The Musings: A rivalry renewed

April 17, 2014, by
RMcD = MVP?  Photo Credit: LoHud

RMcD = MVP? Photo Credit: LoHud

Today is the day a rivalry gets renewed. The Rangers entertain the Flyers tonight in a much anticipated series. Let’s throw a few musings up.

The series against the Flyers represents a no-win situation for the Rangers. In all honesty, there is not a huge amount separating the two teams but yet everyone expects the Rangers to win. The Flyers have a ton of talent but are very flawed. That said, it wouldn’t be the greatest of shocks if they beat the Rangers but it would cause serious fall-out in New York.

Is there a single Ranger forward you wouldn’t swap for Claude Giroux?

Beyond the obvious (Hank, McD, Nash), who holds they key to the second round for the Rangers? Mats Zuccarello. He has been the Rangers best powerplay forward all year and you have to assume the Flyers will take more penalties than the Rangers. If the Rangers can stay out of the box and Zuccarello can work some PP magic that may be the decisive factor.


The cliché says depth prevails in the playoffs. If true, Carl Hagelin, Brian Boyle and the Rangers third line are critical for a prolonged playoff run. Boyle’s penalty killing and face-off ability will be a huge factor while Hagelin’s speed and ability to score in bunches could help; especially if he gets matched up against the slower defensive pairs of the Flyers.

How long will it take the Flyers to aim their first cheap shot at Ryan McDonagh? My guess is by his third shift.

If I’m Alain Vigneault and he’s healthy enough to go, Derek Dorsett should spend the entire evening on or around Hartnell and Simmonds. Get either (preferably both) of those two off their game and it severely impacts the Flyers effectiveness.

The biggest aspect working in the Rangers favour this series could be team speed. The Flyers have a lumbering defensive unit and the Rangers have some real speed up front (especially if Fast plays and/or Kreider has any involvement in the series). If the Rangers get the puck deep and can turn the Flyers around it could create a lot of chances.

Beware Ray Emery. He’s better than he’s being advertised and we all know about the Rangers love of back-up goalies. Let’s not forget Emery has been to a Cup final before.

Derick Brassard has a huge opportunity this off-season. A solid regular season followed up an impressive first post-season for the Rangers last spring. If he produces this time around it will go a long way to cementing a nice new deal for the skilled pivot. He could add quite a few $$$ to his new deal during this playoff season. What better motivation could there be?

Question Time:

• Would you dress Raphael Diaz – and if so, who for?
Dan Carcillo or Derek Dorsett?
• What qualifies as a successful Rangers’ post-season to you?
• Who will have a better post-season: Nash or St Louis?


  1. bayman says:


  2. Spozo says:

    At this point I’m fine with either Moore or Diaz playing. If AV gives Moore the nod then so be it.

    Personally I would start both Carcillo and Dorsett just as an insurance policy in case the Flyer decide to turn this in to a back alley fight.

    Normally I would be OK with making it to the ECF but the inclusion of another 1st rounder in the MSL trade could make that one a hard pill to swallow if they get eliminated at the point. Also, been there done that. Make it to the SCF or get eliminated before the ECF.

    I think MSL breaks out in to his usual form. He has more playoff experience and has won a cup.

    • bayman says:

      If you start both Carcillo and Dorsett, who do you sit? Fast?

      • Spozo says:

        Yes, he would be the odd man out. The kid has done fine in his time with the big club but I like the extra toughness against the flyers. With that said I don’t think playing Fast and sitting Carcillo is a downright bad decision, just not the one I would prefer.

  3. Hatrick Swayze says:

    Diaz only goes injury calls for it, Moore falls from grace or our PP needs a real shot in the arm.

    Dorsett, I think over Carcillo, although this would be THE team, I’d like to see Carcillo match up against, so both unless we need to shake something up or until Kreider is healthy.

    Expected to make it TO the ECF…SUCCESSFUL if they make it PAST the ECF

    Gimme some MSL playoff love. He has the biggest chip on his shoulder out of all the Rangers given how he got here.

  4. Chris F says:

    -Diaz out, Moore in.

    -Dorsett in for now.

    -Nothing less than a Conference Finals appearance.


  5. JerseyRanger says:

    moore can drop the gloves so i take him

    Dorsett is a better player but is more prone to stupid penalties..try him for game one

    get through 2 rounds…but at that point might as well win it all

    MSL will have a great post season

  6. Walt says:

    Diaz sits.

    Dorsett, but I’d like Carcillo in there as well.

    Everyone is saying we are in a win now, so I want the cup! I’m too old to wait another 54 years!!

    Let’s hope both, but if history is an indicator, MSL will do better than Nash!

    • Rangers Fan in Boston says:

      Walt, they’re at 20 years (crazy that this year is the 20th anniversary) since the last one, so only 34 left!

      • Walt says:

        I never was any good with math. It’s hard to believe that already 20 years have past, that is scary???????