Why The New York Rangers Should Sit Matt Rempe For Game Three In Carolina

The New York Rangers should sit Matt Rempe in favor of Jonny Brodzinski to roll all four lines against the desperate Carolina Hurricanes.
Carolina Hurricanes v New York Rangers - Game One
Carolina Hurricanes v New York Rangers - Game One / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
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The New York Rangers are undefeated in the post-season (6-0), forcing the Carolina Hurricanes into a near must-win situation in tonight's contest.

Matt Rempe skated 4:03 TOI in the double overtime classic, not taking a shift beyond the second period. The Rangers should play Jonny Brodzinski on the fourth line in game three tonight.

"When you're chasing the game and then it heads to overtime, every decision matters. I'm doing what I think is right," Rangers head coach Peter Laviolette told the media on Wednesday.

The team trailed the Hurricanes on home ice into the third period, with Chris Kreider knotting the contest 6:07 into the frame. The coaching staff wanted the best skaters on the ice in the third and in both overtime sessions.

Although it is a strength to shift your best skaters, that may wear on the team as the Blueshirts' quest for the Stanley Cup continues.

The Hurricanes will play desperate hockey on home ice in games three and four of this series. The Rangers are familiar with it. In 2022, the Rangers lost two games on the road in Carolina to open the series but won games three and four in their barn to tie it.

There are two approaches to handling Rempe's deployment: proactive and reactive. The team has not lost a playoff game with the Calgary native in the lineup. If it ain't broke...

Conversely, Brodzinski brings the speed necessary to compete against a frenzied Hurricanes team.

The 30-year-old forward registered a top speed of 23 miles per hour, ranking in the 89th percentile of the NHL in the regular season. He also recorded 98 speed bursts of 20-22 mph, ranking in the 71st percentile.

Rod Brind' Amours' squad is 15-4 at home in the playoffs since 2022. They may not have a show-stopping goaltender, or a game-breaking forward, but they are one of the best-conditioned groups in hockey.

Sitting Rempe is not about what the 21-year-old brings to the ice as a teammate, or the unjust quick whistles to wrangle his physical play. It would be a strategic move worth considering as the Rangers are winning hockey games.

He has broken into the league as a former sixth-round pick, fought every heavyweight in the NHL, and scored the Rangers' playoff-opening goal on home ice. Damaging his confidence will likely not be a result of this move.