I honestly felt that the Rangers would once again be just mediocre this season. However, a LOT of players have stepped up....Rozsival, Boyle, Dubinsky, Callahan, Avery...the list goes on.
Therefore, we all of a sudden have more depth at forward than ever. Some tough decisions will need to be made when Gaborik, Prospal and Drury come back. I think that it will be key to not disrupt the lines that are clicking right now...namely the Anisimov line and the Stepan line.
Here is what I would like to see when we are fully healthy:
I like Christensen but he is very inconsistent and I'd rather just put him into the lineup whenever we need more offense. Boogaard is a waste of space, again, just put him in when we play lets say Philly.
This would give us 4 very good lines! I think that the 4th line could actually be turned into more of a checking line and then we can let the other 3 lines be scoring lines. Boyle and Drury can both play Center so thats an advantage for that 4th line in terms of taking faceoffs. The 2nd line has that same advantage with Anisimov and Dubinsky.
i don't think prospal will be healthy any time soon though. i doubt he's back in december. so look for EC to be in there.
stepan will and should probably be centering the top line for the whalepack
I disagree about Stepan. I think that he has played well. Even when he is not producing offensively, he has been solid defensively and moved the puck well. I think that he is already one of our better Centers offensively and that is an area that we are weak at. While Anisimov has offensive upside, Prospal is old, Drury has lost more than a step, and Boyle, while improved, is not a top 6 Center.
I also feel that Stepan is ready for the NHL and will learn more by staying in the NHL than playing in the AHL.
Drury right now, even if he on paces for only 15 goals and 30 points again, still brings much more to this team then Stepan, who would still be lucky to hit 40 points especially on the 3rd line. The time will come for Stepan. I dont think it is this season.