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.
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Photo by Scott Levy/NHLI via Getty Images
It almost sounds strange to say, but Daniel Carcillo has been a welcomed addition to the New York Rangers hockey club. Once public enemy #1 after smacking the bejesus out of Marian Gaborik, Carcillo has brought some sandpaper to an otherwise vanilla team.
Back in December, before Sather traded for Carcillo, I wrote the Rangers needed to acquire a player with some grit to their game. Since his acquisition, the Rangers seem to have a different dynamic. Given, a lot has clicked since those dog days of winter, but Carcillo’s game shouldn’t be undersold.
He’s been good on the forecheck, he’s drawn more penalties than he’s taken, and he’s 4th on the team in hits per game. Most importantly, Carcillo has avoided the box. He has only 8 minors this season. Continuing this narrative will be important come playoff time when bottom six players always seem to grab the spotlight.
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Photo: Frank Franklin II AP
One of the many issues the Rangers have dealt with in the past is depth, specifically on the fourth line. The inconsistency is what led previous coach John Tortorella to play the line just five minutes a night (much to the chagrin of the fans). Last year saw endless combinations of Taylor Pyatt, Darroll Powe, Arron Asham, Derek Dorsett, or –in the playoffs– Brad Richards. In 2011-2012 it was some combination of Mike Rupp, John Mitchell, and a rotating right winger.
The key here is that the Brian Boyle line, whoever he was playing with, was always the third line. The Boyle, Brandon Prust, Ruslan Fedotenko line, the one we all loved so much, was playing top-nine minutes. Not to take anything away from them, as they were one of the better shutdown lines in the game, but that trio –on a deep team poised for a run to the Cup– is a fourth line. It’s something we harped on ’round these parts for about three years.
Our exact quote: “When Brian Boyle is our fourth line center, we will finally have the depth required to make a deep run.”
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Sorry for the delay on this one, since this happened on a Saturday night we weren’t around to post this right away. The Rangers have acquired forward Dan Carcillo from the LA Kings in exchange for a conditional 7th round pick. The trade for Carcillo addresses New York’s need for toughness, and even more so since the injury to Derek Dorsett. This is a low risk move, as Carcillo is a UFA after this season making $825,000. The move may be low risk, but I wonder why it was necessary with Arron Asham, who –for all intents and purposes– is the same player as Carcillo, is in Hartford.
Scheduling note: The goal breakdown from last night’s 7-1 win will be up in the afternoon.