And I don't think Avery was ready for regular season hockey.
Yesterdays game was essentially an elimination playoff game for the Rangers. Avery was benched infavor of MZA, who was down in Hartford up until yesterday.
They will play MZA for as long as his play deserves it.
This was solely for shootout purposes, which Torts readily admitted. I see Aves gettin a shot in the PO's, but will he be able to keep his spot? Not if he keeps playing lifeless hockey. I was one who saw the skill in Avery and he shows it every once in a while, but his hockey play has def had a set back this year.
There are a few things that have to happen for the Rangers to win this series.
1. Lundqvist must be great.
2. We must get more power plays than penalties. Stay out of the box. Washington has the #2 ranked PK in the NHL.
3. We must control possession and score goals from the grind at even strength. This makes the Prust and Anisimov lines especially important.
4. Gaborik must make an appearance, in at least 2 games.
5. Staal-Girardi must play like Staal-Girardi, and our rookie dmen cannot falter.
Agree with 1-3, 5. But #4 I have a problem with. You want an elite NHL forward who makes 7.5 mil to show up in only 2 games? Gaborik needs to be a presence in every game. I think you gave him 2 games because you know that showing up in more than that is too much to ask.
beat me to it King. my thoughts exactly except i think you throw out the season series results. I was at the Caps/FLA game on weds & WAS looked awfull (they won in spite of it) except for OV who will be a BEAST to contain this postseason. NY is used to playing playoff like games for the last 2 months, question is - do they have enough left? i say YES
I know the caps have been a different team since we last played them, but I really like the way we match up against them. They're a team we can outplay in terms of individual battles and physicality even on their best day. Their goaltending and defense can be suspect at times. We've got the tools to slow down Ovechkin on defense. We just need to show up and have guys step up big the way they did yesterday (come on, no one in the world would've guessed Drury, Wolski, and McDonagh would all score goals yesterday).
Gaborik and Prospal need to have big series IMO. McCabe needs to really step up and QB the powerplay. Other guys need to play their roles as well (Drury needs to be a PK presence and win faceoffs the way he did yesterday. Boyle and Prust need to push people around the way they did yesterday.)
All the lines need to bring the energy they have most of the year.
It'll be interesting to see who Torts goes with on the 4th line and on defense. The lack of a shootout in the playoffs leaves the status of Christensen, Wolski and MZA up in the air (I suspect MZA will be sent back down). Eminger V. Gilroy is interesting. I was surprised to see Gilroy get the call for the Devils game.
The lack of a shootout in the playoffs leaves the status of Christensen, Wolski and MZA up in the air (I suspect MZA will be sent back down). Eminger V. Gilroy is interesting. I was surprised to see Gilroy get the call for the Devils game.
Remember, Christensen had a huge game when we beat Washington 7-0 I expect Torts to leave him in and send MZA down possibly?
Emrick said the Rangers-Caps will be start Wednesday night on VS. He was plugging the VS and NBC schedules. NBC will have Detroit-Phoenix next Sunday.
You sure it was Sunday and not Saturday? That means Rangers - Caps would have to be on NBC Saturday so the schedule would go Wednesday - Saturday than back to MSG Monday. No way NBC passes up Ovechkin and the Caps and the big market Rangers.
Feel better about our chances beating the Caps with this team than the team we had two years ago. We're younger, more balanced and grittier. We have more resources to draw from. Callahan is a huge loss though. There is no one even close to him on our team in regard to hitting and pressuring an opponents defense on the forecheck--throw in the rest of his game and that's a big loss.
The Caps may be exploitable on defense. Green just coming back from a concussion--Wideman and Poti are out. If Green is not 100% he might not be all that effective on the pwp which could hurt them a lot. Rangers have to be patient and resilent--and stay away from needless penalties.
The last go around with them the Rangers were dominated in our own end even in games we won. It's a testament to how good Lundqvist was in that series that we even got past five. The Caps should win this but I think we have a much better chance of pulling off an upset this time around.