Rangers Alumni Implore for Peter Laviolette to Play Matt Rempe

Rangers legends Mark Messier and Ron Dugay want Peter Laviolette to play Matt Rempe in the Eastern Conference Finals against tghe Florida Panthers.
New York Rangers v Washington Capitals - Game Four
New York Rangers v Washington Capitals - Game Four / Scott Taetsch/GettyImages

Even before the New York Rangers hit the Madison Square Garden ice for Game 1 against the Florida Panthers, former Blueshirts captain and 1994 Stanley Cup Champion Mark Messier was already raising concerns about the team's cautious style of play. 

During the second intermission on ESPN, Messier didn't hold back, suggesting head coach Peter Laviolette bringing Matt Rempe back into the lineup could give the team a much-needed boost. "They gotta get themselves emotional," Messier emphasized. "Maybe they should think about having [Matt] Rempe in the lineup... Right now they're playing, in my opinion, they're a little too careful."

The 3-0 loss only enhanced Messier's opinion. He believes Rempe should be back in the starting lineup for Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Final at Madison Square Garden. The question would be, who comes out? That would likely be fourth-liner Jimmy Vesey, who had one of his worst puck-management games as a Ranger this tenure. Yes, he's on the scorching penalty kill that's killed 51 of their last 55 infractions, but Kaapo Kakko can take his spot. 

Messier's recommendation to reintroduce Rempe into the lineup carries substantial weight. His physical prowess and ability to invigorate both the team and the crowd could be the catalyst the Rangers need to reverse their fortunes in Game 2.

With the next game on the horizon, the coaching staff faces a tough decision in addressing Messier's concerns and adjusting their game plan for success. 

Even Rangers legend Ron Dugay weighed in, expressing disbelief over Rempe's absence in Game 1. "I still can't believe he was scratched last night... I don't get it," Dugay remarked. He stressed the importance of forming a hard-hitting line with Rempe to match the tenacious Panthers' intensity and set the tone for the series.

Dugay also questioned Chytil's readiness for playoff action in the tenacious conference finals, suggesting that he might not see another playoff game unless there are injuries. "I could be wrong, but I believe you won't see Chytil in another playoff game unless there are injuries. 

He's not ready to make a difference in hard-hitting conference finals."

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