The party is over. The Rangers had a chance to jump to a 2-0 lead and instead will go into Philly with the series evened up. It will be critical for the Rangers to come back to NY with at least one win, but it won’t be easy. The Rangers are 57-64-14-3 for road playoff games. They’re also 10-17 in the postseason at Philadelphia.
What will make these next two games especially tough goes beyond the atmosphere and fan hostilities. The real difficulty will be for Alain Vigneault to get the right matchups on the ice, as the home team gets the last change.
If I’m Craig Berube, I’d be looking forward to returning home where he’ll get a better chance at trying to separate the Giroux and Hartnell line from McDonagh and Girardi. I’d also be looking to amp up the physicality. The Flyers seemed to play better yesterday when they adjusted their forecheck to be a bit harder.
For these reasons, it might be time for AV to sit Fast for Carcillo or Miller so the Rangers can match the Flyers energy.
Yesterday Fast started 100% of his shifts in the offensive zone (after a whistle) and yet still managed to get just 40% in Corsi For % (shot attempts). Through 2 games he also hasn’t been able to get a shot on goal and last night he played under 9 minutes. I know 2 games is a small sample size, but at this point you have to make adjustments to try to win a game.
And while his speed might make sense against a team like TBL or MTL, a team like the Flyers requires some meat in the lineup. At 165 lbs, I’m not sure he’ll be able to hold up for the duration of this series.
The Rangers have enough diminutive guys in the lineup. MSL, MZA, Richie, Hagelin, Brass aren’t exactly physically imposing. Adding Carcillo or Miller back into the lineup could be the better play as far as matchups go.
If I had to choose between the two, I’d probably opt for Carcillo. The playoff experience is there, as is the history of getting top guys off their games. The Flyers are at their worst when they’re focusing on gooning it up and not on the task at hand. Carcillo can ignite that, especially from a guy like Simmonds who is a Rangers killer.
It’s time to fight fire with fire."Calling for Carcillo or JT Miller",