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Fast or Carcillo: Lineup decision plays key role

Fast has played well so far. (Photo: Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

Fast has played well so far. (Photo: Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

When Chris Kreider went down with his hand injury, the Rangers were left with a problem in their top-six forwards. There were few options to fill in for Kreider, and none that could provide the scoring threat that Kreider provides on a nightly basis. Dan Carcillo has been a pleasant surprise, and Jesper Fast has held his own in his call up this week. Since J.T. Miller is not ready to take on this role, it comes down to Fast or Carcillo.

Acquired for a 7th round pick, Carcillo has been one of those pickups that went under the radar but reaped many rewards for the Rangers. Originally thought to be redundant with Arron Asham in Hartford, Carcillo has fit in nicely with the fourth line. The fourth line continued chugging along with Carcillo in for the then-injured Derek Dorsett. Once Dorsett returned, Carcillo bounced around the lineup, most recently filling in for Kreider on both the top line and second line.

Carcillo does not give you much scoring potential. That much we know. But this matchup with the Flyers is likely to be a bloodbath. Carcillo has been shown to be willing and able to defend his teammates in battle, something the Rangers sorely lack in the lineup. While that skill may not put goals on the scoreboard, it may act as a deterrent for guys like Wayne Simmonds or Zac Rinaldo.

This team is not touching the fourth line of Dorsett, Brian Boyle, and Dom Moore. So Carcillo’s role would need to be in the top-six.┬áBut therein lies the problem: As much as the Rangers need the additional muscle, the empty spot in the lineup is a scoring role. Carcillo simply doesn’t have the offensive touch to be an effective player in that role. The spot is for someone who can put the puck in the net.

Jesper Fast on the other hand, is a solid two-way player who has proven to be able to put the puck in the net. He put up a line of 17-17-34 in 48 games with Hartford. He put up 18-17-35 in the SHL last season. He can score. But he’s not exactly an intimidating force in the lineup.

Fast is the type of player that fits what the Rangers need in the lineup while Kreider heals. He certainly will not hurt the team defensively, and he has that scoring punch the team could use. The problem is that he is a bit wet behind the ears. He’s still adjusting to the North American game, and a lack of playoff experience might hurt him.

As long as Kreider remains injured, the Rangers will need to decide between Carcillo and Fast to round out the lineup. Both bring different games to the table, but in the end it will be a combination of the type of series played and the performance of each player that will decide who dresses. If this series takes a turn towards ugly, expect Carcillo to get some time. If the series is hard-fought but clean, expect Fast to dress.

11 Responses to “Fast or Carcillo: Lineup decision plays key role”

  1. George says:

    I’m interested to see who sits among Diaz, Klein, stralman, and Moore. I thought the defense looked pretty remarkable without Moore but he’s got toughness that could be a huge attribute in this series. I really trust AV will make the right decision. As for carcillo and fast I think you need to go with the better skater. This decision impacts two way play and forechecking. You need the more complete player

  2. Erixon20 says:

    We are not going to win a slugfest with Philly with either Carcillo or Fast, so I say play Fast since he’s more suited to a top 9 role. No disrespect to Carcillo, who has been great for us. A guy like Chris Stewart would have come in handy in this series since he’s tough and can play. Get ready for some cheap shots and after the whistle nonsense that we have no response for.

  3. Walt says:

    For the first game I’d suit up Carcillo, and see how Filthadelphia wants to play. If they decide to go clean, or dirty, will determine who will play games 2-3-4 etc!!

  4. George says:

    Maybe dress 7 dmen. Diaz played some right wing in vancouver

  5. mikeyyy says:

    If the game comes down to special teams. You need an agitator on the ice to make Philly take bad penalties.

    carcillo for the first two games to set the tone.

    and then fast the rest of the way.

  6. Snake says:

    Fast doesn’t add enough O to warrant sitting Carcillo. Despite the endless babble in the press and broadcast booth about Rangers new O style under AV, this team wins with it’s D and still needs 40+ shots to score 2 goals even against teams with pitiful defense and weak goaltending.

    Does anyone really expect Philly to play even one clean game in this series? This team needs as much grit and toughness as they can find. Let the kid watch the playoffs from the press box.

  7. Leatherneckinlv says:

    I would suit up Carcillo to play against Simmonds

  8. TxRanger says:

    Suit up Carcillo, let him whoop some ass. Shit, call-up Asham, let him whoop some ass. Maybe even Kyle Beach, let him kill someone.

    • Chris F says:

      Where are all of these roster spots coming from?

      So players who played all year and busted their butts to help get the team to the playoffs-suddenly get benched for a bunch of AHL goons because the first round draw is Philadelphia?

  9. John says:

    I believe that if we play our game AND the powerplay clicks we can win series. We need to stay out of box as Flyers have excellent pp. The choice of Fast over Carcillo works for me. As an earlier comment mentioned we arent going to win a slug fest with the Flyers (or any other team in NHL).
    The D needs to get in front of Lundquist on every whistle to prevent Flyers from running him. NYR need to stay on their game and that’s going to mean taking alot of late hits, facewashes, and the typical antagonism that any team is capable of doing. We can beat these guys and the Pens, and if someone knocks off Boston then we are in business! Kreider will be missed in this round.

  10. Paco 33 says:

    Carcillo will add toughness and grit and will defend his teammates. Fast may add offense. Play Carcillo and go with what we know we’ll get over what we hope for.