The start of Taylor Pyatt's Rangers career couldn't have gone better. Three goals and two assists in his first eight games and a spot on the first line alongside Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik.
But that was as good as it got for Pyatt as he tallied just one point (a goal) in the next 34 games and found himself buried on the fourth line barely playing five minutes a game.
That was until John Tortorella bumped him up to the third line with Brad Richards and Mats Zuccarello after the Brian Boyle injury. Since then, Pyatt has a three game point streak (1g, 2a), which included a huge goal yesterday that helped seal the Rangers victory against the Devils...
Here's Tortorella on Pyatt...
"I use (Pyatt) when we're protecting a lead. He has done some really good things there. As far as his overall game I think it's been an up and down year for him. He's a good guy on the wall. Always has been right on through here. It's good he gets a couple of chances. He's a big part of that line. That line has played well along with Richards and Zuccarello."
Pyatt on stepping up his play during the stretch run (via Bergen Record)...
“Playing the most important games, you always want to play your best hockey. It feels like the last games, my game was improving and scoring tonight definitely helps.”
...while Pyatt has deserved every piece of criticism he's received on this blog for his poor play this season, if he can continue this renaissance in the final three games and into the playoffs it will be a tremendous boost for the Rangers. Pyatt has been a part of a couple deep playoff runs in his career so he knows what it takes to be successful in the postseason. One of which is peaking at the right time, which it looks like he's doing.
...i'd say the only person not excited about Pyatt's improved play is Asham, who looks like the odd man out once Boyle and Dorsett are healthy.
...with all the line changes this season, Torts eventually had to come up aces, but he derserves credit for the current combinations, which have really clicked. Having said that, when I first saw the Pyatt-Richards-Zucc line I couldn't have been less excited. Richards and Pyatt were struggling mightily and Zuccarello's playmaking seemed wasted. But that's the funny thing about chemistry, you never know when or how it'll show up.
Other than a few jokes I haven't been criticizing him here. His play hasn't been horrible, just ho-hum with no scoring. Not many mistakes and good on the walls. he does not have bad hands obviously so lets see if he can truly elevate his game. I think torts moved him up rather than Kreider because he wanted his steadiness and experience over krieder's youthful mistakes - I've criticized torts a lot here but didn't say a word about that decision. If Torts winds up proving me wrong I will be one happy man.
I think most fans were scratching their heads when Torts rolled out that Pyatt-Richards-Zucc line. Low and behold, it seems to be working. While I agree the demise of Pyatt has been greatly exaggerated, I'm not prepared to heap compliments on him either.
Looks like Pyatt is this year's Fedentenko. I know people on the blog here love to remiss about how much "grit" Feds brought to the line-up and how he's missed now, but if you check back, I bet 90% of the posters wanted his head for most of the season last year. That is until he started playing better as the playoffs approached. I think Torts' statement is a pretty good example of why none of us will ever get any further than couch coaching, because we just don't see the intricacies that go on game in and game out.
Pyatt is my least favorite player on the team (Asham is 2nd). He is slower than a continental shift, is big but doesn't have bite and he can't score. I think my gf wants him off the team worse than I do cause she's tired of hearing me yell at the TV every time I see him out there.
You'll remember Asham potted a decent snipe last month - big whoop. Crickets since and I imagine a similar scenario here for Pyatt. Don't get me wrong, I want every player to play well headed down the stretch here - but this guy has been pretty useless.
We want goals, grit and momentum - Pyatt doesn't bring any of those.
Agree with Josh there. Having Zucc and Richards on the line to handle the puck helps Pyatt get off the wall. You'll note that the past 3-4 games Richards has started skating again and making smarter plays with the puck. When Richards and Zucc are skating and handling the puck well, that allows Pyatt a little freedom from wall-play so he's not mucking and grinding the whole shift.
1 goal does not redeem his putrid play all season. With him & Boyle we have 2 of the softest big guys ive ever seen!
@TheNYRBlog I hated it too. But sometimes we can't account for chemistry. Taylor does the board work.
The resurgence of pyatt? Not so much. A lot of the credit has to go to the revival of Richards game, he is opening up the ice and seeing the ice very well. Right now he is on a line with arguable the two players with the best vision on the team, that has to be nice. Torts better not change the lines.....
@TheNYRBlog I'd love to face the caps or the pens and pull an upset in the first round
@TheNYRBlog I think even if we get pyatt Richards zuc and even powe going this team can make a dent. I think we can pull a kings this year
better Torts than me, that's for sure
@YimYames18 You can't expect a guy like Asham to really put up goals in any consistent manner. His job is to forecheck, fight, hit, and create momentum for when the top guys go on the ice. That's the definition of a "grinder" or "energy player." I think Pyatt is a better goalscorer than Asham, but he has been playing a similar role on the team on the 4th line for most of the season
You'll be surprised to know that Pyatt is 5th on our team in goals. And he's been solid along the boards. I'm not a Pyatt fan but I am a realist. Empirically speaking, Pyatt has not been useless.
@NewYorkPuck board work is as important as an assist . Too many times the grunts dont get credit on the score sheet ...
@NewYorkPuck Never would have thought that line could work.
@AG_Blue Yeah I saw that, deceiving stat though.
Consider Richie and Hags are tied and Brassard's totals in that stat (3g) are only counting his time with NYR. Zucc and Clowe have 3g each and have been here about 1/3 the time of Pyatt.
If you look at points (Pyatt has 9) - here are the players who have been here most the season who have less. Boyle, Emmy, Asham, Stralman, Powe. Plus Pyatt has played 45 games. Of that list Boyle is the nest highest with 38 games.
His 5th in goals stat - its like how Gabby was 3rd on our team in goals. And beyond points, Pyatt does not use his size or any kind of energy to tilt the ice. There is an even keel, but passionless lumbering to his play. I think as a depth replacement, his play accentuates the wide gap between this and last year's grinding guys.
@Josh6 Once Boyle is healthy, he'll re-insert him no matter how well this team is playing.
@JohnPiccini all 4 lines have to be able to score if you want to do some damage. Selane said it best... With one line you can have some fun, with two lines you can make it to may, but with three lines you can do some damage. Just look at the devils last year, they beat us because of their 4th line. Hopefully that line will be able to create just like that, and our team will be very very dangerousl