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.