When you're up against a team as physical and as deep as the Bruins, you'd like to have all hands on deck.
Unfortunately for the Rangers, two guys they couldn't afford to not have in the line-up for this series are sidelined indefinitely.
The absence of Marc Staal and Ryane Clowe in this series has been obvious.
Their big bodies and toughness is sorely needed. Way too often I'm watching the Bruins bullying the Rangers with no response.
Think about having Clowe out there to match Milan Lucic's nasty, grinding style and challenge him when needed. Or Marc Staal being paired with Dan Girardi to form a shutdown pair that wouldn't allow players like Brad Marchand and Gregory Campbell to roam free in front of the net. Plus it would allow John Tortorella to cut Michael Del Zotto's minutes.
I also think they would have been able to help the Rangers anemic power play. Staal's puck moving ability is sorely needed on the man advantage as the Rangers are having issues even gaining the Bruins zone, while Clowe's willingness to go to the front of the net and cause havoc could do wonders for a team allergic to the blue paint in the crease.
Listen, I get it, every team has injuries and it's no excuse, but the Rangers are lacking a nastiness in this series that both players could offer.
Since I'm not counting on either one being available, my hope is that Derek Dorsett's fight against Gregory Campbell in the third period was a sign that enough is enough and that we're going to see a much better and motivated Rangers team starting tomorrow night at MSG....
Hear me out people before you castigate me. Ryan Clowe is damaged goods. San Jose knew it and sold us a guy they KNEW was hurting. Mr. Clowe knew that the only way he would get a lucrative contract to continue the money he was making was to go elsewhere and give us a taste of what he could do in the playoffs. I know for a fact that a lot of players are represented by the same agent and have very close ties to some highly visible NHL GM's. This transaction stinks to high heaven. It's the same crap that Jeremy Lin pulled on us. Hold out as an injured player because of the risk of getting another concussion (if it is), or off-season surgery which could jeopardize future earnings. The last game Ryan Clowe played when he got hurt he went out for another shift. If he was concussed would the New York Rangers be liable for such? Players are not paid in the Post Season only when they win the Stanley Cup and that money is pooled. I am very bitter because I have a very funny feeling this is what is happening. Prove me otherwise!. NHL policy is when a player has a concussion that information must be divulged.
We can cry about missing these guys or accept the fact that given the injuries, which are of course part of the game we do not match up well physically with the Bs. this is fact. So will the coaching staff continue to be stubborn and use a playing philosophy that better suits the Bs team or make adaptations to try to better utilize our superior speed and talent (yes, I absolutely believe we are the faster and more talented squad). Torts is a good coach in many ways but his coaching style matches his personality IMHO. Arrogant and smug. Get that ego our of the way now - otherwise (unless the Kings stands on is head) we are going down in 5 games, or less. We're a better team than this and we can beat these guys. They have not been spectacular. It's just that we've been mediocre with a powerplay that is a liability. Speed, transition/counterpunching, clogging the middle, challenging up high and only collapsing down low. I believe these adjustments alone would tilt things in our favor. I'm not saying to not play tough and physical. You need that to win too but stop trying to play to the Bs strengths and start exploiting their weaknesses.
Quite often, the infusion of a young player brought up from the minors to play in the playoffs sparks a team to advance and provides a springboard for his career. We've seen this last year with Krieder, this year with the Bruins' three young defensemen. So with the Rangers short on size and defensemen, why not give Dylan McIllrath a shot? The guy fills a need on both fronts and has been in the minors for too long for a first round choice. What gives? If we're gonna lose, let's go down fighting!
Staal and Clowe being out are HUGE. The team would be a heckuva lot better off with em in. Staal would singlehandedly solve matching up against those top 2 lines. Clowe would help compete against those big bodies. Alas, they ain't playing right now so no sense complaining about it.
Staal has been a part timer for a good portion of his career. If they have to count on him to get past the second round it's time to quit watching.
I have said from when he got hurt we can win a round or 2 w-out Staal but we couldn't go very far w-out him. Injuries are not an excue but sometimes they are a reason. Especially in todays parity ridden NHL. Think the Kings would have won w-out Doughty last year? Or the Bruins w-out Chara, Hawks w-out Keith. I am not saying Staal is as good as those guys but he is just as, if not more important to use as those top guys are to them. I will say before he took that puck to the eye that Staal was on his way to being as good as those guys.
Simple truth is that the team has who it has and they either step up and get it done or not..They have done that a couple of times this year already! Backs against the wall boys.
@KevinDeLury"Listen, I get it, every team has injuries and it's no excuse, but the Rangers are lacking a nastiness in this series that both players could offer."
I don't buy it. It is just excuse making.
Boston has three rookie defenseman in the lineup.
And Staal is not nasty, tough, but not nasty.
Tortorella's Rangers will always put undue pressure on Hank and the D because they can't score, especially on the PP. Maybe he steals a series here or there, but they don't score and when the PP is 0-8 over 2 playoff games and 2-32 over 9, you get what you see, a 4-5 hockey team with an outstanding goaltender.
You hit the nail on the head, Kevin. Staal is our best defenseman, and Clowe creates havoc on opposing players in the neutral/O zones. Without them, we just aren't quite deep enough or tough enough to beat a balanced, talented, experienced team like the Bruins. Not saying it's over, but the climb is a whole lot more difficult without these two. Sadly, I think it will be next year (if then) that we see them again. That said, I really like our core, and our future is very bright. Just need a few more pieces and some time to let it all gel (but not too long -- Hank isn't getting any younger!)
Sorry but Bruins not playing with 3 starting def either & have rookies playing major minutes which Rangers should be exploiting. Rangers simply getting outplayed in all three phases. Torts should bench Richards & Hags as both are soft & don't finish checks against a tough Bruin line-up. I'd insert JT Miller & Hanley/Bickel.
I get that injuries happen too. But when hockey players do not wear visors, they are not being responsible to their teammates, the fans, the owners, and themselves. If Stall is out because of the eye injury, and not from previous concussion issues, then he has let us all down. I feel any player that does not use the shield, should not be paid when they can not play if they sustain an eye injury.
Get Del Zotto off the ice even if it means replacing him with the Zamboni driver. Everyone is focusing on Girardi playing poorly but he keep getting hung out to dry.
Yea I would be very surprised to see Staal and Clowe next series, no chance they play against Boston even if it goes 7 games. They aren't even practicing non-contact.... its done
Clowe is really turning out to be a very expensive guy who watches from the press box (if he can even get to the press box). Was worried about his cost when we got him but was excited to see him perform in the playoffs. Obviously you can't predict injuries but man is this ugly.
@DimensionRanger Longest playoff run the Rangers have had was with him 100% healthy last season.
@Brukie_ They traded for him to bring in the element he brings. Toughness along the boards & in front of the net. Not to mention the ability to score goals.
@Brukie_ spot on. you are missing the potential of what Clowe could be. He played 12 uninspiring games actually
What next series Josh 6 ? They're never going to get passed the Bruins. Haven't you been watcing the last 2 games, this team is done. Stick a fork in them. All lundqvist have to be is just good and they will never win another game. He must stand on his head to give the team a chance to win and he looks tired, very tired.
The issue has been the traffic in front of the net. There have been too many shots that Lundqvist can't see. If they don't correct that this is going to be a short series.
@greggray24 I thought it was a done deal that Rangers would re-sign him this offseason. Not so sure anymore.
@Iron Mike U can't pay Prust 2.5-m a year in the Cap era. If there was no Cap I guarantee u he would have been signed. Prust is a heart soull jack of all trade type guy. You can find those for 500-K a year. What did Prusts toughness do for Habs? or for us last year? He is a good guy but u just can't pay him that kind of money i the Cap era!!!!
@Iron Mike No matter what you say about Prust you cant sink 2.5 million into him in this day of the Cap
@Iron Mike it wasnt worth 2.5 million a year, and honestly Dorsett has seemed to fill that void very nicely. I think the only negative about the Rangers that they need to fix, are three things:
1. Brad Richards has no business in this lineup
2. Trade Del Zaster and Mcilrath plays next year
3. Find a PP qb
otherwise I really think this Rangers team has looked more than capable at times
@_Jack @rangerface @KevinDeLury I don't buy the we are not tough enough crap. Thats the 2nd thing every fan says right after its the coaches fault. Toughness is defined alot of ways. Its in Mcdonough taking a hit to the face then playing through it. Its getting in front of a Chara shot. its Dorsett taking a cross check to the face & not retaliating. The rangers lost these 2-games for 3-reasons in order;
1-Hank was not Hank.
2-Defensive zone breakdowns.
3-The inability to score more then 2-goals. Led by the embarrasment we call a PP.
Fans/writers/bloggers who claim "we r not tough enuff" just say that cause they don't know what else to say & its easy to say however its nonsense. this team is plenty tough enough. Its needs offense!!!!!
@scrangersfan U may give up but I am not. I am sure u were many who gave up down 3-2 to Devs in 94????
I still believe LGR!!!!!!
@Dminches Bingo...Dminches. Other teams get rebound & deflections we don't. Its also the major reason our PP stinks!!!!
I agree but they really need to re-sign him. With him and Dorsett the Rangers would be hard to play against.
You forgot the 4th, the the most important fix the team needs Josh6, Tortorella and Sullivan must be sent packing because this team will never ever win the cup with those clowns.
@Muggs62 If he stays healty
@Muggs62 While true, if he can't stay on the ice how effective can he be?
@rangermom @Brukie_ @Iron Mike Guys, I'm clearly in denial lol But we lost some big balls with Prusty and Dubi and I don't think they've really figured out a way to fill that hole. Clowe is not it. He's old and injury prone. Once concussed, always concussed it that makes any sense. I hate looking weak. Boston makes us look weak.