Two Open Spots; Richards or Brassard to Wing?; Stepan Will Help Power Play

Before last night's game, Alain Vigneault discussed how he sees the roster playing out for the Rangers (via Daily News)…

“After looking at my makeup of my lines and my different possibilities, there’s probably three or four guys that are fighting for two spots,” Vigneault said. “And it’s pretty easy to say who’s done well. Without getting into (too many) specifics, (Darroll) Powe’s come into camp, and I mean he’s played real well.”

…with the way Powe has played and even more, how AV has fawned all over him, I've got to think he's earned his way onto the team. Unless of course AV is just talking him up in an effort to drum up trade interest. If Powe makes the team, I think it becomes that much less likely that Pyatt and Asham do.

…as far as the young guys go, I think only Miller is a lock. The others, including Kreider, are going to have to sweat this out.

After the game AV discussed whether anyone changed his mind…

To watch at Blueshirts United, click here.

With Derek Stepan signed along with the resurrection of Powe, the Rangers have a bit of a log jam at center. One of the ways AV suggested he deals with that problem is by possibly moving Brad Richards or Derick Brassard to wing.

…listen I'll try anything to jump start Richards, so why not, but no way I'm moving Brassard who will likely be the Rangers #1 or #2 center all season. Also, from what I've heard, he didn't produce when moved to wing in Columbus. Although, he didn't produce at center either, so who knows.

…a positive to moving one of these guys to wing is that it likely opens up a spot for Lindberg, who might otherwise end up down in Hartford because of the numbers game.

AV also touched on how Stepan helps the power play as soon as he steps on the ice…

“One thing that having Derek back that helps us is with the righthanded shot,” he said. “It helps us on penalty killing, for the faceoffs. It helps us on the power play – like having five lefthanders on the power play? It’s not the ideal … If you look at the best power plays in the league, they always have three of one side and two of the other so you can get one touch and one shot.”

…despite the lack of power play goals this preseason, I have noticed better puck and player movement as well as more traffic in front of the net. Now throw Stepan into the mix and the Rangers might actually have a productive power play this season.

AV noted that final cuts will be made on Sunday.

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