Found April 25, 2012 on Blue Seat Blogs:

The Rangers play their biggest game of the season and perhaps biggest game since the lockout on Thursday night. A win over the Senators and progress to the next round could be the springboard to a successful post season. Or Friday morning could be the start of golf season.

With that said, should John Tortorella shorten his bench in the series finale? Given his tendencies to do so during his tenure with the Rangers will we see the Rangers coach double shift the top lines? This comes back in part, once again, to the potential part Chris Kreider may have to play in this game.

Despite scoring a huge goal in game six, being praised by the coaching staff after the game and generally, playing his best game as a pro Kreider still only played just over ten minutes. With a do-or-die game on Thursday any mistake, any slip in defensive assignments could mean the end of the Rangers season.

This morning Dave discussed Stu Bickel’s declining role and the potential introduction of Steve Eminger. Bickel is another example of Tortorella not wanting certain players in certain situations. The fact that he’s playing 5 blueliners right now is another example of shortening the bench. Given how tightly this series has been played a blow-out victory for either side is unlikely. In part because of the closeness of each game Bickel is routinely playing absoltely minimal ice time right now.

Kreider is likely to see plenty of shifts early on but will he be a victim when Tortorella comes to the crunch time of the series? What can reasonably be expected of a 20 year old rookie? Kreider is not the only player to play limited time up front. Artem Anisimov played less than ten minutes while Mitchell and Rupp played minimally in the game 6 victory.

Tortorella has players that he trusts such as Ryan Callahan and an impressive-in-game-six Brad Richards. There’s a good chance the core of forwards Torts trusts most will see an increased level of ice time in the Garden showdown.

The Rangers will need another quality performance from Derek Stepan in game seven. They’ll need another all action game from Brandon Prust and they’ll need Marian Gaborik to step up – compared to his recent performances. Expect them to have every opportunity to do so as Torts (potentially) sticks to his select few.


Kreider Scores His First of Hopefully Many

In just his third NHL game Chris Kreider may have scored the biggest goal of his life, as his first NHL tally ended up being the game winner that helped send the Rangers to a deciding Game 7 at MSG on Thursday night against the Senators... To watch on YouTube, click here....we've been waiting a long time for this moment Rangers fans and Kreider is as advertised. Anyone...

Belief helps Rangers get past Senators

After dropping Game 5 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series last Saturday and falling behind the Ottawa Senators 3-2, the New York Rangers, led by head coach John Tortorella, stubbornly maintained that the series was still theirs for the taking. The confident aura, at the time, came off like little more than self-assurance -- pointless, but expected bravado from a team...

Is there a point to Stu Bickel right now?

In last night’s 3-2 victory that sent the series to a seventh game, Stu Bickel was nowhere to be found. In fact, he only played three shifts the entire game for less than two minutes of ice time. In the Rangers 2-0 loss in Game Five, Bickel played just seven shifts for less than five minutes of ice time. Game Four? Seven shifts for 3:33 of ice time. Game Three? Ten and 9:18. Game...

Kreider Not Easily Fazed

During his conference call yesterday, John Tortorella gave this comment on his impressions of Chris Kreider's performance up until this point (via Bergen Record)..."The thing that impressed me the most about him right now in just a couple of days being with him is forget what's on the ice, it's how he's handled the situation. I'm sure there's a letdown...

Video: Chris Kreider & Ryan McDonagh Talk After Game 6 Win

… Chris Kreider played a phenomenal game for a rookie in just his 4th game on the NHL surface. The role Kreider played in the 2nd and 3rd periods were huge for the New York Rangers. This kid really is the future of the organization.  Ryan McDonagh also played a lot better tonight and came [...]

If you like today you will really love tomorrow

First things first, as I said here that if John Tortorella could not lead the New York Rangers to a win in game seven against the Ottawa Senators that firing Tortorella would be a fair option. Final score was New York Rangers 2 Ottawa Senators 1, so no doubt about it, John Tortorella deserves the credit for getting the Rangers into the second round. One does not have to like somebody...

This Is Just The Beginning of the Ranger Organization's Run

In his post game press conference, John Tortorella discusses how the first round experience will be good for this young Rangers team..."For such a young group, and we're still a really young team—Ottawa's supposed to be a young team, but we're a year younger, as far as overall age, than Ottawa—to get these types of situations under your belt, and have some success...

Video: Torts, Rangers Ready for Game 7 vs. Senators

John Tortorella looks forward to having home ice advantage in Game 7... To watch at, click here.For the players thoughts on Game 7 against the Senators, click the "Read More" tab below. Henrik Lundqvist talks to the media after practice about how the Rangers stepped up to win Game 6, carrying the momentum into a home Game 7 and being named a finalist for...

A couple of nice goals - Kreider and Zajac

Here are a couple of great goals to prepare us for game seven between the Boston Bruins and the Washington Capitals. This is the first career NHL goal of former Boston College Eagles Chris Kreider, who is now a member of the New York Rangers. The box score read - Chris Kreider (1) Wrist - ASST: Derek. Stepan (2) AND Mark. Staal (1)... Nice to see two former Division I college...

Rangers Play Their Game to Extend Series to 7

When the New York Rangers play within themselves and play their style of hockey, they are an extremely tough team to beat. The Blueshirts proved that tonight by beating the Ottawa Senators by a score of 3-2 in Game 6 to tie the series up at three apiece. The two teams will have two days off before meeting on Thursday night at Madison Square Garden for a Game 7. The Rangers played...

Morning Skate Notes: Cally In; Boyle Out; Kreider Not Intimidated; Konopka Out?

Pat Leonard at the Daily News reports that Ryan Callahan (finger) participated in this morning's skate, however, Brian Boyle (concussion) did not.Arthur Staple at Newsday says Boyle was seen riding a stationary bike this morning, but is not close to returning....figured Callahan would be ready to go. Don't like hearing that Boyle isn't even close to returning. Hopefully...

What the Rangers Need to do to Win Game 7

While the NHL regular season does not mean much when it comes to the Stanley Cup Playoffs, there are things that a team did during the regular season that helps when it comes to playing in hockey’s second season. This is the case when it comes to the New York Rangers. Tonight, the Rangers will host Game 7 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series against the Ottawa Senators...

Those Little Plays Become Big

from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of Yahoo, The Rangers and Senators played to win Thursday night – not just not to lose – before the raucous, chanting fans at MSG. They skated hard, fast. Up and down. Back and forth. A blocked shot here, a couple of goals from unlikely heroes there, a scramble to survive a final Ottawa onslaught – that was the difference. “I’ve played some...

The NHL’s inconsistencies surrounding goaltender interference

Goaltender interference is a nebulous topic that often generates heated debates and a forgivably vague understanding of the actual rule on the play.  It is forgivable that most fans don’t know exactly how to apply the rule, since the rule itself is written so vaguely. NHL Rule 69 ,“Interference on the Goalkeeper” is explained mostly in the context of allowing or disallowing...

Blueshirts Off to the Second Round

For the first time since the 2007-08 season, the New York Rangers are off to the second round after defeating the Ottawa Senators by a score of 2-1 in Game 7 at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers played “Ranger hockey” by blocking a ton of shots, playing physical, getting timely goal scoring and big-game goaltending from Henrik Lundqvist (26 saves). It was a style that they...
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