View Full Version : Rangers mixing things up in search of best lineup

09-29-2010, 10:17 AM
Rangers mixing things up in search of best lineup
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
The Record

GREENBURGH, N.Y. – The Rangers signed Tim Kennedy with the intention of trying him as a center. Until they wanted to try him as a left wing.

Where to slot players is almost as difficult a task for coach John Tortorella as deciding who’ll make the team. The Rangers host the Red Wings tonight in the fourth of their six preseason games.

"There are so many good players. If you think about that, you’ll drive yourself nuts," said Kennedy, who played both positions for the Sabres last season. "If you play the way you can, the rest will take care of itself."

Kennedy skated on Artem Anisimov’s left wing at Monday’s practice, a switch Tortorella made during Saturday’s 5-4 preseason win over the Devils.

Meanwhile, Vinny Prospal, who played both left wing and center last season, skated with erstwhile centers Brandon Dubinsky on his left and Brian Boyle on the right.

Tryout Ruslan Fedotenko has switched sides to skate right wing on a line with center prospect Derek Stepan and Sean Avery. Veteran center Todd White also can play the wing.

"I have all different lineups," Tortorella said. "As a coaching staff, we’re looking for the best lineup and the best balanced lineup. It’s where they fit in the lineup. It’s a good problem to have."

Granted, there’s nothing extreme here, like Atlanta trying to turn power forward Dustin Byfuglien into a defenseman.

"In Tampa [under Tortorella] I played right and left," the left-shooting Fedotenko said. "Sometimes you need to make an adjustment on the wall. But, on the right, there are more one-timers. I like that."

The Rangers likely will carry 14 forwards to start the season. As many as 10 of those spots are secured, not including injured captain Chris Drury but including Avery. That would leave Fedotenko, Kennedy, White, Stepan and Boyle to battle for jobs.

"If I were to play wing, I wouldn’t mind," said Boyle, most often the fourth-line center but used as a right wing late last season. "I don’t think you’ve seen me for two days in a row at the same position."
http://www.northjersey.com/sports/103984109_Rangers_mix_it_up_in_search_of_best_line up.html

09-29-2010, 10:35 AM
As an aside, Buf was a defenseman before being converted to forward so moving him (back) to defense is not as "extreme" as Gross thinks. It is, however, a bad idea for ATL to do so given how well he adpated to the power forward role for CHI.