Jimmy Vesey’s spot in Rangers’ opening-night lineup is a surprise

No one needed to name it a fourth line, and it isn’t within the conventional sense of the label. However it’s definitely a spot additional down the lineup for Jimmy Vesey, because the Rangers winger will start his second NHL season Thursday night time on a line with David Desharnais and Paul Casey on the Backyard towards the Avalanche.

“I undoubtedly assume we’ve 4 strains of talent,” Vesey advised The Submit earlier than the sport. “As a fourth line, so to talk, me, David and Paul can nonetheless convey manufacturing to the workforce. Final yr, and I assume all the time with AV, he performs the blokes which might be enjoying nicely. So we’ll see.”

That might be coach Alain Vigneault, who has confirmed in his earlier 4 seasons behind the Rangers bench that it’s extra a meritocracy than any overwhelming favoritism. It’s additionally all the time essential for him to roll 4 strains, and with this present roster, that simply occurs to seem like 4 strains of talent.

“I look proper now at Jimmy and our workforce, we’re a 4-line staff,” Vigneault stated. “To have success, we’ve obtained to play 4 strains. We’ve to play at a excessive tempo, excessive tempo, fast to verify, after which once we get the puck, we’ve got to be fast to counter.

“The defensemen that we’ve added I feel are going to assist us in that space,” Vigneault added, referencing the offensive-minded Kevin Shattenkirk and Anthony DeAngelo. “Velocity has all the time been [part of the] id of this group since I’ve been right here. It ought to be much more on show now that we’ve received, I consider, defensemen that may transfer slightly bit faster, north-south, that must be very useful.”

Vesey went by means of his ups and downs in his rookie yr after deciding to signal with the Rangers in the summertime of 2016, popping out of Harvard because the reigning Hobey Baker Award winner. However Vigneault has appreciated what he has seen of Vesey in coaching camp, and it peaked with the ultimate preseason recreation on Sept. 26 towards the Flyers in Philadelphia — which simply additionally occurred to be the primary time this mix with Desharnais and Carey was shaped.

“Jimmy has performed properly, extraordinarily nicely that final recreation with David and that was a superb line for us with Paul there,” Vigneault stated. “We’re beginning these three collectively and we anticipate them to be efficient at each ends of the rink.”

Vesey, 24, was fairly clear when he was requested about what he needs to get higher at in his second yr, and it’s one thing that the Rangers definitely want out of him.

Jimmy Vesey had sixteen objectives as a rookie final…

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