Last week the Rangers fourth line was a mixed bag of players such as Mike Rupp, Stu Bickel, Benn Ferriero and Brian Boyle. And it really didn't matter what the combination was because John Tortorella only gave them four minutes of ice time a night anyway.
But since the Rupp trade and the Miller call-up, a dependable fourth line has emerged and Torts seems to be gaining confidence in them by the shift as evidence by their combined 28 minutes of ice time last night.
Here's the Rangers head coach on how the play of the fourth line has a positive effect on the entire line-up (via Bergen Record)...
“The way the lines are playing, we just have the puck more. The biggest thing is not so much the goals, it’s the puck possession and the wall play. I just think our lines are a little bit stiffer. The fourth line gets nine, 10 minutes. They deserve it.”
He added this on Asham (Newsday)....
"A guy like Ash, what he does, a lot of players won't do it. Those type of guys who fight for their teammates and do all of the dirty things in the game, and score a goal, you're certainly happy for him. He's played on about a hundred teams and every team we talked to said he's a great guy."
...when Torts feels comfortable rolling four lines, the Rangers are always a better team. There's less chance of burnout, plus the fourth line can add that energy and edge that sometimes a team needs during the game.
...if Boyle wants to get out of that press box, he better be praying for an injury or that someone goes into a big slump. Seriously, who could he possibly replace in the line-up right now?
Here's some of the fourth line's work...
...unreal plays by Powe on both goals. Seriously, how did Sather get him and a prospect for Rupp?
...raise your hand if you knew Asham could shoot it like that.
I'm wondering if MDZ could be a surprise trade. Last night only one second of pp time. Nothing the game before. Young he may be, but it's becoming clear he's unlikely to be the pp qb of the present or future.. Right now he's a defensively challenged third pair dman who makes way too many turnovers. I'd love to move him.
How come no props for Halpern? Faceoffs, forecheck, defense, energy...what more could u ask for. Pyatt will score goals and create goals since he establishes himself in front of the net.
They looked amazing last night but is anyone else uneasy with Boyle sitting? I know he's been invisible to date but I still think he's got alot he can do for this team. And how many games before Miller's contract goes into effect?? Just saying, kid could be a flash in the pan.
I am so happy that the Rangers have a dependable 4th line. Lets hope Tortorella keeps rolling them out there on a consistent basis. That will help with the rest of the team getting necessary rest between shifts.Now if he'll only give that 6th defense spot a little more time on ice.
Also, at this point, I wouldn't mind seeing Boyle out there against the Bruins tomorrow night in place of Stepan.
Hopefully all 4 lines can keep it going as the season progresses. Even with last years team I feel like Torts had little confidence in rolling all 4 lines so this could potentially be a great thing.
I like how Asham reacted as if scoring goals was just a common occurrence for him. No Yakupov celebrations for him! A legit 4th line goes a long way. See Eastern Conference Finals of 2012...ugh.
@TheNYRBlog For "small trade", Rupp-Powe trade could go a long way for NYR this year. Also really like Pyatt as an under the radar signing
Gilroy and Eminger signings still baffle me. Eminger was hardly used last year and they jettisoned Gilroy only to bring him back? They have better players in Hartford that they can use surely!
Teams are better when the roll 4 lines if they have responsible players there. Especially this year, the Rangers need to stay fresh and roll 4 lines more than normal.
This team is still better with Boyle in the lineup albeit as a 4th liner/PK. I prefer him over Asham but as long as Asham is the only real fighter out there its going to be tough. Maybe a trade for a more gritty 6th defenseman or McIlraith callup is in order. Having Gilroy, Stralman and Eminger in the lineup aint cutting it.
I've seen Asham enough, so I'll raise my hand re his shooting ability. I still have mixed feelings about him on the Rangers, given his past, but I suspect I will come around due to his work ethic and if he keeps it clean. Nice to see the 4th line gel so well. It's about time!
@TheNYRBlog the next poster at the garden curiosity of myself lol http://t.co/TVjC1GxT
@shishya100 After re-reading the post this morning, I noticed I didn't even mention his name. But obviously, he has been a key to this line's success.
@Iron Mike Will be a leap of faith on Miller for sure. Just have to hope it works out if they decide to keep him. Brings more speed and skill to the table than Boyle. But as I've been saying, these things work themselves out. At some point Boyle will find a way back into the line-up.
@Beckfan5 That Hags-Step-Nash line has been too good for Torts to take him off.
@gravey94 -- right, like "it's just what i do"
@KevinDeLury You're right. Dude has a bright future, I hope it works.
@KevinDeLury But lets be honest, Stepan contributed nothing to the 3 goals scored by his line mates last night and his only SOG was from the blue line.
I don't want to dump on the guy but he's not 2nd line center-worthy.
@TheNYRBlog He's big, good along the boards, and spends a lot of time in front of the net, which can sometimes be a foreign land for NYR