Originally written on NY Rangers Blog  |  Last updated 3/8/13
As evidenced by their three to four minutes of ice time per game, it's no secret that John Tortorella has little to no confidence in Stu Bickel and Matt Gilroy as defensemen, while his feelings towards Steve Eminger can be described as lukewarm at best. We all witnessed Dan Girardi and Ryan McDonagh begin to fade at the end of last season and literally collapse in the Eastern Conference Finals due to Torts' flat out refusal to spread around the ice time on defense. And now with Marc Staal out indefinitely, I fully expect Torts to lean on them more than ever. Which is why Roman Hamrlik's solid performance in his Rangers debut was so important. He played like a poised veteran throughout as he never panicked with the puck, showed good positioning and was assertive with his decision making. But to me the most vital part of Hamrlik's stat line was the 15:48 of ice time he received. Torts proved right out of the gate he feels comfortable using the veteran defenseman in all...
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