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01-09-2013, 06:34 PM
Lion Hound
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I’m a big proponent to spreading out the talent through balanced lines. Now with Nash for the first time I feel this team has a legitimate top 2 lines. Here’s what I want to see…

Top line:
Carl Hagelin Brad Richards Marion Gaborik
The addition of Nash changes the complexity here. The Rangers are no longer a one-trick pony, however…2X 40 Goal scorer for the NY Rangers. Marion Gaborik has earned the top line RW position for this club. I don’t think there should even be a question about who to start there. While I fully understand Nash’s potential, the reality of it is…he just hasn’t earned it yet here in NY. In addition, the Rangers searched high and low specifically for a Left Handed center to play alongside the Left handed Marion Gaborik. They got their man in Richie. While they didn’t play the full season together, I think they need to stick with the plan. These two led this team into the Semi’s last year. Now they have a better supporting cast. Build from there. Hagelin in the games he played atop that line I really thought complimented them well. When you think of what you want in a top line player how can you overlook the fastest guy on your team, and maybe the fastest player in the entire league. Then add the know, first guy down the ice on the rush and the first guy back…I think you have your man. Haggy’s speed creates extra space for the other two. Full season together I think this will be the best line on the team for the year. I think of Haggy much in the same way I think of Stepan. A very intelligent player, capable of a larger role than he had in a prior season. I am also a big proponent to using young, fresh legs on a top line. Give these guys minutes, and let them loose. Richards playmaking, Gaborik’s skill, Hagelin’s intensity, SKY’S THE LIMIT!

2ND Line:
Rick Nash Derek Stepan Ryan Callahan
Nash has played the left wall already. He’s had success there. Stepan is a righty, Nash is a Lefty. Right handed center feeding a lefty from the forehand. Same concept as Richie and Gaby. Its more natural. Stepan to me though is a far better player than we here give him credit for. I truly feel Derek will continue his progression here…if it was a full season IMO he is capable of hitting the 60pt mark, especially with a gifted scorer like Nash on his wing. Callahan is the mucker on this line. And…who is a better linemate than Ryan Callahan? His motor never stops, yet he has skillset. I love having an all heart type of guy in the top 6, and it’s so surprsing to me that some feel he isn’t a top 6 guy. If ANYONE has proven their worth to this club it’s Ryan Callahan. Now, so many of Nash’s goals are scored in and around the goal mouth. Same for Callahan. I think this duo could give defenseman, and goaltenders fits down low. Could be very tough to contain these guys. Complement them with a smart player like Stepan, who again to me is a far better player than some of us here give him credit for. I think we will witness a very tough, very legitimate 2nd line. Going back to Steps, he to me is ready more so than anyone else on this club for the role. Im expecting to witness a legit two way center develop here, and see a more offensive playmaker than we thought when he initially wore a Rangers sweater.

3RD Line:
Chris Kreider Brian Boyle Michael Haley
Kreider had an incredible playoff run. For that reason, many of us here penciled him into the top line. I’m not so fast to do that. Again, spread out the talent. I think we will someday, and maybe even someday real soon see Kreider on the top line, but to me he has to earn that. Let him earn his stripes with Boyle who is a responsible player and a pretty solid role model to learn from. Boyle a few season back was a guy on the outside looking in. He was given an opportunity, ceased it and is now a member of this clubs core. Now, A lot of people have counted Haley out already. This line w/out him, the bottom six in general is well…”Void of life” if that makes sense. Yeah, they have Asham, and Rupper. But Asham and Rupp are old as dirt. 34 and 32. Well OK, that’s not that old but while they are going to give you a solid contribution they aren’t full of **** and vinegar anymore. Haley is full of **** and vinegar… and if we learned anything g from Sean Avery, sometimes you need that. I want to see Haley out there throwing the body like he can. He played only 14 games last year for the Isles. Every time I watched him he was very noticeable. I guess my point is…I want to see this kid get a chance to play, just like they did with Boyle. Just like they did with Dubi many season ago. Just like they did with Cally, McDonough, etc. I think having a sparkplug, or a physical presence in ice with players of a better skillset elevates the players around them. It makes them play bigger. Kreider is a rook. He is a big kid and he is going to need to play physical out there. Guys play bigger when their linemates have their backs.

4th Line:
Aaron Asham Mike Rupp Taylor Pyatt
Back to the 4th line, Asham and Rupp have had chemistry in the past. Build the 4th line around them. Let them play defensively a responsible role. These two can handle the rough stuff against the Boultons, Carkners and Janssens of the league. Limited roles, and what 6 minutes a night or so should do. Pyatt im not sure of. Maybe he pencils in better with Boyle? I just don’t know if he is going to fit here. Limited role on a 4th line until he proves what he’s capable of.

Halpern <--Not sure what the plan is with Halpern? Serviceable guy, vet leadership. Rangers already have that though. I think he’s a faceoff guy. They certainly needed that last year. One thing I fear is tired legs. What does he have in the tank at this point?
Lindberg <--Very excited about this prospect. Been reading about him for quite some time here. Reserving judgment until he hits the ice. Maybe preseason will be a good indicator. Is there even a pre-season? Heard he’s a good faceoff guy. Heard he can score. Heard he’s a complete player. All good things, let’s see what he’s got!
Hrivik <--Seems like a come-out-of-nowhere type of player. The next Prucha? Same as Lindberg, reserving judgment on him.

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