortorella is a bad coach, please come up...

Derek may Stepan up to first line

Just two days after indicating he didn't want to shuffle lines until he had more games to evaluate, John Tortorella pulled Derek Stepan, his fourth-line center, into the left wing position alongside Brad Richards. Stepan replaced Brandon Dubinsky and joined Marian Gaborik on the first line.

Did Wolski’s Wonky Groin Costs Him Top Line Spot?

Wojtek Wolski was the natural player to pencil in for the top line in training camp and the preseason. He is clearly the most skilled of the Rangers forwards after Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik, and has proved in the past that when he has solid players playing with him, he performs as well. When he was placed on the top line with Richards and Gaborik, the line looked good. It’s...

Torts won't play Blueshirt shuffle

The Rangers' plan to generate offense this season was to build a high-powered first line around center Brad Richards, while maintaining balance. So far, neither has happened, and John Tortorella isn't sure why. But he is not going to reshuffle his top lines for Saturday's game against the Islanders just because the Rangers scored only three goals in two games to end a...

Rangers stay in line with Dubinsky on top unit

With their European adventure behind them, the Rangers now must decide who will skate next to Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik on the left wing of their top line. After an up-and-down beginning to the Richards-Gaborik partnership in the Rangers' two one-point losses in Sweden, coach John Tortorella did not...
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