Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 06/07/14 at 08:14 AM ET
from Steve Silverman of CBS New York,
Everyone would like to see Nash take his 6-foot-4, 215-pound body and station himself in front of the net and cause havoc for the Kings’ defense and goalie Jonathan Quick. That is not going to happen. Nash may be big and have excellent skating skills, but he does not play a big man’s game. He avoids the punishment that power forwards have to take in order to be effective.
He is not going to score the kind of clutch goal that Williams scored for the Kings on Wednesday night. Nash likes to float around the offensive zone and attack with quickness – not power and strength.
However, Stepan and Kreider don’t have to play the same kind of game. If the Rangers are going to assert themselves, they need these two to win the puck battles that their linemate tends to avoid.
Stepan and Kreider also like to use their quickness advantage to make things happen, but that’s not going to be enough when the Rangers line up against the Kings.
The only team that is similar to the Kings in the Eastern Conference is the Boston Bruins, and that battle did not go well for the Rangers during last year’s playoffs or this year’s three regular season games.
But the battle has to be joined, and the Rangers now know that speed alone won’t earn them four victories in the Stanley Cup Final. It might get them one win and Lundqvist is good enough to steal them two more.
At some point in this series, the Rangers are going to have to beat the Kings at their own game at least once. They are going to have to roll up their sleeves and go to work. They will have to outmuscle the bigger and stronger team.
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