When a team isn't getting the result it is looking for during a game, we often see the head coach switching lines and making on-site adjustments to his lineup. We can sometimes see great results from pairing new players together, however on Thursday, none of the changes looked good for the New York Rangers.
They actually made the players and the fans more confused than anything else...
Goalie Craig Anderson stopped all 27 shots he faced for his first shutout of the season as the Ottawa Senators blanked the Rangers 3-0 last night. With Mats Zuccarello (groin strain) and Vladislav Namestnikov (concussion protocol) not on the road trip, the Rangers took only 11 forwards to Canada, and it seemed to make head coach David Quinn reconsider everything...
First of all, defenseman Brendan Smith, who's played in the previous two games after sitting in four of the previous six in his regular position as a blue liner, was slotted onto the Rangers' fourth line as a left-winger.
With the roster ravaged by injuries, including ailments to Pavel Buchnevich, Zuccarello, Namestnikov and Cody McLeod, the Rangers were forced to play Smith with Tim Gettinger and centre Steven Fogarty. And fans got confused...
Smith played 14:06 and finished with a -1 rating, one shot on goal and threw four hits, as the Rangers fell to the Senators. It clearly wasn't the best solution.
On top of that, Quinn made sudden lineup adjustments during the game, playing Smith as a forward during the first two periods of the contest, and then slotting him back on the blue line for the third.
In the third period, he moved Smith back to defense and made the decision to bench veteran defender Kevin Shattenkirk. He also changed up his forward lines and double-shifted a different winger with Fogarty and Gettinger when he had to use the fourth line.
When asked why Shattenkirk remained on the bench for the third period, Quinn replied, “That’s between Kevin and I.’’
Finally on Friday afternoon, the Rangers decide to make a move and recalled forward Vinni Lettieri from Hartford.