Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Del Zotto In, Eminger Scratched; Dubinsky with Gaborik, Anisimov; Full Lines

With all the new bodies in the lineup tonight there were going to be changes in the lines.  This afternoon it was confirmed by the demotion of Evgeny Grachev that Brandon Dubinsky would be in the lineup.  After that, what was left was waiting to see whom he would play with. 

The only other question based on yesterday was whether Michael Del Zotto would be in the lineup and Steve Eminger would be a healthy scratch.  I am not in love with Eminger and he really has no long-term future with the club, but I do not think Del Zotto has really earned his way back in the top six at this point.  This feels like a move geared strictly for the power play, which is not what sending him down to Connecticut was supposed to be about.  We will see how it shakes out.

Tonight’s Lines:

Brandon Dubinsky-Artem Anisimov-Marian Gaborik
Mats Zuccarello-Derek Stepan-Ryan Callahan
Wojtek Wolski-Brian Boyle-Brandon Prust
Sean Avery-Kris Newbury-Chris Drury

Marc Staal-Dan Girardi
Ryan McDonagh-Mike Sauer
Michael Del Zotto-Matt Gilroy

The lines are fine for me, though I will be curious to see how Wolski meshes with Boyle and Prust when Wolski enjoys playing a skill game and not a grinding type.  Playing with two bangers like Boyle and Prust should open up space for him though. Zuccarello, Stepan and Callahan has the potential to be a very good line when you combine the talent and willingness to do the dirty things necessary to score.

On defense the pairing of McDonagh and Sauer as two defensive defenders can be a tremendous shutdown pair, but to do that and then have Del Zotto play with Gilroy as two that have had their defensive abilities questioned seems strange.