Which Line Should Marty St. Louis Play On?
The Rangers have a dilemma. It’s not a bad one, but one nonetheless. On what line should the Rangers best offensive player be on?
With Benoit Pouliot (15 goals-21 assists-36 points-55.1% Corsi) off to Edmonton to play for the Oilers, the New York Rangers second line is missing some offensive firepower. And with Brad Richards (20-31-51-54.1) off to the Chicago Blackhawks after the buyout, both Carl Hagelin (17-16-33-54.4) and Martin St. Louis (30-39-69-50.4) need a center.
I have a solution to kill two birds with one stone.
Let’s assume – I know, I know; that’s a dirty word – for a second that Alain Vigneault is going to keep the top line of Chris Kreider (17-20-37-55.2)-Derek Stepan 17-40-57-53.1)-Rick Nash (26-13-39-54.2) together.
And let’s just say that Derick Brassard (18-27-45-53.3) is going to stay the No. 2 center. Why not throw Hagelin and St. Louis on the second line with Brassard, and move Mats Zuccarello (19-40-59-53.8) to the third line?
Presumably, that’s where J.T. Miller (3-3-6-51 in 10 games) and possibly where newcomer Lee Stempniak (12-22-34-47.5) will be. So, why not give them a gritty player with skill to help open up the ice?
The fourth line should be set with Tanner Glass (4-9-13-39.3)-Dominic Moore (6-12-18-48.2)- Matthew Lombardi or newcomer, Chris Mueller.
That leaves the second line as a perfect fit for St. Louis. He’s already accustomed to playing with Hagelin, as they shared the third line with Brad Richards last year. and he can create space behind the net and in the corners for Brassard to get to passing lanes — and we all know that Brass can pass.
Of course, these aren’t temporary lines. These are all very – and I do mean very – unofficial.
However, these lines are indeed a distinct possibility. That leaves the Rangers No. 2 line just as dangerous as the top line. And, let’s face it, that really worked last season.