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First day of line combinations, mixing up what was previously set....

September 22, 2023, 1:47 PM ET [1 Comments]
Jan Levine
New York Rangers Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
While training camp officially opened Wednesday, today was the first day of line combinations and drills. Coach Peter Laviolette said he would mix things up and what was tried and tried might not be tried and true anymore. This certainly is the case on the first day of camp.

Below is the listing of the groups.If you are a believer in what you see on Day 1 will be what is in place against Buffalo, you might not be far off. The first 12 forwards are the favorites to make the opening night lineup and the eight d-men D are the ones vying for seven spots. Combinations may be slightly different and someone could force their way into the lineup with a brilliant camp, but these are the probable initial 19 plus two goalies to be in Buffalo, along with probably one more forward

The first set of lines has Alexis Lafreniere on the right side. We don't get the K-squared-Z trio again, as might have gone with Kaapo Kakko, but Laviolette is giving Laf a real chance to show he can stick on the right side and first line. I still think Kakko ends up there, Laf on the second line and Blake Wheeler on the third, but we shall see how the lines are tweaked over the next few days.

Kreider - Zibanejad - Laf
Panarin - Chytil - Wheeler
Goodrow - Trocheck - Kakko
Vesey - Bonino - Pitlick

Laviolette hinted the other day that the D pairing could be modified. We see that on Day One. The first four have been shuffled with K'Andre Miller sliding up to play with Adam Fox while Ryan Lindgren is paired with Jacob Trouba. My concern is the lack of foot speed on the second pairing but I am certainly intrigued to see what Miller-Fox can do together. Erik Gustafsson gets the first look on the third line, which I think we all expected to be the case.

Miller - Fox
Lindgren - Trouba
Gustafsson - Schneider
Harpur - Jones

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