Since being called up by the Rangers on March 5, Micheal Haley has been better than expected. His days with the Islanders showed he could fight anyone, but not much else.
With the Blueshirts, we've actually seen he can be an effective hockey player. He forechecks well, uses the body and skates decently (although he won't be confused with Ryan McDonagh anytime soon) to go along with his toughness. With Arron Asham still recovering from back spasms, Haley has almost made fans forget Asham is even on the team.
Last night during the Rangers woeful loss to the Buffalo Sabres, John Tortorella rewarded the grinder for his play by placing him on the second line with Ryan Callahan and Derek Stepan. It nearly paid off as Haley had a prime scoring chance right on the doorstep blockered away by Jhonas Enroth late in the third period.
Here's what Haley had to say after the game last night about his game (courtesy of Brett Cyrgalis of the NY Post):
”It’s my job to do what I’m asked [to do], and just try to play hard,” Haley said. “If it’s four minutes, or eight minutes, or whenever they ask me to do something, I just want to be ready to the best of my ability.”
- I have to say, I've liked what I've seen from Micheal Haley. I'm pleasantly surprised he can do more than goon it up out on the ice. Although, he shouldn't playing in the top-six at any time for any reason.
- Even in limited minutes, he's shown more ability than Stu Bickel. Once Asham comes back, it should be Bickel, not Haley, that gets sent to the Whale. Haley has shown to be, at worst, less of a liability than Bickel.
Would love for Haley to stay, he's playing like he wants to be here. I love the energy he brings, absolutely cranking Jim O'Brien then bashing in Chris Phillips' skull in, great pick up by Sather.
Haley was one of 2 Rangers who looked good last night (Hank was the other). Gabby looked better, which is a testament to how bad he's been playing these days. Oh, I forgot, Stefan and Cally seem to always come ready to play. Where was the rest of the team???
@TheNYRBlog rangers have any interest in Ben Eager?
Somehow, we went back to a team that will only go as far as our superstars can carry us. Just like when Jagr was here, and that is not the way to win championships... The way you win is with every body contributing. Please if you think you are winning the Stanley Cup, let alone getting to the Playoffs with your third line not scoring a goal in over a month you are out of your mind. A lot of you say thats not their job... When you get on the ice I dont care if its the 1st line or the 4th line you have to put the puck in the back of the net. The reason we have been so unsuccessful over the years has been because we rely on "Superstar" players. The truth is last year we did not, besides Hank, and everyone contributed and we went further then we have since '94. Sad thing is we won't be getting back if some big changes are not made.
I'd rather see Bickel replace that waste Gilroy. I'd rather see Asham replace Boyle when comes back. My 3rd line would be Miller centering Pyatt and Haley. My 4th line would be Halpern centering Powe and Asham. Boyle would be my extra forward.
@scoop and slam Actually think he could develop into a Prust type given the right coaching. Same toughness, grit. Better skater.
not really - Avery had some skills to go with his toughness and ability to get under opponents' skin. Haley lacking Avery's skills.
Been very happy with Haley as long as he goes back to his rightful spot on the fourth line tomorrow night, I'm all for him playing over Asham.
@KevinDeLury Its sad but every new contract "fighter type" we brought in for some reason or another does not work......
@KevinDeLury Why didn't Miller get a chance on the second line? Torts line decisions are not just confusing they are downright mind boggling... Stepan Nash Hagelin should be our 1st line for the next 5 years...
@RangerGuy99 @slapshot13j @KevinDeLury Don't get me wrong .. I don't think Boyle should be in the lineup. I think he's soft and the ONLY thing he offers is winning faceoffs and he's not that great at that either. Ok .. he's good on the PK. I wish Kreider was NHL ready in Tort's eyes b/c a third line of Miller centering Gabby Pyatt would be a solid third line with Kreider on the second line with Stepan and Cally. If only!
@TruBluEsp @slapshot13j @KevinDeLury I wouldn't put too much faith in Boyle because i think his "hit stats" are a little off base. I cant remember him to throwing a hit on the fore-check to jar a puck loose. His hits are in the neutral zone just as an opposing player is about to dump the puck in. He was credited with 8 hits last night. Can you honestly tell me that you remember more than one of them being hits that created anything?
@RangerGuy99 @slapshot13j @KevinDeLuryI see your logic but I still don't like Gabby with Nash. They need a guy to go get them the puck down low, along the boards which is what Hagelin does and Cally does. I would tempted to move Pyatt up to a line with Cally and Step, leave Hags with Richards and Nash and try Gaborik with Miller and dare I say Boyle???
there was a time when Gaborik would receive a pass and the puck was released within a fraction of a second. this guy is world class......torts needs to just take a step back and let him play his game. stop with the bull. it has to take a toll on a guy when he gets benched....plays left wing....plays right wing. perfect case of over coaching....just like him calling a timeout last night because he wanted to give our PP1 a rest.
@slapshot13j @TruBluEsp @KevinDeLury there was a time when Gaborik would receive a pass and the puck was released within a fraction of a second. this guy is world class......torts needs to just take a step back and let him play his game. stop with the bull. it has to take a toll on a guy when he gets benched....plays left wing....plays right wing. perfect case of over coaching....just like him calling a timeout last night because he wanted to give our PP1 a rest.
@RangerGuy99 @TruBluEsp @KevinDeLury I was thinking that last night when Hagelin made that pass across ice.... If gaborik was in that situation he shoots from the middle of the ice. With the extra space Nash creates you have to take advantage of it, Hagelin has stopped doing so and i would give Gaborik another chance to play with him
@TruBluEsp @slapshot13j @KevinDeLury The reason he put Richard back with Stepan and Nash was simple.....he can not have Richards and Gabby on the same line. They are probably playing the worst hockey of their careers while Stepan and Cally are playing awesome. What he is thinking is to separate richards and Gabby. Have them play with guys that are producing. I would much rather see Richards playing with Callahan then Gabby. Have Gabby play with nash. i think while Nash attracts attention Gabby could snipe. Gabby's game is a sniper. he has been in the league too long to change his ways. Get him the puck and let him shoot.
definitely agree - fine if he stays but please - not on a top line! His puckhandling was awful and even Boyle probably could have potted that nice feed he got and fluttered into Enroth. Haley's better than the Bickel option and since he's much healthier, better than Asham at this point as well. But I think Torts could have sent the message clearly with a few shifts, not the whole game including with the goalie pulled.
Maybe so but no way in hell should he be playing 2nd Line minutes in the closing minutes of a game. That was f-ing ridiculous
@TheNYRBlog i like him but I just don't think he's suited to be a second liner. I'd also like to see Stepan hagelin and Nash back together
He had a better game than anyone else n the bottom 6 last night. Why not move him up. Gabby was -2 with 3 SOG and no hits, Haley was even with 2 SOG and 2 hits. I have no problem moving him up there until he shows he doesn't belong there or Gabby shows he does. And for anyone wondering Gaborik had 15 minutes of ice time last night, even with 4 Rangers penalties, so while he was demoted he still had ample opportunity to actually do something.
Here is my Messier guarantee.......Michael Haley plays 5-7 minutes on Wednesday night. I would be shocked if he is on the ice with either Stepan and/or Callahan at any time Wednesday night.