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Playoffs 2013Rangers try to solve power-play woes

Posted: Saturday, May 18, 2013 | 05:59 PM

Categories: BOS vs NYR, Boston Bruins, New York Rangers, Playoffs 2013

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Ryan Callahan of the New York Rangers carries the puck down the ice against the Boston Bruins in Game 1. Rangers coach John Tortorella said he expects more from his captain's line.  (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images) Ryan Callahan of the New York Rangers carries the puck down the ice against the Boston Bruins in Game 1. Rangers coach John Tortorella said he expects more from his captain's line. (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

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Back to the film room have gone the New York Rangers for two days, trying to figure out how to get their two-for-31 power play going against the Boston Bruins. 
By Jay Greenberg, Special to CBC Sports

Back to the film room have gone the Rangers for two days, trying to figure out how to get their two-for-31 power play going.  

Not enough screening, not enough forechecking pressure to enable their set up, not enough rotation of the participants and movement of the puck.  Round up the usual suspects, including, according to John Tortorella, his leading scorer on left wing in these playoffs.

"I can't figure [Carl Hagelin] out," the coach said Saturday.  "I love the guy, he's such an effective player but, as I said many times, he stinks on the power play.

"I don't know why. I wish I could play him on the power play. Every time I put him on, he stinks. I think he's too quick. I think he's a jitterbug and he screws it up.

"But, again, I may use him. I don't know. I love him. But the power play stinks, it's true and that's why he may get an opportunity.

At practice Saturday, Tortorella showed the same lines and defence pairings he used in the 3-2 Game One loss.

"I'm not a big adjustment guy," Tortorella said. "To me, it's not so much on the ice. There are some other adjustments we have to make."

Meaning?

"I'm not going to tell you."

Tortorella did say the Hagelin-Derek Stepan-Ryan Callahan line "has to be better" if the Rangers are going to advance.

Meanwhile Derick Brassard has a six-game point streak, even if his left wing, Rick Nash, has no playoff goals. To Nash was where Brassard was going with the puck that Chara tipped to send Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand on the way to overtime glory in Game One.

"It was the right play," Brassard said Saturday, a view that had been defended by Tortorella one day before.  "I just have to make it."

Hankering for the truth


After all the Bruins talk about having to create screens to beat Henrik Lundqvist David Krejci expressed surprise that the Bruins two goals in regulation were scored by defencemen when the goalie had unimpeded views.   But Lundqvist has beaten himself up more for failing to stop Marchand's point-blank redirection on the two-on-one in overtime.

"You have to be honest with yourself," he said. "But it was a pretty solid game.  The third goal is the one, I would play different.  The other two (by Chara and Torey Krug) were knuckle pucks, hard to react on them."

Vintage advice

Jaromir Jagr's advice to all 41 year-olds taking a regular shift in the playoffs:  "The most important thing is you should feel better than the guy you are playing against," he said.  "You can trick the brain."

"You can't play the same game you played in 1990. If you drove the best car from 1990 right now, you would look stupid."

Jagr, driving a lemon in Game One, had two shots in 23 minutes and seemed more hindrance to linemates Marchand and Patrice Bergeron than help. Jagr has four points in eight playoff games, which still is still three more than Tyler Seguin, 20 years Jagr's junior.  Seguin has one point for the post season and had a giveaway in the final seconds of period one that enabled Ryan McDonagh to get New York on the board.  

Redden a possibility

Wade Redden, the only one of three injured Bruin defencemen to skate with the Saturday, said afterwards he would need another day to consider himself a possibility for Sunday.  Coach Claude Julien said it would be a game time decision.

Since rookies Dougie Hamilton, Torey Krug and Matt Bartkowski all played well in Game One, logic suggests there would be no hurry for a sixth defenceman who, in turn, was in no hurry to discuss his two years as a huge free-agent flop with the Rangers.

"I've turned the page," said Redden, who spent two years in the AHL while on a six-year, $39 million contract. "It was a change that was needed for everyone."

Dennis Seidenberg (knee) skated before Saturday's practice with a physical therapist, and has a chance to return in this series.  Andrew Ference (foot), likely will not.

Asked about playing 36-year-old Zdeno Chara for 38 minutes in Game One, Julien said:  "To be honest, we don't have a choice."

The Rangers' Marc Staal, who has backed off from practice for several days after a recurrence of the blurred vision that had cleared well enough for him to play 17 minutes in Game 4 of the Washington series, did not practice Saturday after giving it a short go in an optional on Friday. Not a good sign

Coincidence?  Perhaps

Three of the four fouls the Rangers took in Game One that were penalized were committed against Rich Peverley.            

But his game has bite
 
Turns out Rangers defenceman John Moore lost six teeth when hit in the face with a puck in Game One.  "I feel fine," he said Saturday.

So does Tortorella about the future of Moore, a dumped former No. 1 pick by Columbus acquired with Brassard and Derek Dorsett at the trading deadline for Marian Gaborik.

"I don't think he's afraid and that's a really important note for a young defenceman," Tortorella said. "I just love his skating, when there are some struggles with his positioning, which is something that's going to take a while for him to learn, he's able to cover because of his ability to skate.

"His whole mental approach is to not test the waters, he's trying to make a difference and he really gave me an opportunity in the first series to bump him up to a top four. He got a little overwhelmed after we gave him some minutes there so we bumped him back down but he's a guy that in a couple of years down the road I'm hoping we're going to say that's a hell of a deal, especially at that position."

Follow Jay Greenberg on Twitter @ScribeJG

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