In his notes from practice this morning Andrew Gross said that Vinny Prospal is expected to be back for the Rangers tomorrow vs NJ. He went on to detail the line combinations from practice this more with the caveat not to read much into them because Torts said he hadnt settled on them, but reading into it is what we do here. Also, Torts not settling on a line combination, consider me shocked.
I really dont understand these combinations much at all. I understand Prospal is back and he has chemistry with Gaborik, but that doesnt mean he has to be immediately slotted with Gaborik on the 1st line as the line of Dubi-EC-Gabby has played very well in his absence and Dubi and EC have really seen an uptick in there play as a combination, so why mess with that? Also Prospal has a greater ability to enhance the other players in the lineup as we are always talking about secondary scoring so let him be a playmaker for other guys like Cally and Drury or AA. Further down the way to see them moving Higgins to the 3rd line RW is another example of how Torts cannot bring himself to just drop Higgins all the way down and is desperate to find him minutes. Also it shows he will use any excuse he can to demote Lisin who based on these combinations looks like along with Voros/Brash he will be scratched tomorrow. As far as I am concerned both Voros and Brash are useless so let Higgins play 4th line left wing and be done with it.
I wouldnt mind Prospal and Aves swapping using Dru's line for more energy and annoyance while letting Prospal mentor the skill of AA and Lisin. This wont happen because it would force torts to play AA and Lisin more and that is something he is apparently loathed to do.