Lots going on at the Rangers optional practice. Some good, some not so much.
Katie Strang at ESPN.com reports that Ryane Clowe still isn't sure if he'll play tonight, however, Pat Leonard at the Daily News expects Clowe to take Arron Asham's spot in the line-up after the former Shark left practice early while Asham remained on the ice with the other likely scratches.
...after yesterday's comments about Clowe chomping at the bit to get back and this being a virtual must win game for the Rangers expect Clowe in there.
One player who won't be re-inserted into the line-up is Chris Kreider, who according to Larry Brooks at the New York Post was skating with the taxi squad players this morning.
...re-inserting Kreider into the line-up would be the epitome of a desperation move, but aren't the Rangers in a desperate situation? Going with Kreider last year seemed to ignite the offense, why not see if lightning strikes twice.
In a bit of scary news, Tom Gulitti at the Bergen Record, who has been covering for Andrew Gross (family reasons), notes that Henrik Lundqvist was either stung with a shot or tweaked something making save during practice yesterday. The Rangers netminder stayed face down on ice for a moment before getting up, slamming his stick on the crossbar and leaving the ice.
Gulitti adds that Lundqvist did not skate this morning, but is still expected to start.
...while this news has my heart in my throat, unless aliens kidnap Lundqvist he'll be between the pipes for the Rangers tonight no matter how injured he might be.
Finally, Strang notes that while Marc Staal (eye) skated this morning, he did not speak with the media, so his status for tonight is unclear.
...while I'd love to see Staal return tonight and I think he'd give the team a huge jolt, I'm still very concerned about his blurred vision. Don't think it's worth the risk.
I get it with Kreider and Miller not being in there. Last year there was nothing to lose. If Kreider came in a tanked, it was expected. This time, if he comes in and fails, it could totally ruin his confidence for a long time. This isn't the spot to insert him to "hope" to catch lightning in a bottle.
I don't want to risk Staal playing either. From the sound of this tweet, I don't think we are going to get what we want: https://twitter.com/TSNBobMcKenzie/status/331471696890580992
Clowe must play and the Rangers must hit Ovie hard.
This series simply has to turn ugly tonight if we are going to stand a chance. Canadiens-Senators ugly, if you know what I mean.
The lack of Kreider and Miller from this team is the coaching staff doubling down on this behind the net, grind it out style; which has continued to not produce scoring chances.
I know Kreider has had his issues, but he has more of chance to score then Asham, Dorset, Pyatt, Powe (who I know is PK'er) or Boyle.
If they open the game up doesn't it become more about the goalie? And we have the better goalie so it seems like that is a better strategy. It seems like we aren't using our best asset by playing 1-0 games which can be decided on a fluke play, a deflection or a PP.
Asham has been playing well and is experienced in the postseason. Can't say the same for Powe, another poor choice made by Torts here WTF. God I hope Hank is still in the money. Let's get one tonight in our barn boys
I have been very negative all year. Everyone knows this. The rangers are winning tonight. I think they win 5-2, and Nash has a couple goals. Also, when they do win tonight, they are going to win this series. They are the better team just have gotten no luck (I think Washington had smaller goals for us). Tonight it changes. And the way everything is breaking we don't have to play Pittsburgh next round... Everyone take a chill pill we have them right where we want them... Mark my words. The rangers win tonight... And win this series
Asham should not be sitting. It should b Powe who sits. Dorsett Pyatt & Powe r the same guy plus at least Asham can score a little, Powe can't. I disagree with the Torts critics but here is something I agree w-them on...Kreider needs to b in the lineup & on the one of 1st 2-lines & the PP. If he is bad on D which he supposedly is so what live w-the mistakes he night make hope Lundquist makes the save. Thats why u have a great Goalie so u can take chances!!!! He has to b in the lineup. The Caps defensmen will have a hard time dealing with his speed. A good coach should know that. We lose this series fans r going to want Torts fired...the media is already blaming him for lack of goals. He needs to smarten up!!!!! His subborness may l cost us this series!!!!
@KarimElzebda if the rangers played like the habs I'd throw up. what a garbage team.
@KarimElzebda I'm into that.
@GraigGiuliani Lets face it, Powe has done very little and still plays every game because he is a mucker. I would play Asham and Dorset if i could not play Krieder.
@Iron Mike We need Powe on the PK. I'm fine with the move.
@Josh6 Love the optimism. That's being a fan...the right way!
@ThrSage Powe should be in. He gives good 4th line minutes and is a key penalty killer against a team with the best PP numbers in the NHL. I would like to see Kreider too but I want to see last years Kreider. Not sure we can get him back ...
@ThrSage If Kreider was scoring goals during the regular season, i'd agree with you, but the guy hasn't produced.
@ThrSage I would love to see him play. I'm just not convinced he's healthy enough. When I keep hearing his vision is still blurry and he's still adjusting to that, I'm not confident he should be on the ice. But that's why I'm not a doctor lol
Ok, then don't even watch tonight... You are not a fan... If you don't believe than what's the point of watching
I agree on Powe but there r several guys who could kill penalties...even Nash. Powe needs to sit give the 4th line minutes to Asham or Dorsett. Powe won't make a difference in this series under any circumstance...Kreider has the talent to make a difference so maybe he does.
I agree w-ur thought & I have argued that w-my brother all year. He has been killing Torts for not playing him & I said I agree w-Torts & said the same thing u did. Also he supposedly has been terrible defensivly & away from tve puck. I even posted on here last week that he wasn't as good as we all thought he was in the playoffs cause he was on ice for lots of goals. With all that said he can't b worse than Powe, Asham, Pyat, or even Hags. Theyguys can't score. Though Hags has the l
Lets just hope that is a smoke screen & he is really ready to go. If not I agree if he is not 100% I don't think he should risk it or he will be effective.
@greggray24 @ThrSage Medically I'm sure he's fine. I don't think he would be playing if there could be more damage to the eye. The question is can he see. If not, there may be other damage to deal with when he gets hit without being prepared for it...that's my main concern. And passes to no one but the whole team does that anyway so he won't look out of place lol
@cb1 @ThrSage agreed that Habs were awful, however Sens r a team that takes cheap shots & look to hurt guys intentionally. remember Botle last year? Plus Mclean's an idiot for what he said blaming Diaz for the pass. Again same thing last yr when he defended Neil for his cheap shot on boyle. Good physical hockey is one thing, targeting a guys head is another. Plus they whine like crazy when teams give it back to them. Speaking of claseless did u see Neil playing to the crowd after the fight? thats something NBA players do...not hockey players. As for Clowe I agree u have to be smart however, Caps have been physical w-us & we r not responding, Clowe will keep them honest & he will look to spark the team by hitting/fighting someone.
@ThrSage I'm all for picking a fight to get the team/crowd going, but the Habs played a cheap, classless game the other night.
BTW its almost impossible to play 40-games on a good team & get zerpo points!!!! Somehow Powe did it!!!!
I am a Torts supporter but his stuborness is driving me nuts!!!! The difference between good coaches who win a championship & great coaches who win multiple is the ability to stay true to your core values but recognize when & where u need to adjust. We will see if Torts can make the necessary adjustment this yr and in the future that will b the difference between Cup or being fired!!!!
@scrangersfan Yes it has been. your are correct.
But the coaching staff is stubborn when it comes to who plays and also with respect to who and how this PP gets coached.
@ThrSage agree. we have callahan and Stepan and Boyle to kill penalties. I dont understand the stubbornness of the staff when it comes to who plays. Attention to detail is important but to me that aspect is not the criteria by which a player gets to play. They must produce, and zero points in 40 or so games is not producing. Nothing against him but come on.
You guys can switch whoever you want, unless the powerplay get fixed, this series is over. Hopefully it will mean the end for Tortorella. Time for a coaching change.
I agree the shorten season kept Torts from being patient w-Kreider & Miller. If it was a full season they would have played more.
@Dminches @greggray24 @ThrSage In an 80 game season they would have. Problem is that they were terrible to start the season and then had to fight their into the playoff picture. No room for learning there. It does seem crazy that he would sit one of last years top playoff scorers when we can't buy a goal right now. Hopefully things are different in our house!
I agree get him in there & on the ice. Put him in the top 6 & on the PP. It can't hurt cause though we may lose the series if we do win it won't cause Powe or any of those guys.
Sorry hit post comment by mistake so I continue....Hags has 1-g in 19 Playoff games. Maybe Kreider gets hot and scores a few. Maybe his speed opens the ice for his linemates. Maybe he bombs scores none & gives up 5-goals while on ice. Who knows but its worth a shot. He gave us an unexpected jolt lime last yr. its worth a shot cause not only have we got zero goals from the guys I mentioned above they aren't even a threat so the Caps don't have to respect them when tbere on the ice