Possible Lineup Changes For Game 3; Mason Out Again; Kreider Improving

After this morning’s optional practice, Alain Vigneault hinted that there might be a lineup change coming for Game 3 in Philadelphia tomorrow night (via Bergen Record)…

“I’m still in the process of deciding that…If I feel that there’s something that’s better for the team.”

Jesper Fast played just three shifts in third period yesterday as Vigneault double shifted some players looking for offense.

…while most Rangers fans are calling for Carcillo to replace Fast in the lineup to add some toughness, I think Miller is the better option. Especially since I think the Rangers have held their own physically in the series up until this point. Did the Rangers need to be tougher yesterday? Absolutely, but I thought that had more to do with the team’s overall battle level than the Flyers manhandling the Rangers.

…as I’ve maintained since the Rangers match-up against the Flyers was confirmed, if the Blueshirts get into a chest puffing contest instead of focusing on their strengths they will lose this series.

…since his acquisition, Carcillo has been a model citizen, rarely taking dumb penalties and providing a spark on the fourth line. But I just feel his inclusion in the lineup doesn’t help remedy the Rangers issues so far in this series.

…the Rangers need someone who can play a top 9 roll, while not being afraid to get dirty to make a play, especially by driving to the net. To me, Miller fits that roll. I also feel that Carcillo’s inclusion could disrupt the current chemistry of the fourth line.

…the Flyers defense did a much better job jumping into the play in Game 2, so the one hesitation I would have with inserting Miller into the lineup is that the Rangers forwards are going to be relied on even more to provide interference in the neutral zone as well as assistance in the defensive end, which we all know isn’t the 21-year old forward’s strong suit.

Meanwhile, at Flyers camp, Steve Mason announced he will again be out for Game 3, meaning Ray Emery will get his third straight start.

…not much of a mystery what the Rangers need to do against Emery. Get him moving laterally and for goodness sake, get traffic in front.

Finally, Vigneault noted that Chris Kreider is improving in his recovery from a broken left hand.

No timetable has been announced, but most feel he’ll be available if the Rangers advance to the second round.

…for the first time since the injury, I thought the Rangers truly missed Kreider in Game 2. He’s one of the few players who will use his speed to drive to the net as well as provide a physical presence in front.

Here’s video of Vigneault’s post practice presser courtesy of Rick Carpiniello at the Rangers Report


About Kevin

If you have any questions e-mail me at