Todays lineup against the Detroit Red Wings is what it is, and will be for the season duration. That’s assuming Rick Nash, Marc Staal and Henrik Lundqvist return from their injuries and Derick Brassard is able to fight through the flu. The important matchup will be the first time all hands will be on deck, since the Rangers acquired Eric Staal at the NHL trade deadline. It is the deepest Ranger lineup since Neil Smith did the spring of 94 shuffle.
The prospect of Eric Staal and Rick Nash teaming up to help form three deep, solid lines for Coach Vigneault’s deployment, was undoubtedly part of General Manager Jeff Gorton’s vision, when he wisely kept his roster intact, acquiring Eric Staal at the trade deadline. There will surely be a adjustment period as Coach Vigneault figures out his best playoff lineups to use, depending on which team is on the other side of the playoff series opening faceoff. He certainly has the flexibility, time and envious center depth to work with.
Ranger fans can’t help but be excited to see it unfold today. The Rangers are in it to win it, and can win it. Gorton has done his job, its now up to the players to quit talking about it and do it.