The New York Rangers preparation continued on Tuesday as David Quinn tweaked his lines with Brendan Smith lining up as a forward.
Two days is all that’s left before opening night for the New York Rangers.
At the team’s practice facility Tuesday morning, the coaching staff tweaked the bottom-six line combination with one interesting move. The fourth line saw an interesting addition.
- Brendan Lemieux – Lias Andersson – Brendan Smith
The defenseman took a regular shift at practice while Michael Haley and Greg McKegg were the extras.
The remaining forward lines together were;
Artemi Panarin – Mika Zibanejad – Paval Buchnevich
Chris Kreider – Ryan Strome – Kaapo Kakko
Vladislav Namestnikov – Brett Howden – Jesper Fast
The defense pairings were:
Brady Skjei – Jacob Trouba
Marc Staal – Anthony DeAngelo
Libor Hajek – Adam Fox
This is just one practice, but it is surprising that Smith is being used on the fourth line with both Haley and McKegg up.
If the coach is going to use these three players as a fourth-line rotation, it now makes even more sense that Filip Chytil and Vitali Kravtsov are in Hartford today.
Quinn is hoping the team forms some chemistry early on so that he doesn’t have to change line combos, but if he is seriously considering using Smith as a fourth-line winger, there will be plenty of changes occurring.
Growing pains will again be the central focus point when the season starts on Thursday night.