After a loss, New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault usually likes to tinker with the starting lineup. In all honesty, I do not think that strategy would do the Rangers any good in Game 5 of the first round of the playoffs vs. the Philadelphia Flyers.
Game 4 was a bad loss where the Rangers’ offense completely disappeared after the first period. All of their shots were from the outside, so many were easy saves for Flyers goaltender Steve Mason, and the Rangers’ power play looked absolutely dreadful. However, the Rangers’ defense played solid, but in the end, it would not matter, as they would go on to win 2-1 and even this best of seven series at 2-2.
So, with offense being the Rangers’ problem in Game 4, most would say the logical thing to do would be to apply more offense to the lineup and either sit Daniel Carcillo or Derek Dorsett, but in my opinion, that would be the wrong move. The Rangers who would be used if one of those players were scratched would be either rookies Jesper Fast or J.T. Miller. I don’t know about you, but in a must-win game at home in the playoffs, I would not put my trust in one of two rookies who had extremely little playing time in the NHL this season. Plus, you would be sacrificing toughness with any of those substitutions, and neither of them have shown at this level yet that they can provide more offense than a Carcillo or Dorsett, so making a change would not make any sense.
Even though the Rangers lost Game 4, I say Vigneault has to just ride with the same exact lineup and hope for the best, because the Rangers really do not have any other options.
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