Well, here it is New York Rangers fans as the playoffs start in just a few hours for the BlueShirts we’re all wondering what the Philadelphia Flyers are going to do to try and win the series. According to Larry Brooks of the New York Post, Flyers coach Craig Berube says the plan is to target Rangers star defenseman and MVP Ryan McDonagh, and that the line of Claude Giroux, Scott Hartnell, and Jakub Voracek will change it’s preferred style of play. Hartnell says the plan is to “wear McDonagh down in seven games, and force him to skate 200 feet with the puck.” You can read more about this here.
Here at Blue Line Station we did a preview of the upcoming series between the Rangers and the Flyers and in that preview we mentioned that one of the keys to a Flyers victory was keeping McDonagh occupied enough to where he would not play so much of a factor in the series, where you would usually expect this kind of treatment for a player like Rick Nash or Martin St. Louis, McDonagh has been the chosen victim of the Flyers focus this series.
What this means for the Flyers:
Berube has committed his first line, his top producing stars to keeping McDonagh at bay and while I agree McDonagh should be the focus from a Flyers standpoint sending your top guys to do so is not exactly the way to do that. McDonagh is capable of handling treatment like this and with a partner like Dan Girardi it really should not be much of a problem for him to deal with.
What this means for the Rangers:
As long as McDonagh does not get injured, this is a positive thing for the Rangers. Coach Alain Vigneault has committed to playing the style of play that the team has played all year and doesn’t predict any changes in the lineup. If McDonagh doesn’t get injured then this will render the Flyers top scorers essentially useless and make Henrik Lundqvist‘s and the rest of the defense’s job much easier.
Well that’s all we’ve got for right now Rangers fans! Stay tuned to the site later and LETS GO RANGERS!