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Sunday, May 4, 2014

10 points after NYR/PIT Game 2

Thoughts after NYR/PIT Game 2:

- Henrik Lundqvist elite. Has been for many years and still is

- Marc Staal gets flack for not scoring a whole lot, but his defensive game is exceptional

- Rick Nash will be the new Joe Thornton as long as he is a blatant no-show in the postseason. Yeah he's had concussion problems but if he's not playing injured right now, it's a damn shame

- Derek Stepan and Derick Brassard are fine centers, but they are not bonafide elite centers in hockey. NY needs a #1 center if they want to skate with the big dogs. Brad Richards is getting amnesty-bought-out this June, there's not a doubt in my mind

- Ryan McDonagh is playing hurt. I'd lay 5-to-1 he needs shoulder surgery as soon as the NYR playoffs are over

- Dan Girardi may be playing hurt as well, but as far as 1st Pair top-minute defensemen go, he's fringe. The fact he's a righty and not a lefty made him $ in the big contract he signed a few months ago

- NYR power play has been figured out by opposing coaching staffs (Philly, and now Pittsburgh). There's not much other explanation given their sour cold-streak the past 5 or 6 playoff games. Philly nor Pittsburgh has a defense 'capable' of shutting down the NYR power play as badly as it has been

- Martin St. Louis is simply not meshing in NY. Whatever the reasoning, he seems powerless skating with Richards. He will be back for his contract year next season, where Richards will (almost certainly) not

- The NYR miss a guy like Chris Kreider in this series. They will need all the shots and goals they can get, and Kreider was a wonderful addition to the offense this season, as he continues to recover from the April 1st wrist injury that has sidelined him indefinitely

- Marc Andre Fleury was tested in Game 1 but was not tested in Game 2. NYR do not have home ice, nor do they have the superior offense. What they do have, however, is superior goaltending. Lundqvist thrives under pressure. Fleury has historically struggled.

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