Andrew Gross at the Bergen Record reports these new lines from practice today...
...very interesting to see Torts flip Hagelin and Pyatt. Pyatt has been one of the team's most consistent players, while Hagelin has struggled out of the gates. Assuming Torts is looking to balance out the lines.
...back to Hagelin, I'm really shocked to see him struggle so mightily to start the season especially after playing in Europe during the offseason. I know he suffered an injury during his time overseas, but I'm assuming that that's long been healed. It also doesn't explain the undisciplined penalties he's taken. Hagelin has now gone 34 games dating back to last season without a goal. Can you say sophomore slump? Yikes.
Meanwhile, Gross also says Torts changed things up on the power play as well...
PP1: Del Zotto-Girardi Nash-Callahan-Richards
PP2 McDonagh-Stralman Pyatt-Stepan-Gaborik
...not sure how taking Gaborik off the top unit helps the power play, but hey, nothing else is working.
Here's Torts on the power play (via Blueshirts United)...
"I don't think it's far away. Although we were oh-for, I thought we created scoring chances and had more zone time (against Toronto). But obviously we need to get a little consistency going."
Anton Stralman, who found himself back on the power play against the Leafs, adds this...
"We need to move the puck more quickly, make the defense react more to what we are doing, and we also need to get our shots through form the points.We need to be more consistent with what we are doing out there."
...see Stralman gets it. Maybe he should be coaching the power play.
Are we not calling the first line The Energy Line (NRG). It would work better if they weren't pure scorers and were more 4th line grinders. But still. Sounds almost as cool as the FLY line.
Hagelin was very good Saturday. He was skating like he did last year, forechecking aggressivelyand had a few shots. I think his shot as well as Stepan's is a bit heavier this year.
Michael Rupp is an asset for the New York Rangers because he's... (choose one)
C. Can no longer effectively drop the gloves
D. Takes stupid penalties
E. Because John Tortorella likes him
One thing I've noticed with this team is the "we need to"'s but then when the next game comes it looks the same. They need to just shoot everytime any of them touch the puck. They need to back down the PK. Teams are allowed to play to large on our powerplays. They should watch videos of successful powerplays and emulate them.
Speaking of special teams, I'm not thrilled with Nash killing PPs. Yes, he scored a SH goal. On the other hand, Torts is double shifting him a lot. With a compressed schedule, Torts is going to burn out key players like Nash, especially if players like Hagelin continue to be invisible. JMHO.
@nyranjer1 Not a big fan of NRG, only because they're not an energy line, they're a scoring line. What I go with on the blog is the "Welcome to the Jungle" line because Gaborik, Nash and Richards = GNR.
@AG_Blue tell me about it. Just do what we do on nights when there's no game; throw firecrackers at the cats while screaming "backcheck! Backcheck!"
@shishya100 Agreed he was much better. Needs to start scoring though.
@Iron Mike honestly i would say 99.9 percent of the players on the Whale would be more useful to our team then Mike Rupp...
@Iron Mike Got to go with E. on that one Chuck.
@Iron Mike Crazy, right? lol
@Beckfan5 I love the guy, but he has no business being on the power play.
@Beckfan5 I guess the only thing is he has an ok point shot. But ya I agree not exactly confidence inspiring.
@GLENsatherVSglennDANZIG But then Torts would be admitting he doesn't know what he's doing.
@nyranjer1 H/T to GLENsatherVSglennDANZIG for that line name.
@AnnoyingJoe @AG_Blue -- I watched some of Boston in Carolina. Just checkin up on the competition. Boston played their backup goalie, Khudobin. They looked pretty good, Carolina not so much. It was a 3-3 tied 'til late in the third, but I think that had something to do with the backup goalie getting comfortable. I might try to tune in Edmonton and Colorado.
... but I did give the cat a catnip log
@KevinDeLury I'm with you. As a matter of fact I am wearing his tee right now!
@KevinDeLury He needs to do whatever it takes! This could be the thing that gets him fired one day. If they don't make a playoff run this year, there could be whispers this offseason.
@AnnoyingJoe -- Edmonton scores a power play goal (they got 4 shots). They run the power play with one guy at the point. It's either 1-3-1, or 4 guys down low on the power play. It's an aggressive approach, but they moved the puck well and scored. Such a novelty to see an effective power play.
Mitchell draws the tripping penalty so Colorado will start the second with 1:54 with the man advantage.
2-0 Edmonton after one. And I'm done. Looking forward to tomorrow's game.
@AnnoyingJoe -- John Mitchell with the battle level
pretty good game, Edmonton - Colorado
are Eberle and Peverley related?
@AG_Blue @JMK8363 @Beckfan5 @slapshot13j @Iron That's precisely it. I'm salty Avery and Prusty are gone, and I know Rupper was part of the Avery cockblock. I'll give him the winter classic, but man he just looks sad out there. When he does drop em, he honestly looks scared. Not a good look for a team that's supposed to have 'JAM'.
@Beckfan5 @slapshot13j @Iron Mike aside from the winter classic last year he's been irrelevant - at least Avery always tried and he had the proverbial JAM!
@KevinDeLury @johnnyb3910 @Beckfan5 maybe they want a defensive minded D man to cover for delzaster!
@KevinDeLury @KingHenrikRocks @Beckfan5 @GLENsatherVSglennDANZIG -- it's true ... Torts always acts like everybody is learning, we got our work cut out here, maybe a couple guys look pretty good, but it's a process and nobody should be surprised if it actually takes years for him to impart his knowledge and wisdom. Oh, and he can't be questioned.
@Beckfan5 @GLENsatherVSglennDANZIG @KevinDeLury Wow. Have our expectations sunk so low already. It's beyond making the playoffs. Anything less than SC finals is unacceptable this year. Wake up Rangers!
@Beckfan5 @KevinDeLury I said one day. I love Torts but from the time he's gotten here he hasn't been able to fix this. Really it shouldn't be all that hard given the roster and the fact that you have one to two more skaters than the other team. With each big ticket player that comes here it becomes more and more inexcusable.