Originally written on Blue Seat Blogs | Last updated 11/20/14
NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 15: Blake Wheeler #26 of the Boston Bruins fights to retain possession against Michael Sauer #32 of the New York Rangers during the game on September 15, 2009 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
It’s amazing how quickly someone becomes an afterthought in this league. When Michael Sauer went down with his concussion, it seemed the world had ended. Marc Staal was still out, Sauer was out, and in the following week Jeff Woywitka and Steve Eminger would both suffer injuries. The Rangers were forced to rely on unknown Stu Bickel to play regular minutes to fill out the blue line. Bickel impressed and the rest, as they say, is history. But it’s not history. Fast forward five months and we have the playoffs, where Bickel is still dressing in almost every game for the Rangers. But the problem is that he rarely cracks five minutes of ice time per game, even when games head into overtime or triple overtime. For all intents and purposes, the Rangers are playing with five defensemen. When Bickel does get on the ice, he is often caught out of position, his inexperience and lack of foot speed exploited by more experienced and skilled playoff competitors. Stephen Gionta’s goal on Wednesday...
MORE FROM YARDBARKER