Though nothing has been officially announced by the team or any beat writers, it appears that the Rangers have called up winger Christian Thomas from the Connecticut Whale. Thomas, a 2nd round pick by the Rangers in 2010, has 24 points in his first season with the Connecticut Whale.
This call-up is perhaps a lot sooner than anticipated. Thomas is 20 and therefore older than the 19 year old Miller, but Miller has always been perceived as close to NHL ready whereas Thomas has been classified as much more raw and in need of development at lower levels. An inference one could make is that Nash could be out longer than expected and therefore Tortorella wants a player capable of playing offensive minutes, though that is simply speculation.
At the risk of making people twist my words, Thomas stylistically is very comparable to Steven Stamkos. He is like Stamkos in that he is not particularly flashy, but is absolutely deadly when given an open shot between or near the circles and is a killer on the powerplay especially. He was voted as the player with the most "deadly shot" in the OHL at the end of the 2011 season. With Nash out and the powerplay as dysfunctional as it has ever been, a young player eager to make his mark and who has no fear in unleashing what is a killer shot could be an asset. The concern with Thomas will be consistency and his two-way game, which still needs work.
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U have Thomas called up because he has potential to put the puck in the net... "panic"? - not there yet until actual news about Nash comes out
J ajn;t worried to be honest with the team Hank and Torts we are going all the way but will be gnashing our fingernails off each and every game
@TheNYRBlog been panic time since the season started poor defense no offense n no training camp to straighten it out hope we make playoffs!
@TheNYRBlog no panic, just a smart thing to do. Maybe it will wake up a few vets and fear for their starting job
Why did Thomas start turning it around? It's because he was put on a line with Micheal Haley. Haley is a ferocious fighter and very protective of his teammates. Opposing players are hesitant to take the body or bully Thomas because of his size because he has a protector on his line. This allows Thomas more free room to skate and to do his thing.
I hope Thomas keeps his head up and on a swivel while he's up with the big club. The Rangers haven't really protected each other this year. Nash has gotten hit very hard several times without anyone doing anything afterwards. And if opposing teams are willing to run at Nash...what will they do to the 5'9 Thomas?
@McPhee21 Would rather have Haley in the lineup instead of Asham. Would bring much more energy. While I'm at it, would rather see Mashinter in the lineup instead of the softest 6'7 245 lb player in NHL history. If you don't know who I'm referring to, then you haven't been watching NYR hockey!!!
I would like to see Haley and Asham play on the fourth line together.
As for Mashinster playing instead of BOYLE....I would like to see them both on a line together.
I have no problem with Boyle when he is taking the body every shift. When he's not, i want him out of the line-up.
I like Boyle....but he has to be play with energy and take the body. If he doesn't....doesnt matter how good he is on face-off...Torts will make him a healthy scratch again. And rightfully so...
I agree with most of what you said. I like Pyatt with Gabby and Richards. Pyatt's the mucker...takes the body and he's strong with the puck along the boards.
My big problem is Kreider. I think he needs to be sent down. Would like to see Mashinster on third line.
@McPhee21 -- you want Boyle on the ice for his faceoff prowess, he's been the best on this team. Halpern has a better percentage at the moment but he hasn't taken nearly as many, but he may surpass Boyle if he keeps it up.
@McPhee21 My problem with that is I don't think they can have a lineup with all 4 of those players in it. Maybe now with the injuries but when/if fully healthy, this is what I'd like to see:Gabby - Richards - PyattHags - Stepan - NashCally - Miller - Kreider/PoweHaley - Halpern - MashinterMy logic is such: Haley will add the same toughness as Asham but with younger legs and more energy. Mashinter offers same size as Boyle, will bang, stick his nose in the dirty areas and can drop the gloves. Offensively we've gotten ZERO from Boyle so can Mash be any worse??? As for the PK -- Stepan, Hags, Cally, Halpern, Powe and even Mashinter. Mash was on the PK for the Whale.
@McPhee21 Are you Haley's agent?
Nope...not his agent. Just someone who understands hockey and the nuances of the game. If someone can't see how a player like Haley can free up the game of a player like Thomas....then they have never played the game or understand it in the least.
Surely you understand what I'm talking about. Your screen name...Gravey. Not that Messier couldnt handle himself...but every time Messier was hit hard, Graves would come over and would get three punches in before the other guy even dropped his gloves. Graves' bodyguard protection helped create even more space for Messier to play in.
I wanted to see two players called up...got one...Mashinster. Now, I would like to see Haley brought up as a spark and added toughness.
Oh, I agree with you on Haley playing on the fourth line...don't get me wrong. I just used Graves as an example of player opening the ice for another player....which is what Haley is doing for Thomas in the AHL.
If he does ever get called up...he's a fourth line guy. But if used properly, he can help the scorers.
Let's say we have the Nash line going against an opponent's Number 1 or 2 line...and someone takes a run at Nash....
You can either put Haley and the 4th line out the very next shift, or bide your time a little....and the next time Nash takes the ice....you put Haley on the ice with him...keep his shift short...and have him look to take a run at one of our opponent's scorers.
It's all about the message being sent. You hit our skilled players hard....we're going to do the same to yours.
@McPhee21 Oh I don't disagree that guys like that can help out stars, but guys like Graves, Probert, and McSorely could also keep up with their more talented linemates and score. Hell Graves put up 52 goals. I just don't see ho a guy like Haley and his 3 points in 43 NHL games is going to help the Rangers scorers. He looks like a 4th liner at best at the NHL level.
It's all good AG. :)
@McPhee21 -- just giving you the business
Didn't say i was an expert AG...don't put words in my mouth please. I said I understand hockey and the nuances that go along with it. Playing hockey for many years helps with the nuance aspect of it.
If i was an expert, I would have been a much better player....lol
@McPhee21 "Just someone who understands hockey and the nuances of the game."
We're in luck, everybody, we have an expert here, and he just happens to be a Rangers fan!
Haley has no fear. He's is 5'10...200lbs....and he will take on anyone. He throws the right hand of his with murderous intent..lol. You call Haley up and play him on the fourth line.....he will become a fan favorite. Here's a fight between Haley and Kevin Westgarth....Westgarth about 6'4..230lbs...Haley..5'10..200lbs...
What's funny is I was thinking about posting some quotes from Thomas off of this article today. Pretty good read: http://www.courant.com/sports/hockey/blog/hc-connecticut-whale-forward-christian-thomas-adjusting-to-american-hockey-league-20130222,0,3091926.story
@KevinDeLury "...His transformation has coincided with being placed on a line with veterans Micheal Haley and Kelsey Tessier. Like Thomas (5-feet-9), Haley (5-11) and Tessier (5-9) are smaller in stature but are high-energy players. “Smaller guys, we work hard and create chances out there,” Thomas said..."
The very beginnings of a little desperation? Season's 1/3 of the way over. You're going to keep throwing shit against the wall, see what sticks? Plugging in kids from the farm isn't going to work. Sure, their adrenaline helps them put on sick performances early (Kreider last year's playoffs; Miller two goals against fishies) but they come down to earth soon enough and look very much like rookies and still no one can score with any regularity, especially on the pp. These call-ups are a sign that the main guys ain't figuring it out, and that they ain't close to figuring it out any time soon. It make me uneasy.
@AnnoyingJoe I don't think it's desperation. Might be earlier than the Rangers anticipated calling him up, but he has been arguably the best forward in Connecticut the last month or so and with Nash out tonight the Rangers could use a little bit of offense at the wing. I don't think the standings or anything like that have much to do with it. Unless he immensely impresses Tortorella I don't think we'll see him for more than two games.
On the surface you're right. It's the trend that concerns me, 4, i think, call-ups already? IDK...my spidey-sense is tingling. then again I'm a pessimistic child of the 80's so...
@Herman_NYRBlog @AnnoyingJoe I think that's exactly it. There's no way Mashinter, Thomas, and probably Kreider are on the team right now if the 3 you mentioned are healthy. Bickel is the only depth forward, and that's using the term "forward" liberally. Nobody would blink at these moves if the other players on the team were contributing. The fact that they are not makes the call ups look more desperate, but I don't think they are desperation. Regardless of what these kids do, Rangers are going nowhere if they don't get production from Richards, Gaborik, and Callahan.
@AnnoyingJoe Call-ups are inevitable when you have injuries left and right. Do you think these call-ups happen if Nash, Asham, and Powe all aren't injured? That's 25% of our regular forwards right there. Regardless of whether we were undefeated or last in the conference players would have been called up to fill in.
Wow!!!! I am floored by this move. But as some of you said why not? I've been down on Thomas because of his size, but he has come along nicely this season. Getting more comfortable on the pro level by the game.
No doubt the kid can rip it, but it's just a matter of if he's going to be able to get himself open in the NHL.
@KevinDeLury One of the biggest compliments scouts have about Christian is how he has a knack for getting open and into scoring areas. Another similarity to Stamkos. Now, whether he can do that at the NHL level is a whole different challenge, of course, but my bigger concern is whether he can be consistent enough away from the puck and in the defensive zone.