Rangers Roundup: Shifting Lafrenière, Fox Norris odds, Shesterkin Vezina odds, and more

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Dec 10, 2021; Buffalo, New York, USA; New York Rangers left wing Alexis Lafreniere (13) takes a shot on goal during the first period against the Buffalo Sabres at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers will be making some changes to their lineup ahead of their matchup tonight against the Anaheim Ducks.

Head coach Gerard Gallant will look to get his charges back on track but will have to do so with an uncertain lineup. Yesterday, Julien Gauthier was added to the COVID list and Dryden Hunt was placed on IR. This triggered the call ups of Tim Gettinger and Jonny Brodzinski from the taxi squad.

Zac Jones was also sent back to the taxi squad and it looks like Libor Hajek will be scratched. They make way for a third defense pairing of Jarred Tinordi and Nils Lundkvist.

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Gallant wants to move Lafrenière to right wing

Depending on Artemi Panarin’s possible return from COVID protocol, Gallant may opt to not keep Barclay Goodrow on the second line. Instead, he hinted at possibly moving him to the third line and keeping Alexis Lafreniére with Ryan Strome and Panarin. Although that means shifting him to the right, which Lafrenière openly admitted he’s not 100% comfortable there.

“I think about it every second of the day,” Gallant said of switching Lafrenière to the right. “That’s a possibility (when Panarin comes back).”

Lafrenière has played well since being given the opportunity and more ice time. The 20 year-old first overall pick from the 2020 NHL Draft has three points in his last four games (1G, 2A). He has 11 points (8G, 3A) in 35 games this season.

Fox and Shesterkin among favorites for big awards

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Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

While betters are putting their money behind Edmonton Oilers captain for another Hart Memorial Award, the race for the Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s top goaltender is much tighter among three top candidates who have emerged.

Toronto’s Andrei Vasilevskiy and the New York Rangers’ Igor Shesterkin are co-favorites at +450 at BetMGM ahead of Toronto’s Jack Campbell, whose odds have shortened from +2500 at the start of the season to +650. Colorado’s Darcy Kuemper (+4000) is being backed by a book-high 14.8 percent of the bets, while Shesterkin has been supported by 18.1 percent of the money and is the book’s biggest liability.

Campbell is being backed by 8.3 and 10.8 percent, respectively. He’s also the +400 favorite at DraftKings ahead of Shesterkin (+450) and Vasilevskiy (+600).

Igor Shesterkin is currently on COVID protocol.  He is 15-4-2 this season with a .936 SV% and a 2.09 GAA.

The James Norris Trophy awarded to the best defenseman also appears to be a three-horse race.

Colorado’s Cale Makar is +250 at BetMGM and +400 at DraftKings. That’s ahead of the Rangers’ Adam Fox (+330, +400) and Tampa Bay’s Victor Hedman (+600, +500).

Makar is the overwhelming leader with 53.6 percent of the bets and 70.0 percent of the money wagered at BetMGM. He’s the book’s biggest liability in the market.

Adam Fox is second in the league for scoring among defenseman with 35 points trailing Tampa’s Victor Hedman by one point.

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Anthony Scultore is the founder of Forever Blueshirts and has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL... More about Anthony Scultore

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