Andrew Gross at the Bergen Record reports that Rick Nash was given a maintenance day today as the Rangers prepared to take on the Washington Capitals at the Garden tomorrow.
John Tortorella told Gross that Nash has played a lot hockey and needed the rest.
Stu Bickel took Nash's spot on line rushes today. Lines stayed the same otherwise...
...still not a fan of that third line. Might be better flipping Pyatt and Cally. Pyatt had good chemistry on the top line and Cally should add some much needed speed to the third unit. Plus he provides Miller with a bit of a safety net.
Also at practice, John Tortorella addressed the Chris Kreider demotion saying he hadn't shown his speed consistently enough and likened the move to when Rangers sent Michael Del Zotto to Hartford after bursting on the scene his rookie year.
...listen, we all want Kreider to be the guy who lit it up in the playoffs last year, but he hasn't even been close to that guy with the Whale or the Rangers this season. While the line-up looks much better with him in it on paper, the game is played on the ice and right now he's not getting it done. It's very hard to criticize the decision.
...and like reader fleisch14 said yesterday, the Rangers did the same thing with Callahan his second year in the league and how'd that work out.
@TheNYRBlog we also want richards to get going but when you have a no movement clause its ok to suck.
I'm truly curious about this cult of Kreider. Before he'd even played a single NHL game, there were Kreider jerseys everywhere and everyone was talking like he was practically the second coming of Messier. He played well in the playoffs last year, but everyone gets on hot/cold streaks. Remember when Boyler scored all those goals and everyone loved him? Now people are calling him trade bait. Why is everyone so obsessed with this kid? I absolutely hope he grows into an awesome franchise player, but if the success of the Rangers hangs on this rookie, we're in major trouble. Personally, I'm way more concerned with Boyle's lack of physicality, the fall-off in Richards' performance, lack of toughness & depth on the blue line and of course, the #@(#*&@#% power play.
@TheNYRBlog i agree cally and pyatt flip, cally on a 3rd line gives torts a reason to play the line which he must do
Could this Kreider recall be a move in the O'reily trade. Maybe give Kreider or Miller and Boyle. Otherwise this doesn't make much sense.
I'm hearing that Nash was supposed to attend a fan forum with season ticket holders last night but he was absent due to an illness.
Big difference between this years team and last years team.... we have 3 fights this year, which I believe is the least in the league. Last year we led the league with 60+ fights. We have little to no grit, but we still play like a team focused around it.
@queensbee wow...you definitely know your hockey....what is your prediction for the Rangers this year?
@slapshot13j Or it could be that Nash may have the flu and need Kreider to play. Also, trading Kreider or Miller and Boyle for O'Reilly is absolutely absurd.
@JMK8363 what a waste of tme
@slapshot13j Shot blocking is down also
@Randallo76 Well thanks, although I don't know that I know any more than anyone else around here. My prediction? Well, of course I want to say that we'll get The Cup, but the season has been up and down so far, and even though it's perfectly understandable given all of the circumstances, it makes me less optimistic than I was, say, over the summer (when I predicted on Facebook that it would be a Rangers/Kings final this year... oops?). If I were going to put money on it, I would guess second round of the playoffs. And no one will be happier than me if I'm wrong and we win it all.
Kreider has a lot of work to do. For all of his potential, he still has to learn how to use his speed and his size, and he has to learn defensive responsibility. No doubt it's the biggest challenge to put all of these things together in the big league. That's why sending him down to CT makes sense to me, while immediately calling him back is a bit of a head scratcher.
I'm not too worried about how he's being handled though. I trust our coaching staff ... with the exception of running a power play.