Monday, September 27, 2010

Last Few Forward Spots Up for Grabs

Jesse Spector at the Blueshirts Blog takes a look at the position battles going on at camp right now and says this about the forward position...

"That leaves six players - Brian Boyle, Erik Christensen, Ruslan Fedotenko, Tim Kennedy, Derek Stepan and Todd White - for three or four spots.

Right now, it’s a fairly even race, though it’s worth noting that the two players who have drawn the most unsolicited praise from Tortorella in recent days have been Fedotenko and Kennedy. Then there’s the appearance - though it’s not necessarily the case - that Christensen and Stepan are in a battle to either be the top-line center or go to Hartford. Boyle has made great strides to be a more physical player, but he struggled with a fourth-line wing assignment in Detroit. White might be the best two-way center of the group, and might make the most sense as a fill-in for Drury until the final decision has to be made."

...i'd say the two that get cut are Boyle and Fedotenko. And White might just be up until Drury gets back. The Prospal injury may have a lot to do with how the roster turns out as well.

...i know a lot of fans don't like Christensen, but he is really the only play-making center the Rangers have. And while Stepan looks great now (he came back down to earth last night) who knows what's going to happen during the season. He could end up splitting time between New York and Hartford.

...here are my lines...

Frolov-Stepan-Gaborik
Dubinsky-Christensen-Prospal
White-Anisimov-Callahan
Avery-Kennedy-Prust

Boogaard, Drury

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27 comments:

Puck Central said...

Not a fan of EC @ all. I've never seen someone that can be so hot/cold even within the same game.

I thought that Dubinsky played well w/ Gaborik last season and then Torts separated them. I'd like to see them slide Dubi in b/n Frolov & Gaborik for at least one pre-season game.

I have no use for Todd White - send him to Hartford

Dave said...

Man its hard fitting players in huh, I really wanna see Boogaard help the team but where!?

I like EC by the way, would like to see some faith shown in him & look to improve on last year.

Derek Felix said...

Anisimov needs to become the second line center for this team to have success.

Elissa said...

I really liked the way AA and Cally played together on Saturday...then again Cally was the one of the best players on the ice

Kevin DeLury said...

I like the 4th line I put together. When Boogaard plays I'd put him in Avery's spot and move Avery up to White's spot.

When Drury comes back and White's out, I have no idea who is going to sit when Boogaard's in there. Kennedy?

rusty said...

I think Torts really likes Fedotenko so I wouldn'y be surprised if he makes the team. I also like EC but can he be the man on the first line? If not, is he good enough to carry the load as the main guy on the 3rd line?

Chris said...

Lot of people down on Stepan after last night... but lets face it. They are the Detroit RedWings.

Preseason or not, that NYR lineup against a nearly complete Wigs team put up one hell of a fight.

LTP said...

i mean everyone is entitled to their opinion but to call Eric Christianson a "playmaking center" imo is ludicrous the guy is a marginal, correction a very marginal nhl player!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I would love to know why people put Avery on the 4th line

its a complete waste, he is a far better player than that.

and im getting pretty tired of watching dubinsky,dump the puck and try to get around the defense to chase it into the corner. This guy has no sense of the game

that is all.

Anonymous said...

I think Fedetenko is in and EC is out.

Otherwise I like your lines.

Mattias said...

Frolov-Stepan-Gaborik
Prospal-Anisimov-Callahan
Avery-White-Drury
Boyle-Kennedy-Prust

Dubinsky/Boogaard

I personally think Dubinsky is overrated... and I want Anisimov on top.
I'd like to keep Boyle in the team as well, I like him this season.
I love Drury but tbh I don't think there's much room for him left here on this team.
Oh I know EC will be on the team, but I think it's a mistake. Oh and Avery should be second or third line!

Chris said...

Heres my $0.02 on the remaining forwards:

Artem Anisimov - Poised for a mini-breakout this year. Should solidify his top 1/2 pivot position. Should start the year as #2 center.(Keep 'em)

Sean Avery - 3rd line winger, 2nd line when injuries happen. Wether you like him or not, hes effective, especially against rival teams.(Keep 'em)

Derek Boogaard - Will only dress for a handful of games.(Healthy Scratch)

Brian Boyle - Will continue to progress this season. He's obviously worked hard and deserves a chance to stay in the NHL(Keep 'em)

Ryan Callahan - Nothing to say here. Definition of a Ranger(Keep 'em)

Erik Christensen - Has the talent, but cant show it consistently enough. Injury call-up, at best.(Send 'em)

Chris Drury - Salary aside, completely invaluable player for what he does defensively and on the PK. 3rd or 4th line center is where he belongs. His injury, should it not heal up prior to opening night, will allow someone else to see some NHL games... and thats not a bad thing.(Keep 'em)

Brandon Dubinsky - I love Dubi, but this year is make it or break it for him. Hes not new to the league anymore. Its time for him to step up and become a leader both with his play on the ice and in the locker room. Otherwise, he should not be back.(Keep 'em)

Ruslan Fedotenko - Sorry, just dont like him and he hasnt 'wowed' thus far. Any player on a tryout, in my opinion, needs to be EXCEPTIONAL in order to beat out prospects or returning players.(Send 'em)

Alex Frolov - Nothing to say here. He looks like he has something to prove.(Keep 'em)

Marian Gaborik - Nothing here either. We all know what hes capable of... if he stays healthy(Keep 'em)

Tim Kennedy - We already have limited skill guy(s) who works their asses off; Callahan, Prust, Boyle. Theres no room on this roster for more players like that.(Send 'em)

Vinny Prospal - Getting special treatment because of his 'injury'. He should be fighting for a spot just as much as the next guy. I like him, but the fact that he hasnt played yet leave a bad taste in my mouth.(Keep 'em)

Brandon Prust - Much like Cally, busts his ass... great 4th line grinder.(Keep 'em)

Derek Stepan - Will be wasted in the AHL. Yes, he was shut down by Detroit... god forbid that happen to a rookie, against one of the elite teams in th league, in his 3rd NHL game ever. (Keep 'em)

Todd White - Did not impress right off the bat... but has been increasingly better over each minute of each game. (Healthy Scratch)

Dan W said...

I think Boyle has played very well. White not so much.

ivaNYRicov said...

I would like to think they brought in Kennedy, White and Fedetenko to see if they can outplay EC, Boyle for a spot and to see what happens. They are expecting AA to be better. Dubinski and Avery will be in the top 3 lines.

Frolov EC or DS Gabi
Prospal AA Calli
Avery Drury Dubinski
Prust/White/Boogaard/Kennedy

I think they will either keep DS up in the minors and get rid of EC or vice versa.. only room for one. Would rather have White in there than both of them.

wonderin said...

Gotta see more of these guys before I send em...on the bubble...Christensen, Fed-up-tenko, Boyle, Kennedy, White...want to see Boogaard the least...put someone else in there who can score at least one goal this year!

AnnoyingJoe said...

My $0.01. I don't see Boogaard playing all that much. He isn't a good enough skater to be an effective forechecker or to get to the opposition's top players to harass them. All he can do is just drift around waiting for someone to fight him, which they won't because he is a monster. 40 games tops with some really entertaining fights against blockheads that want to take on the biggest kid on the block.

I truly believe that Fedotenko will make the team.

Chris was spot-on with Kennedy. How many scrappy, undersized guys do they need?

Dubinsky will score 20 goals.

These are good problems to have. Alot of good, interchangeable parts.

I see Boyle staying.

Todd White...A useful piece in case of injury.

I love how everyone is assuming Prust's place on the team, and rightfully so. What a great surprise he's been.

RichA said...

Seriously Mattias,Dubinsky the 13th forward?You would play a 35 year old White coming off a poor year over a 24 year old coming off his best statistical year so far.Yeah,I'd like to see Dubinsky improve too,but if you hold him in that low regard it makes much more sense to trade him now rather than make him a spare forward,that will only hurt his trade value(not that I think he should be traded).

Mattias said...

@richA you're probably right... Though I don't like Dubi as a center... on wing it would be like :
Dubinsky - Drury - Avery on third line?
I could live with that... :) unless you'd want to move prospal or callahan to third line instead of dubi.. I'm pretty curious to what Torts makes out of it tbh...

RichA said...

@Mattias,agreed,it will be interesting to see what he makes of it,but looking at this group I have a definite feeling that whatever the opening night line combo's are they won't stay that way too long(hope I'm wrong).

Anonymous said...

thank god none of you are coaches.. you guys do realize we are in the toughest division in the league. No way Kennedy, White, Christensen all play at the same time..what a waste, kennedy couldn't even play for BUF, Christensen is a decent player but I can't see him having a big role. White is good but with drury in the line up, going to be tough for him to stay..with that being said, i can almost promise you sather has a trade or 2 coming up before the season starts.

My lines

Frolov-Stepan-Gaborik
Dubinsky-A.A -Fedotenko/Prospal
White-Drury-Callahan
Avery-Boyle-Prust

Boogaard,Christensen

Games within division look for Avery to slide up and for White or Fedotenko to bumped out in some games and Boogaard in.

Rich

LI Joe said...

dubinsky is a wing where he doesn't have to think as much and can just react and go to front of net for garbage goals.

still think stepan starts in hartford and someone at forward on injured list to start - maybe white or prospal. stepan really needs the development time in ahl for at least 1/2 season.

agree with anony at 4:42 on dubinsky disagree on avery

LI Joe said...

disagree with chris on dubinsky as leader. he is far from it as evidenced by the selfuish holdout last yr the only ranger to do that of current team - missing 7-10 days of TC .and drury will be 3rd line or 2nd line certainly not 4th line except maybe 1st 2 games back.

agree with annoying joe on prust. heart and soul guy who will bring it every game. he was fan fav in calgary

wonderin said...

If White can't prove he's alot better than Kennedy or Christiansen or the others on the bubble, why keep him at alot higher cap hit?

Elissa said...

Frolov - Stepan -Gaborik
Dubi - AA - Cally
Avery - EC - Prust
Prospal (if healthy) - Boyle - Boogaard/Kennedy

Staal - Girardi
Rozi - DZ
McDonagh - Gilroy
Valentenko

and prop Dru for Boyle when he gets back

and I agree with all of the comments that Step cannot be judged against the Wings top line...look what he did against Kovalchuk and Parise on Thursday

LI Joe said...

elissa can't see drury on 4th line beyond 1st couple of games. maybe avery gets slotted on 4th line

CTJay said...

Your lines:
Frolov-Stepan-Gaborik
Dubinsky-Christensen-Prospal
White-Anisimov-Callahan
Avery-Kennedy-Prust

Boogaard, Drury

Mine:
Frolov-Stepan-Gaborik
Dubinsky-Anisimov-Prospal
Avery -Kennedy- Callahan
Boogaard -Boyle -Prust

Drury for Kennedy when healthy

Evan S said...

I am a fan of Boyle. I believe in his skill, and especially his size. At 6'7, he creates a formidable 4th line with Boogaard and Prust. You don't look for scoring from the 4th line, you look for responsibility, size, and toughness. He provides enough.