So it is now 3 in a row for the 2013-2014 New York Rangers, 4 for their last 5. The power play is 4 for 11 in the last 3, and…they have not lost since Carl Hagelin rejoined the team on the Island. Hagelin got the Rangers going after the team’s slow start, en route to a 5-1 victory over the Canes. Coach Vigneault said “Hags’ speed definitely helps us. When he scored the way he did tonight and backing down their defense the way he can (does), it’s so important to a team having success and winning games.” Sounds like Hagelin is getting the recognition from the new coach of his significant worth. Former head coach Tortorella, though also appreciative of Hagelin’s blazing speed and fore check prowess, famously discounted him on the then struggling power play identifying that he “stinks” on the man advantage. Some view this remark as the final straw in the coach’s egg cream.
But wait, Hagelin’s 2 goals, the first 2 for the Rangers in the game, including the game winner, came 5 on 5. When the Rangers got the man advantage the carefully constructed lines producing these recent victories were deconstructed to omit none other than Carl Hagelin. Derek Stepan, who awoke with a commanding hat trick performance, scored his first one on the power play. Yes, the power play looks revamped, improved and more confident, creating space. Yet, one has to scratch the non-itching head in wondering where is Carl Hagelin? Doesn’t he “back off the defense?” Isn’t there instant chemistry with Benoit Pouliot? Your hottest forward sits on the power play still? A hat trick awaited him if only he had the chance with the man advantage. You know, he really does not stink.
Tags: New York Rangers