Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Stepan Skates On Rangers Top Line With Gaborik, Richards

According to Pat Leonard of the Daily News, Derek Stepan skated with Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik on the top line during practice this afternoon.  It is not set that Stepan will play there on Saturday, but it allows the Rangers to reunite Dubinsky, Anisimov and Callahan to give the Rangers their best line from last season back. 

Here is how the lines shaped out today:
Stepan - Richards - Gaborik
Dubinsky - Anisimov - Callahan
Fedotenko - Boyle - Prust
Rupp - Christensen - Zuccarello
This is the kind of lineup I was calling for on Sunday as it gives the Rangers their two most consistent lines from last season to be the foundation as the rest of the lineup looks for chemistry and rhythm. This gives Stepan the ability to showcase his skill and be much more involved than he has been in the first two games.  He has the tools to play with Richards and Gaborik, but that line will have to do it with skill as their is a lack of physicality amongst the trio.  Gaborik would be playing with two extremely good playmakers and Stepan could be the biggest beneficiary as the attention to his linemates should create scoring chances for him.