May 2, 2012; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby (70) makes a save on a shot by New York Rangers right wing Marian Gaborik (10) during the third period of game three in the Eastern Conference semifinals of the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Verizon Center. The Rangers won 2-1 in triple overtime. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-US PRESSWIRE

Gaborik Should Play With Richards, Nash with Stepan

I’m not one to think about line combinations in July, but this is something that a lot of people are talking about so I’m going to join in the party. At the end of last season Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik played a lot together and were very successful together. That shouldn’t be broken up.

Richards likes to have the puck a lot, and Gaborik likes to immediately shoot the puck as soon as he gets it. That combination worked last year. Rick Nash’s game is all about taking the puck to the net. I really do not think Nash and Richards would mesh well. Yes they’d work together because they’re good players, but both would sacrifice in the shooting department.

I see Rick Nash working with Derek Stepan because Stepan doesn’t necessarily like to carry the puck a lot and I see Nash carrying any line he’s on anyway. Stepan will have plenty of time and space playing with Nash, which is something that helped him when he played with Gaborik last season. Nash might play on Richards line while Gaborik is out with that shoulder injury, but I think after Gaborik is back he’ll play with Richards again.

Who knows what the lines will look like a few months from now, but with the information I have now this is my opinion.

Be sure to follow me on twitter @Matt_J1.

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Tags: Brad Richards Derek Stepan Marian Gaborik Rangers Rick Nash

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