Monday Mailbag: Putting Philly away in 6, Diaz, & more

April 28, 2014, by
Do doubt the kid

Hey Suit – You’re Welcome

Before I get started with today’s topic, I first want to take moment to thank Danny Carcillo for making me look good. Last week I called for AV to scratch Fast for Carcillo for Game 3. Most slayed the idea. Then Game 4 happened.

Back to this week’s topics!

Today we’re reaching into our mailbag, aka our Twitter mentions to answer questions from our faithful readers.

Q. What do the Rangers have to do to put the Flyers away in Game 6? – @Rangrs2000

I’ve been noticing the Rangers collapsing in front of Hank and blocking a lot of shots this postseason. In fact, so far we are leading the Eastern Conference in blocked shots. Last year the media roasted that strategy, calling the team unwatchable. This year they’re calling it good defense. Go figure.

Never the less, the Rangers were successful during the regular season pressuring the point and forcing turnovers at the blueline. I’d like to see them get back to that strategy since Philly’s blueline looks gassed and over-matched. The best way to put down the Flyers is to not let up. Force their d-men to cough up the pill and make them pay for their mistakes.

There were a few moments late in the game yesterday where the boys sat back and let the Flyers back in it. Forget collapsing down low and ceding the point. The Rangers should put the pedal to the metal and not let the Flyers up for air till the final horn sounds. That’s how you put them away in six.

Q. Why not play Diaz who is a mobile D & sees the ice well on the PP? We have plenty of stay-at-home guys. AV should place more chips on the PP – @Centerman21

The PP is struggling no doubt. To date, they’re 3 for 23 and 0 for their last 16. We’re getting away with it for now since Philly can’t play defense, but eventually that’s going to bite us in the rear if we can’t get it together deeper into the postseason. As far as lineups are concerned, I’m not sure Diaz is the answer. To me the problem with the PP has to do with our entries and suspect point play which are Richie’s responsibilities and not our defensive d-men.

Five-on-five, I wouldn’t change a thing. I think our defense has been solid for the most part.  Simmonds, Hartnell, Vinny, and the Schenn sisters have all been neutralized thus far. I wouldn’t go changing our defensive pairings just for the sake of our PP. I think we just have to get back to basics. If the Flyers are going to stand up the blueline, then Richie needs to either dump the puck in or regroup in the neutral zone. Skating into a wall of pkers just isn’t going to do us any good.

Q. Should the Rangers get by Philly, who do you want in the 2nd round, Pittsburgh or Columbus? – Eric P

Ask me again on Wednesday and hopefully I’ll tell you Columbus. As @casey_ley so eloquently put it, “When Pittsburgh loses, everybody wins.” I agree with that sentiment.

"Monday Mailbag: Putting Philly away in 6, Diaz, & more", 5 out of 5 based on 8 ratings.


  1. bayman says:

    The PP stats are a little bit misleading. We scored one yesterday that was wrongfully taken away from us.

  2. SalMerc says:

    You need a formidable PP to move on in the playoffs. Just a way to make teams pay for their mistakes. Not so sure I would put Diaz in the lineup for it though. Watched other games last week and most playoff teams with good PPs move (each person) in addition to moving the puck around the perimeter. I feel the weak side player needs to float through the crease and the slot a bit more. Hopefully drawing some attention and maybe an occasional one-timer.

    • Chris A says:

      It’s not even that complicated Sal. The Rangers just need to get more pucks through and to the net.

      After scoring three pretty tic-tac-toe slamdunk type PP goals in games 1 and 2 the Rangers, predictably, fell in love with that part of their PP. They need to get back to basics and throw it towards the net when the shooting lane presents itself. Once they do that, they will re-open the passing lanes can resume the pretty passing plays for PP goals.

      The PP is all about variation and different looks. If you keep doing the same thing you allow the D to rotate without pausing to think and that effectively eliminates the man-advantage. Of course, if you can’t gain the zone effectively all this is moot.

      • SalMerc says:

        It isn’t complicated, but an effort must be made to move around, throw shots on net and crash the net for rebounds. I feel we get a bit stagnant sometimes waiting for the PK killers to make a mistake instead of forcing the issue.

    • RangerSmurf says:

      “You need a formidable PP to move on in the playoffs.”

      2012-13 Hawks: 11.4%
      11-12 Kings: 12.8%
      10-11 Bruins: 11.4%

      13-14 NYR: 13.0%

      • cv19 says:

        Ha! Excellent! The Rangers have given a good offensive team very little room. Exemplary defensive play and some suggest we should use Diaz to bolster the PP. Ludicrous. Thanks for the very illustrative comparisons
        Took my son to Philly for Friday’s game and had some young Flyer fan drape a Flyer towel over my face—twice! I haven’t thrown a punch since I’m twenty years old and wanted to but didn’t want my son to be part of the ugliness. No comparison between abusive Flyer fans and abusive Ranger fans; not close. I was just offered tickets for tomorrow night’s game and politely refused.
        Sat in blues for the first time since high school yesterday because my son insists that’s where the real fans sit. Maybe it was the fact that it was an afternoon game but there was no electricity whatsoever. No comparison to the passion of the Flyer fans on Friday. I was surprised.

    • Centerman21 says:

      I couldn’t agree more with PP strategy. I think that Floater needs to be Nash. The best scorers have a way of slipping away when all 4 PKers are watching the puck. Nash could find the sweet spot for a nice scoring chance. He’s got plenty of players looking to get him the puck.
      I think Diaz would give the Rangers a different dynamic that Berube would be smart to account for. He makes the nice 1st past that the reciptient can take and go with it rather than it bouncing off their stick and right to a Flyers waiting d. Strahlman has gotten beat to the outside a few too many times and does little or really nothing offensively to warrant an every day roster spot in the playoffs. Yes he drives puck possession well and does many of the small things in the offensive end that help win games but I think Klein can play with Staal and be just as good if not better defensively. Having Diaz on the 3rd pair means he can play against lower competition and get sheltered mins. Diaz sees the ice like a playmaking forward and scoring on the PP will be the way we end this series in Philly. Even if it’s just the one game.

  3. RangerSmurf says:

    FWIW, JMoore has been pretty bad in this series. I don’t think they’d lose much putting in Diaz over him just to give the PP a different look.

    Only kicker is that it moves Klein back to the LD side, which I know they don’t want to do.

    In general though, Flyers PK is really good, Couturier especially is one of the top in the league on PK. I’m not worried too much about the PP getting rolling again.

    • The Suit says:

      AV seems to give these guys a lot of rope, so I can’t see him making a change at this point unless J Moore really starts making major gaffes that lead to goals against.

    • Centerman21 says:

      That’s why you switch him for a righty. Strahlman has been ok but Diaz wasn’t bad in the Dzone and he will at the least have the puck moving well on the PP as to move the PK coverage and create a seam or an open player. Richards is a good QB on the 1st PP unit but I’d have Diaz on the point of the 2nd unit. Just my opinion! He’s also a righty shot. If the line of Pouliot-Brassard-Zuc are the #2 PP unit then there’s all lefties. None of the other righty D on the team can move the puck up ice like Diaz, Make good 1st passes out of the Dzone, and make plays setting guys up from the point on the 1-3-1.

  4. Sean says:

    The flyers have one of the best pk’s in the league. I think that is more the reason why the rangers are having trouble scoring on the man advantage.

  5. Walt says:

    There was a period of time, maybe two months, when the Flyers got hot, and they had if not the best, one of the best PKs in the NHL!! I for one never took this group of thugs lightly.

  6. Bloomer says:

    As much as I try, I can not warm up to Diaz. Yes he would give the PP another look, but even strength the Flyers would throw the puck in his corner and pound him. Playoff games are won and lost along the boards, and that isn’t Raphaels strong suit.

    To win game 6 the Rangers need to continue to stay on top of Philly and finish their checks. They need to out skate and out hit the Flyers.

    I would like to see the Rangers meet CBJ in the next round. You would think being a Canadian I be a Crosby fan, but he’s too much of a **** for my liking. Bring in Dubi and co. so we can watch some old time hockey.