"It was not a benching," Tortorella said. "Gabby has probably been our most consistent forward."
...if it's not a benching then it's just a bad job by Torts not getting the Rangers best offensive player ice time when the team is struggling offensively. Maybe if Torts had a player with some actual offensive ability on the ice the puck wouldn't be in the Rangers end so much.
Also, Prust was caught on ice for ~2 min shifts at the beginning of the 3rd period, because of Jets' pressure. That also kept Gaborik on the bench, he got regular shifts at the end.
Torts did the correct thing. You don't 'waste' your most gifted offensive player by throwing him out there when the puck is pinned in the defensive zone. It's not the correct use of his ice time. Just like you don't keep rolling Boyle's line if you're pinned in the offensive zone, you want Gaborik/Richards out there.
@rangersmurf Ok so that's two minutes. Why does he only get 3 minutes in the remaining 18?
@KevinDeLury@rangersmurf I can kinda understand Torts here. It's not like the Rangers were getting the puck deep into the offensive zone. If that were the case then you probably would have seen Gabby and Richards more. But that period seemed like a lot of chip to the neutral zone and get a quick change. Gabby is not the guy you want out there from center to your zone because it will end up with a lot of chances against. It's up to the other "checkers" to be able to carry the puck out and at least dump it deep for a change, then the top players can at least have some room to work..
@KevinDeLury His average is just over 15 min per game at even strength. 5 min a period. He played 3, and lost two shifts (roughly 45 sec each) because of Prust.
After the Prust debacle, they started the 2nd unit PP (that led to the goal), and were protecting a lead from there out. That Gaborik got shifts as late as 16 min left is enough to say he wasn't benched.
Richards had 3 shifts after the Cally goal for ~2:53. Gaborik had 3 for 2:17. Stepan had 3 for 2:15.
If not for the fact that Richards was out with Boyle/Prust when they got pinned at the ~6min mark, Richards would've had just as little ice time in the 3rd period. And rightfully so.
@KevinDeLury@gravey94 They were massive outplayed for 50 minutes leading up to the GWG. He did the smart thing in not pushing the envelope. Against the Canucks where they were controlling play better in the 3rd period leading up to the GWG, he kept pushing.
There's a lot of things that irk me about his line management, but late game situations he has been doing what's best to win games, for the most part.
@KevinDeLury They were protecting a lead at that point. If they were down 1, or even tied, you can be sure Gaborik/Richards/Stepan would've been out there at every opportunity.
That Richards line has been the worst possession line on the team so far (based on Corsi). They do damage in the offensive zone when they get there, but they don't always get there. In late, up 1 situations, you can expect them to ride a little extra pine all season.
@rangersmurf I think with Torts trying to find offense by switching up the lines why not double shift Gaborik to get him some extra ice time.