Agreed. Where's all this "Torts doesn't play favorites" talk now? Bickel was absolute garbage last game.
The "Torts doesn't play favorites" tome went out the window a long time ago. References: Boyle, Brian......Fedotenko, Ruslan.........Bickel, Stu...........Rupp, Mike..........Dubinsky, Brandon. Stralman has not been perfect, but if d-men are earning their benchings, Staal and Bickel should be sitting before he does.
I cant say for sure but my guess is that its the same reason as why the Knicks usually get the back page of most papers. Basketball has a bigger fan base.
Maybe but I don't think the gap between the fanbases is anywhere near the size of the gap between media coverage. Hockey is very mainstream in New York, but you'd think it was a fringe sport if you turn on your tv or pick up the paper. It's down there with ****in lacrosse.
This is exactly what I'm talking about. Are they still in 4th in the Conference? Yes? Are they still behind the Rangers in the division? Yes. Are they still in position to face the Flyers in the first round? Yes. Has this all held true despite them going on an 11-0-0 run? Yes.
I get that they are playing well right now. But it seems too many of you are assuming the Rangers will continue to be mired in mediocrity while the Penguins don't miss a beat for the duration of the year. They STILL have to get 3 points over the Rangers (5 if the Rangers win tonight) to take over 1st place. Did you all forget that the Penguins aren't the only team with games left?
The Rangers could go 6-3-3 in their last 12 games. That'd force the Penguins to go 10-2-0 in their last 12. They are still a decent bit away, and far enough to where once the Rangers start heating up again, the gap will widen. They WILL NOT continue to be undefeated for the rest of the season. In fact, if they do, I will eat a Penguins hat and post it on YouTube.
At the same time, the Rangers won't continue to play 43.75% hockey for the rest of the year (3-4-1 in their last 8, without Lundqvist [only a Vezina favorite], Callahan [only the team captain], and del Zotto [only one of the team's best defenseman]). The Penguins got to piss and moan all year about not having Letang and Crosby, but Cally, Lundy, and MdZ are equally as important (if not moreso) to the Rangers.
So unless you are all thinking the Rangers will go 5-6-1 in their last 12 (Penguins would still need to go 6-4-2 in their's to overtake them), while the Penguins continue this tear, then they are still not the Cup favorites.
Remember when the "big bad Bruins" were "dominating" everyone and were going to "make the Rangers cry" or some stupid nonsense like that.
Penguins are the current fad. They're the current "hot team".
The Rangers have been THE team all season. It took Boston going on a highly unlikely 20+ game stretch to catch the Rangers in the standings, and then fell back to Earth.
The Penguins are on an improbable stretch, and it wont last just like Boston didn't last.
The only team in the league that has been able to maintain consistently is the Rangers.
Rangers win two or three in a row again and suddenly Pittsburgh is far off in the rearview mirror.
Get Callahan, Del Zotto, and Lundqvist back in the lineup.
Hopefully get Kreider signed for a shot of adrenaline.
We won't have to worry about Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Boston, or New Jersey in the playoffs. They're all going to knock eachother off.
We will be concerned with Washington, Winnipeg, Ottawa for the first two rounds. MAYBE New Jersey.
So, as a fanbase we piss and moan that the top-4 D on our team are playing too much and our idiot coach needs to rest them, then when he actually starts doing it, we start complaining that our coach is an idiot because the horses aren't getting all the time we'd want them to get?
Stralman in his last 5 games has averaged around 16:30 TOI.
Del Zotto in his last 5 games has averaged around 18:30 TOI.
McDonagh's last 5: around 23:30 TOI.
Girardi's last 5: around 23:15 TOI.
Staal's last 5: around 21:30 TOI.
Bickel's last 5: around 18:30 TOI.
Erixon's been playing on the top-pair in CT before being called up, so I can't imagine his TOI/G is anywhere short of 19-22 minutes.
Scott's last 5? Around 5:40/game. Looks more like a coach trying to cut down the work-loads of the defenseman to me.
Staal lessens the load on Girardi and McDonagh. Good, right?
Erixon lets Stralman get some time off. Good, right?
Scott is a fill-in on D to further cut the TOI of the D (since Del Zotto is just coming back and Bickel has been at 18 minutes a night). Good, right?
You may not like that we are playing our "lesser" defenseman more, but you can't have it both ways. Either we get our true top-6 some much needed rest down the stretch, or we play the hell out of them and their 22+ minutes every game and piss and moan about how gassed they look out there. It's smart coaching and setting up his lineup for the post-season. Keep in mind Bickel is only here because Sauer has been out and Erixon looked badly out of place the first time around. In all likelihood, if Erixon demonstrates an ability to play in the NHL this time around, Bickel and Scott are the odd-men out, and we see: