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New York Rangers Missing Toughness from Their Game

February 25th, 2013 at 12:07 PM
By PJ Foti

For the past few seasons, the New York Rangers were a team of grinders who could barely put the puck in the net enough so Henrik Lundqivst wouldn't have to play perfect for the team to win, but they were never afraid to drop the gloves.

This year, the grinders are gone, but the inability to put the puck in the net isn't. Therefore, the team is struggling.

Do you think the big-time enforcers from last year of Brandon Prust, Mike Rupp, Brandon Dubinsky or Ruslan Fedotenko would've allowed for Max Pacioretty to get away with just a two minute minor penalty for his hit on Ryan McDonagh?

Even Stu Bickel — who we're surprised didn't step in himself on Saturday.

Either way, this is the problem with this season's team. The toughness is out, and the supposed toughness that was brought in just isn't shaping up.

Taylor Pyatt has size, but has rarely dropped the gloves in his career. Also, for his size, he's not as big a hitter as you'd think.

Aaron Asham isn't in the lineup due to injury, but when he is in there, he hasn't been as physical as you'd expect after his days playing with the rest of the division.

Darroll Powe can help out in this aspect of the game, but with his concussion he really shouldn't be looking to take any shots to the head.

Ryan Callahan gave his best effort, and had his arm pulled out of his socket.

This isn't to say the Rangers are a "soft" team. Rather, just a wake up call.

Brian Boyle stood up for Martin Biron in Montreal and took a two-minute charging penalty, but still sent a message.

“I didn't really see it, I just see Marty down,” Boyle told the Daily News Saturday night after drawing matching roughing penalties with Moen. “You see your goalie down, that’s what you’ve got to do. We always stand up for each other.

Now more than ever, this team needs to find its grit. Ranger fans are looking at Bickel and Boyle to shoulder that load, but other guys need to step up so teams don't get away with walking all over the Rangers.

Tags: Aaron Asham, Brandon Dubinsky, Brandon Prust, Brian Boyle, Darroll Powe, Hockey, Martin Biron, Mike Rupp, New York, New York Rangers, NHL, Ruslan Fedotenko, Ryan Callahan, Stu Bickel, Taylor Pyatt

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