In the game recap comments section last night, reader "slapshot13j" asked if anyone knew when the last time a 3rd or 4th line player scored in a game for the Rangers was.
While I assumed this was a rhetorical question, TheNYRBlog's James Wrabel actually came up with the answer: February 10th by Arron Asham vs. the Lightning.
That can't be. It's impossible for a team to go almost a month (12 games) without getting a goal from a bottom six player. Right?
Let's make sure James didn't miss a Darroll Powe goal in there somewhere...
February 12th, 4-3 SO win vs. Bruins: Hagelin, Stepan & Stralman
February 14th, 4-3 SO loss vs. Isles: Girardi, Gaborik & Hagelin
February 16th, 2-1 win vs. Caps: Stepan & Hagelin
February 19th, 3-1 loss vs. Habs: Stralman
February 21st, 3-2 OT loss vs. Sens: Callahan & McDonagh
February 23rd, 3-0 loss vs. Habs: no goals
February 26th, 4-3 loss vs. Jets: Callahan, Pyatt (played w/ Richards & Gabby) & Stralman
February 28th, 4-1 win vs. Bolts: Hagelin, Stepan, Staal, Nash
March 3rd, 3-2 win vs. Sabres: Stepan & Nash
March 5th, 4-2 win vs. Flyers: Callahan (2) & Nash (2)
March 7th, 2-1 OT win vs. Isles: Nash & Gaborik
March 8th, 3-2 loss to Sens: Nash & Richards
...wow, that's awful. Pretty much confirms if the top six aren't going the Rangers have no chance.
...after the Rupp trade for Powe and the recall of Miller I was convinced that the depth problems which plagued this Rangers team earlier in the season were over, but these developments have me thinking twice.
...do you realize that Brian Boyle hasn't scored a goal since Game 3 vs. the Senators last year?!?!?!?! And Halpern has yet to score his first goal as a Ranger.
Speaking of Rangers lack of depth...
Smart move by NY Rangers letting John Mitchell go. He's a player— adater (@adater) March 9, 2013
Yes, that John Mitchell now has eight goals this season after his tally last night helped Colorado end Chicago's 24-game point streak.
Rick Nash (9 goals) is the only Rangers player who has found the back of the net more than Mitchell.
The people who I think need to be scoring more goals are named Richards, Gaborik and Boyle, not Halpern and Powe.
Mitchell is getting top 6 minutes in Colorado, you guys really think he'd have 8 goals here?
If I was Sather. I'd do the following: Asham traded to a team in desperate need of physicality (thinking Colorado) for a 5th round pick. Call up Mashinter to replace him, less injury prone, much tougher fighter, much younger, and has a bit more of a scoring touch. Then I'd trade Gaborik to STL for Chris Stewart and Vladdy Sobotka, gives us some sweet depth and gives us a new Brandon Dubinsky in Stewart, also gets rid of Gabby's expensive contract so we can resign McD, Hags, and Steps the end of the season (it won't be easy we'll be quite limited in space). In addition it finally gives STL a go to goal scorer that they don't have and really need with Tarasenko out and Perron being streaky. I'm sure we can convince Gabs to waive his NTC to get out of the harsh lights of NYC media. Also, send Boyle (cause we're obv not keeping him) to a team that needs an upgrade in their PK (thinking COL again but to be less redundant, send him maybe to NSH or ANA) again for a 3rd or 4th round pick. In the end, we get some nice depth, a couple of new picks for a great draft coming up, and more money to resign our up-coming RFA's. Thoughts anyone?
@PenaltySh0t So let us get this straight.....A. What makes you think that Colorado wants to trade for a guy that is injured and hasn't played in what, 6 games?
B. You want a "new Dubinsky"? A player that holds out, demands money that he isn't worth and then score a whole 10 goals?
C. Why would St. Louis trade two 25 year olds for Gaborik? And why do you want to trade a 3 time 40+ goal scorer for a guy that never scored more than 7 in a season?D. Why would a team surrender a 3rd or 4th rounder for a former defenseman turned center that has zero goals on the season?
@Beckfan5 Well it was a suggestion but I meant when he's healthy obviously.....not right this second. I only suggested trade because it would be a waste to buy him out. Second, you obviously know that's not what I meant, I meant a guy who has a good scoring touch, works hard, and stands up for his teamates, he was getting in Clowe's face for a tiny hit from behind on Perron in the SJS-STL game today. St Louis doesn't have a go to guy for goals, they have to score as a team, and it doesn't always work out that way. Gaborik would give them that guy for 2 very dispensable players (Backes plays Stewarts game better than he does, and Oshie plays similarly). Gaborik just doesn't fit in our system, he never did, and I think he's capable of more in STL, while we get guys that play a very Torts-esque game. Intresting you note it, Vladdy scored a hattrick today which I didn't ever see coming, and frankly, how many goals does he have now? 7. How many does our ENTIRE bottom 6 have? counting Pyatt and not Miller,...........a grand total of 5. Boyle is the same as Asham, try to trade somewhere where he's needed, and plenty of teams need a big guy who blocks shots and kills penalties and Boyle has a very healthy contract, and maybe 5th or 6th rounder considering Boyle's had one shit show of a season so far. I think I made a pretty good analysis haha
@PenaltySh0t if we're out of the playoff picture, maybe.
I agree that we shouldn't be freaking out too much, but Boyle honestly is the only one I'm concerned about. What happened to this dude?
Let's take a look at each player who plays on our bottom six and their stats from last season (Miller won't be included here due to...well...him not being in the NHL):
Powe: 6 goals in in 82 games
Halpern: 4 goals in 69 games
Bickel: 0 goals in 51 games
Haley: 0 goals in 14 games
Pyatt: 9 goals in 73 games
Boyle: 11 goals in 82 games
Asham: 5 goals in 64 games
In 435 games last season, they have scored 35 goals. If we want scoring from our bottom six players, then maybe we should put someone who could actually score on the 3rd or 4th line. Let's face it, the way this team is built this season, the top two lines provide offense, the third line provides defense, and the fourth line is there because we need a place to put Halpern.
And don't say, Miller is on the third line he should be scoring. The kids 19 and while he looks good out there, he's still feeling his way around the league.
I think Torts is cut from the same cloth as Tom Coughlin. Only after Coughlin lightened up a bit did the giants win the Super Bowl. John Mitchell would never have 8 goals right now on this team. Why? Well the obvious answer is we have a top loaded team, and the second answer is, Torts would never put him in a position to succeed that way. So Torts needs to loosen the reigns a bit so that a Kreider, Miller, Powe, and Halpern can succeed more. It's all on Torts, he's a genius in some ways and his own worst enemy in other ways.
Good God enough already! Last year, everyone was bitching about the lack of secondary scoring from our 2nd line, which was valid. Now, it's all about tertiary scoring from our 3rd and 4th lines??? Sure it would be nice if they scored more, but their job is defense and energy, not offense. Ottawa's goalie settled down and made some pretty good saves and got a bit lucky, otherwise we're talking about a 5 game win streak. But noooo, panic sets in and now we're lamenting about P.A. Parenteau and John friggin Mitchell??? Yea, they are doing so well that their team is in 13th in their conference and they have 4 less points than the Rangers. You can't win em' all (see Chicago). So instead of looking for reasons for the sky to fall, how about we just chalk it up to a loss and look forward to a win against the Caps.
What does a teams standing have to do whith how well a guy is playing? Good players wind up on bad teams all the time, that doesn't diminish a players skills!
@gravey94 You understand last year we did have scoring from our third line and fourth line even.... they came through in the clutch wether it was Mike Rupp in the winter classic or Brian Boyle in the playoffs. The great teams, such as the Bruins, Blackhawks and Penguins get goals from their entire lineup. For the Rangers 3rd and 4th line to not have a goal in a month, is like they are out there just to waste time and try to go even... that is not what you want. Halpern, Powe, Boyle, Bickel all have 0 goals, Asham has 1 and Miller has 2. That is horrible
@Beckfan5 @slapshot13j @gravey94 No that's not much at all. You guys are ridiculous. None of you will be happy until we get have a 20-goal scorer on all 4 lines. And to reference the ONLY two clutch goals Mike Rupp scored doesn't mean you've made an argument that he was a clutch scorer. We've won 4 out of 5, with a game in hand on most teams, if not two. Stop finding reasons to whine.
@slapshot13j Overblown in my opinion. If your top lines are going then you have more of a chance to roll with the 3/4 lines and they get more opportunities. Powe, Miller, and Asham have all played 15 games or less this year, so are you really expecting to get significant contributions from Bickel and Haley? I'll give you that Boyle has been a major disappointment in the goal department and you would hope to get more from Pyatt and Halpern as the season moves on, but I just don't see the lack of scoring from the bottom 6 as a major problem, as long as they are doing what they are supposed to. My guess is that by the end of the season their numbers will be right around where they were last year, just by default.
I have never seen such little depth on any team in any sport... To not have a goal for a month from the 3rd or 4th line is terrible. I see a lot of guys saying they are not getting enough time, the 3rd line gets probably 12-15 minutes a game. It might not be what the league average is, but no goals in a month... Are you serious. I blame that on the coaching and the players, is Arron asham really the only one in our bottom 6 that can score?
@slapshot13j It's the coaches fault that Boyle can't keep the puck on his stick? Or that Pyatt can't stickhandle? Or that Powe can't hit the net? Or that Halpern can't make a play?
it's tough for the bottom 6 guys to get going when they don't get a regular shift. i think if Torts had a little consistency there, you might see more offensive production out of them.
We need Glenn to make some deals, I know we are short in the back end but if staal isn't it too much longer would you guys miss del zotto the way he played last night I know I wouldn't
For that matter the D haven't exactly been on fire either. Powe has certainly contributed but like the rest of the bottom 6 has been jinxed. Mitchell was ok but Prust was a bigger loss at the time and I don't think anyone could have expected such numbers from either one. Boyle like gabby and apparently the rest of the bottom 6 is snake bitten. Boyle suffers from Ritchie syndrome and is better at giving the puck to the other team than to anyone on his own team. If am not mistaken you have to shoot to score and most of the bottom 6 guys aren't shooting. Pyat started out strong but has disappeared and halpern started slow but is hampered with limited ice and saddled with guys that aren't exactly offensive threats - it's not like Bicks is likely to give him any sweet setups or bury too many for that matter. I understand match ups and torts wanting to get the advantage but remember how effective it looked when we rolled all four lines instead of two. Yes the high skilled players need to show up (gabby the ghost and Ritchie the giveaway king I am looking at you) but relying on two lines of F and two lines of D isn't going to win a championship. They have to play as a team and everyone has to contribute! Lets hope hammer can mentor Delzaster and teach him to know his position and play D while still being an offensive threat. There's always lots to critique in a loss and they lost momentum in the third clearly, but there are great takeaways too and the talent is starting to gel. Don't loose faith - LET'S GO RANGERS!!! Crush the craps!!!
Acting as if John Mitchell with his 8 goals so far this season is the new Brett Hull is like expecting Brian Boyle to duplicate his 25 goal season from 2 seasons ago.
@Beckfan5 I don't think anyone is insinuating that, but it is discouraging to see a former bottom six guy playing so well while the Rangers' can't even get a puck to deflect off their ass and go in the net.
@KevinDeLury So what makes people think that Mitchell would have been successful this season in this system?
I know it's easy to blame Torts for not playing the bottom six guys, but it's not like Boyle, Halpern and Powe never see the ice. And also for all the good Miller has been doing he hasn't scored in 13 games.
@KevinDeLury no but a lot of time for Powe and Halpern are on PK and when saddled with bicks it's not like they're getting any offensive support!
@Beckfan5 @KevinDeLury LOL it sounds like we pretty much agree - I certainly don't place all blame on bicks simply pointing out that he isn't helping his or the teams cause with his play! As I pointed out its a team game and no one player is to blame, but the fact that the roll guys aren't trying to challenge for top six time IS disappointing! Their predicament is compounded by torts insistence on changing lines and not rolling all four lines or all the D for that matter. What good did it do us last year when bicks rode the pine all night in a triple overtime game?!? We need out top lines to have jump not digging deep because they've never gotten a breather... It catches up to the best conditioned athletes! A double shift now and then makes sense rolling only two lines for entire periods doesn't!!!
You are placing the blame on the 12th forward? Look at the shots on goal from the other 5 players over the last few games. No one is creating scoring chances other than Miller.
Halpern, Powe, Haley, Asham and Pyatt all have roles on this team. But none of them are creating any scoring opportunities.
And don't get me started on Boyle. Like you stated above, he passes the puck more to the opposition than he does to his own teammates.
@Beckfan5 @KevinDeLury no just that he is a mitigating factor. When was the last time bicks took a shot or made a decent pass to anyone on his own team?!? I like bicks and I know he's in a tough spot, but he isn't inspiring confidence in anyone!!! He is a team player and although not really a great fighter doesn't shy away from standing up for his teammates - the problem is he lacks confidence and possibly the skill to really be a factor on the ice. I think sending him down and letting him play big min at the whale would do wonders. Haley is clearly more effective and when ash makes the occasional appearance they fill in more voids and hopefully will allow torts to gain a little confidence in the bottom six so that he can roll all four lines!
One of the many reasons the Rangers will not go far in the playoffs, if they even make it. Very discouraging considering the expectations for this team coming into this season.
Not only Mitchell but Parenteau as well. He sored his 10 goal and picked up 2 helpers last night. He now has 10 goals and 13 assists. Just another player that genius Tortorella had no use for. The Rangers will never will the CUP as long as this guy remains as coach!
To me, we have Nash now...but are in no better a situation than we were last season. The secondary scoring is the problem. One guy - whether it's Nash or Gabby - cannot carry the team alone. So frustrating!
It is tough to score from the bench if you are a fourth liner because Torts hardly ever play them in the third period.
Boyle is a huge disappointment this year. It is time to ship him out maybe during the trading deadline?
And what About Pareteau? They let him walk as well! This is all on the coach who has way too much input in the players that stay or go.
@BrendyJohnson Agreed, but it's not like they tried very hard to keep him. Not that he deserved much of a fight, but still, with the Rangers lack depth it's tough to see a bottom six guy succeed like that for someone else.