April 30, 2012; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Stu Bickel (41) handles the puck as Washington Capitals center Jay Beagle (83) defends during the first period in game two of the 2012 Eastern Conference semifinals at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE

Stu Bickel Playing Is "Perplexing"

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Just like how the Rangers were perplexed that Carl hagelin was suspended for three games, I’m perplexed that John Tortorella has continued to play Stu Bickel. This isn’t the first time that Bickel has played extremely miniscule minutes in these playoffs, but I’m curious as to why Tortorella keeps playing him.

Tortorella might like the size he brings compared to Eminger, but if he thinks he’s too big of a liability to be out there, why is he playing in the first place?

I can’t complain too much about this Rangers team and their performance in the playoffs but this is one of my few gripes with what Tortorella is doing. Either he should leave Bickel in the lineup and let him play 7 or 8 minutes a night, or insert Steve Eminger. It’s not fair to Bickel, and it’s also not really fair to Ryan Mcdonagh, Dan Girardi, and Marc Staal who have to eat this guy’s minutes.

At least Tortorella responded to questions about Bickel saying that he wanted to play him, but he couldn’t play him in the overtimes because Bickel was “cold”. I completely get that, but who made Bickel cold in the first place? Maybe it was because Tortorella didn’t play him in the third period he was “cold”.

I’m a huge John Tortorella fan and love what he’s done with this team, but this Stu Bickel situation cannot continue. I mentioned above how it’s not fair to other defenseman and it’s pretty humiliating to Bickel. Now you have fans and media pointing that overplaying the other 5 defenseman may come back to haunt the Rangers down the road. I agree with that to a certain extent, but I think all team’s that go deep in the playoffs have defenseman that are capable of carrying the load. Staal, Girardi, Mcdonagh, and even Del Zotto can do that for the Rangers.

Be sure to follow me on twitter @Matt_J1.

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Tags: Dan Girardi John Tortorella Marc Staal Michael Del Zotto Ryan McDonagh Stu Bickel

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