Found May 05, 2013 on
Blue Seat Blogs:
He was effective last year. Maybe it’s time to give him a real chance (Photo: AP).
Let me begin by stating that I am not an advocate of playing Chris Kreider at the current moment. He has been very suspect defensively, and he just hasn’t been good without the puck. When he isn’t scoring, his role is severely limited on this team. I am still of the belief that Kreider needs to round out his game before he can get big time minutes.
That said, Kreider’s greatest assets are his speed and offensive potential. For a Rangers club that has mustered just one lucky bounce goal in two games these playoffs, it may be time to let the kid loose and see what he can do when given a chance with offensive minded players. At this stage of the series, the Rangers need goals, and they might be willing to sacrifice some defensive mindedness to find some goals.
As it stands now, the Rangers top-six aren’t scoring. Carl Hagelin is the only forward who has been consistent in generating offensive chances, but that took a hit when Alex Ovechkin hit him knee-on-knee in Game Two (albeit incidentally). Rick Nash was a force in Game One, but we didn’t hear from him until the third period of Game Two. The Caps aren’t good enough defensively to shut down a team like this.
Half of the Caps defensemen leave a lot to be desired when it comes to foot speed. We’ve seen Hagelin, Nash, and other forwards burn past the defense on multiple occasions, but they haven’t been able to finish. Kreider has the same speed as Hagelin when he gets going, and there’s no reason to believe the kid, who was pretty good in Game One, wouldn’t be able to generate something when placed on a line with like-minded players.
Even though Brad Richards has had an awful year, he has looked a lot better when on a line with Mats Zuccarello. What that pairing lacks is someone who will go to the middle of the net and feast on rebounds. Kreider, a natural power forward, is that kind of player. The reason why Nash didn’t work is because his style of play is similar to Richards’ style, and they make each other redundant on the ice. Line building is finding nice compliments for each player’s skill set, and Kreider’s speed and willingness to go to the dirty area in front of the net compliments Zuccarello and Richards very well.
There is also the option of putting the Kreider-Stepan-Callahan line back together, the one that worked so well in last year’s playoffs. All three are fast, skilled, and have great hockey IQ. That’s a dangerous trio against a team that struggles defensively.
Inserting Kreider back into the lineup, but more importantly into the top-six and given a chance to play without penalty of benching, is a very big risk. He’s not sound defensively, and shifts won’t end well if he gets pinned in his own zone. But when deployed properly, especially if he’s given powerplay time, he could be a dangerous asset.
We generally say that the playoffs are not time to experiment, but the status quo is not working. Sometimes, change is necessary, even if it’s a long shot.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
Lots going on at the Rangers optional practice. Some good, some not so much.
Katie Strang at ESPN.com reports that Ryane Clowe still isn't sure if he'll play tonight, however, Pat Leonard at the Daily News expects Clowe to take Arron Asham's spot in the line-up after the former Shark left practice early while Asham remained on the ice with the other likely scratches...
HF did their annual organizational rankings, and the Rangers came in at #17 on the list. The Rangers have been pretty high for the past few years, but have seen almost all of their prospects graduate to the NHL level, hence the drop this year. HF cites the Rangers strong forward depth as a major strength, along with the presence of Dylan McIlrath and Brady Skjei, who both project...
Per Dan Rosen, Ryane Clowe is participating in practice today in a full contact jersey. This is the first time Clowe is in a contact jersey since his injury, and his second practice. With the Rangers in desperate need of offense, Clowe’s return to the lineup would be a big one.
Per Rosen, Marc Staal was also at practice today in a full contact jersey.
Forward Derek Dorsett has made his debut with the New York Rangers, dressing for Game 2 of their playoff series against the Washington Capitals after recovering from a broken collarbone.
Center Brian Boyle also returned from a right leg injury for Saturday's game.
Dorsett was thought to be done for the season when he was injured March 7 on a hit by Andrew Alberts in the Columbus...
The Rangers couldn’t salvage the split in Washington, and are now heading home to New York down 2-0 in the first round. Mike Green’s overtime winner wasn’t a backbreaker for the series, but the Caps have all of the momentum on top of dominating the Rangers for a second straight game. This game wouldn’t have even gone to overtime if Henrik Lundqvist wasn’t phenomenal. This...
The beauty of the NHL Playoffs summed up in one photo of Rangers' coach John Tortorella.
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John Tortorella post-game after today's 1-0 OT loss to Washington.
The New York Rangers have activated defenseman Marc Staal from the injured reserve list and should be ready to suit up Monday night. Staal was nailed by a puck close to his eye in early March and has been suffering from blurry vision ever since.
The post New York Rangers Activate Marc Staal From Injured Reserve appeared first on FFLockerRoom | NFL - MLB News | Fantasy Sports Advice...
It certainly would be a boost for the Rangers if Staal does play tonight.
I don't "know" anything for certain, but if Marc Staal plays for NYR tonight I "think" I will be not surprised.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) May 6, 2013
Henrik Lundqvist and Braden Holtby kicked, swiped, caught and otherwise kept getting in the way of the puck, matching each other save-for-save for a second shy of 68 minutes, until Mike Green scored the power-play goal in overtime that gave the Washington Capitals a sweep at home to open their playoff series against the New York Rangers.
Green nailed a one-timer from high in the...
Prior to Game 2, most of the discussion centered around who might be ready to play in order to add some depth and physical play to the roster. Well, we got half our wish as Derek Dorsett made his Rangers' debut and Brian Boyle returned from a knee injury, while Ryane Clowe and Marc Staal were deemed not ready. The lineup with the returning players to start the game was: Hagelin...
This morning John Tortorella briefly spoke with the media and said this about his team's chances in Game 3 tonight (via Washington Post)...
“I think we’re close, I’ll put it to you that way. But it means squat if you don’t win.
“I think [the games have] been a hell of a lot more even than a lot of other people think,” Tortorella said. “But it really doesn’t...
After dropping the playoff opener on Thursday night, 3-1 to the Capitals, the New York Rangers took the ice Saturday afternoon at the Verizon Center looking to even the score in game 2. But scoring once again became a problem for the Rangers. Some great goaltending on both ends and a Mike Green power play goal in overtime [...]
The New York Rangers host the Washington Capitals at Madison Square Garden for Game 3 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinals match-up starting at 7:30 p.m. The Capitals lead the series 2-0. For a preview go to Yahoo! Sports.
Rangers Game Notes
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I have hit a stretch busy and busy between weekday stuff and then a couple of booked weekends. But along the way, I have been doing a rambling version of writing that includes player and team assessments leading into how I would try to remold the team for next year. So I don't do the thing where I put up 2-3 of these on a reasonable schedule and then get sidetracked for 2 weeks...