Ever since the New York Rangers‘ acquisition of Daniel Carcillo from the Los Angeles Kings, the Rangers 4th line has been tougher and, more importantly, consistent. The Rangers’ 4th line, which consisted of center Dominic Moore and wingers Brian Boyle and Carcillo, have been using Moore’s smarts — he graduated from Harvard, remember — and Boyle and Carcillo’s size to create mismatches against the opposition’s 4th line.
The 4th line is something that has plagued the Rangers over the past few seasons, but it is now quickly becoming a strength and last night against their biggest rivals, the New York Islanders, outside in Yankee Stadium showed off that new found strength.
Tied 1-1 early in the 3rd period, Boyle forced an Islanders’ turn over in the neutral zone, leading to a Rangers’ rush where Moore would put a shot on net from the circle left of Islanders’ goaltender Evgeni Nabakov. Nabakov proceeded to make a pad save, but left a juicy rebound right in the middle of the ice where Carcillo jumped on the rebound and put the puck top shelf past Nabakov, giving the Rangers a 2-1 lead; that lead turned out to be the game winning goal and final score.
Whether it shows up on the score sheet or not, even though recently it has now against the Islanders and previously against the New Jersey Devils, the Rangers’ 4th line has been a consistent strength ever since they traded for Carcillo. You can say it is just a coincidence, but I think Carcillo’s added toughness, or what Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault calls “bite,” definitely has something to do with the Rangers’ 4th line recent successes.
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