The New York Rangers continue to struggle and Alain Vigneault decided it was time for a major line shakeup.
In an attempt to find the right combinations, head coach Alain Vigneault broke up all of his lines in an attempt to find a winning formula. Justin Tasch of the New York Daily News had the details.
Practice: 61-93-36, 20-51-10, 26-13-17, 40-28/25-89; 27-77, 76-42, 18-22, 55-47
— Justin Tasch (@J_Tasch) October 16, 2017
The biggest surprise here is the end of the team’s only successful line so far: Mika Zibanejad, Chris Kreider, and Pavel Buchnevich, who have combined for 11 points in the early part of the season. The problem is the only player to put a puck in the back of the net is Zibanejad.
Kreider has continued to struggle and he now finds himself on a line with David Desharnais and J.T. Miller. This is concerning because, on a winning team, Desharnais is not a second line center. But with Kevin Hayes struggling and Desharnais at least playing consistent hockey, it might not be a terrible move. Still, I don’t think playing with Desharnais will fix the problems that Kreider is having. This could be a panic move.
Playing a full 60-minute game
A common theme when listening to the Rangers speak to reporters Monday after practice was that they know they need to play better.
The Blueshirts’ haven’t been able to play a full game this season. Even in their lone win against Montreal, The Rangers weren’t able to play a full game. The first period of that game was dominated by Montreal but the Rangers bounced back.
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) October 16, 2017
In their most recent game against the Devils, the Rangers dominated play but let up. The young resurgent Devils managed to come back and take control of the game for the win. This has been the case all season for the Rangers.
Once the Rangers are able to play a full game they should be in good shape and in a position to make a run.