The New York Rangers took it on the road to LA to face the very dangerous Kings. Brian Boyle played for LA last year, and after the game I am sure he wished he was back in the Kings line up. Boyle played a record breaking 7:32 in last nights game.
Olli Jokinen and Brandon Prust made their debut with the Rangers. Prust made his presence known in the second period as he pounded away on Kings forward Brandon Segal. Prust had some nice hits during the game and played a total of 7:41.
The Rangers scoring issue was once again an issue as they went scoreless in the first two periods. Change a couple of players, keep the same system, same style, and again, no goals. HMMMM!
Tortorella tried to go with five forwards on the power play, and that was a really great idea. Players are having scoring issues , you have the man advantage, why not go with five forwards. However, on a good defensive play BY Sean O'Donald ,deflecting a pass with his skate, and Anze Kopitar skates his way in and totally beat Henrik Lundqvist high glove side. It was a sweet shot, and Henrik had no idea where the puck was heading as he was looking down as the puck went over his left shoulder.
The Rangers were missing fore checking as well as back checking. The Kings pressured the Rangers and for the most part controlled the game. The Kings had the better of the scoring chances, and were able to make the best of them.
At 11:14 in the third, Ryan Smyth skates past Rozsival as Dustin Brown passes the puck through Rosy on the Tape of Smyth who makes it a 2-0 game. Great defense Rosy. That is whyhe sees 20 minutes plus every game. he didn't even make an effort on containing the puck carrier.
Olli Jokinen played fairly well, had a few shots on goal, and missed the net a few times as well.
The Rangers power play went 0-3 and shortly after the last one, Erik Christensen is put back on the first line with Prospal and Gabby , makes a great pass to Gabby who knocks it in for a Rangers goal. Again , Christensen to Gabby, on the FIRST LINE. Something that has clicked since Christensen was placed on that line.
Again the Rangers fail to score a goal in the last minute to tie the game as they lose 2-1.
The Rangers did not play well again, as LA controlled the game. With the new additions to the Blueshirts roster, Tortorella choose to leave Enver Lisin out of tonight’s line up. This makes no sense as Enver has looked extremely good in the last few games and has scored a few goals as well. What more does he need to do if anything before Tortorella opens his dam eyes and sees that Enver belongs on the ice. What is Tortorella’s problem with Enver Lisin. The problem is not Lisin , it is Tortorella and as a result, another lose for the Blue shirts.
You want to play Gabby 20 plus minutes, go ahead. with the amount of time he plays, he should have 50 goals already. Mean while the rest of the team does not improve nor do they get the chance to improve. then Tort wants them to score goals. It is Amazing how this joke of a coach ever became a head coach.
Did we really expect anything different. Kopitar, Brown , Smyth, and Richardson, do we need to say more?
The Rangers have issues. Looking at the line ups, looking at the choices Tortorella is making are just horrible. Before the season started they had an issue in lack of centers. Now the line up for tonight they played more centers with less wingers. Some players are not comfortable playing other postions. Gabby was one of them.
It does not matter who you put with Gabby and Christensen. Prospal , Jokinen, Dubinsky. Dubs played well there and that line looked good.
Further more they need to place someone to control the puck on Callahan’s line. Cally should not be controlling the puck behind the net. What will it take for these idiots to realize this.
The line up should be this. The first line left winger can vary. Dubs as I said looked good there. Prospal always looks good with Gabby. Even Avery played well there.
Left wing center right wing
Dubs Christensen \ Gabby
Prospal Jokinen Cally
Avery Anisimov Lisin
Voros Boyle/Drury Prust
Del Zotto Gilroy
The second line is just as important as the first line. With Cally being as affective as he is in front of the net, you need to place him with players that can control the puck and players that have great offensive awareness. Jokkinen and Prospal are perfect for that line.
The third line needs to see a lot of ice time as well. Lisin with his wicked shot can score anywhere. Where as Avery is more of a slot man. Anisimov is a player that can move and control the puck, who can also score from anywhere. However Artem loves to crash the net. These three players have been good together and should be played a lot!
The forth line are all big guys. Boyle needs to use his size and be physical. Feeding off Prust’s and Voros’s physical play, it can indeed turn Boyle into a more tougher, physical player. If you add Drury to it, he is good at defense and regardless of what he has done, Drury is always a scoring threat. He can turn anything into a scoring chance.
As for the first line, GO BACK TO WHEN Christensen first played on that line. It worked and they were scoring goals. Dubs is questionable and he can be rotated if he des not play well. But if that is the case he moves down to the third line, not the second line. Placing Anisimov on the first line as a winger. Of course this is if that second line looks good and produces.
There is not a lot of games left in this season. 25 to be exact. But this is what has been needed to be done since game one. These lines have to stay in tact for at least five games. See what works and what does not work. One game is not the answer. Five is still cutting it short, but with the amount of games left, that leaves you with almost two months to work with. Fives games for every line that does not work . The top three lines has to see ice time. Tortorella can not just play that third line for 3 minutes. THEY HAVE TO PLAY. How else can they find out if that line works or not. All the line changing has done nothing but get them to were they are now. That is clueless.
As for the defensive line ups. The time has come to just cut lose of Redden and Rosy. The time is now. Move on and get better, bigger and tougher. As well as add to the offense. The Rangers do have players in Hartford that can indeed get the job done if given the fair chance.
Del Zotto and Gilroy would make a very good pairing. Reason being is this. Del Zotto is a litte better on the offensive side as Gilroy is a little better in the defense. DEL is more physical, where as Gilroy is more defensively aware. Both players are extremely deadly at the point and both are very good at sliding down low in the offensive zone adding to the offense. Now every team has to worry about 5 players instead of three when you have Rosy and or Redden Staal or Girardi on the ice.
If you add Sangs and Heikk with Staal and Girardi you have a fairly nice mix of offense and defense. Look I rather get rid of GirArdi too, but for now if we are stuck with him so be it. But use him the right way. That is strictly defense. Same goes for Staal.
There it is, don’t hold your breathe we all know Tortorella does not see this so it will never happen. Not my dream team, but if we have to work with the players we have right now, that is the line up.