There has been a lot of discussion about who the Rangers should put on the bench when their injured players return to the lineup. On Saturday, we saw Chris Kreider and Kris Newbury sent to the press box when Derek Dorsett and Brian Boyle returned from injury. Today, it appears that Arron Asham will be scratched in favor of the returning Ryane Clowe.
Many are in the belief that Boyle should never have played, and Kreider should still be in the lineup. There’s a good argument for it, although I wholeheartedly disagree with that sentiment. Boyle was the best face off guy on this team during the regular season and is one of the most important penalty killers. In a series that has been decided by special teams, the Rangers need their best PK guys.
Another argument can be made for Asham, who has had a strong series so far. The same cannot be said for a lot of other guys –Dorsett was underwhelming in his first game back– but the fact remains that Dorsett makes Asham redundant, no matter how effective he is. I’m a fan of Asham in the lineup, as I believe he is an effective fourth line player. But with Dorsett back, it was only a matter of time before Asham sat.
There’s a case to sit Darroll Powe, he of zero goals this season, but that again goes back to the first point. The Rangers need their best penalty killers out there, and Powe is one of them (along with Boyle, Ryan Callahan, and Derek Stepan). It’s a delicate balance.
So what do you guys think? What would your lineup be for tonight (assuming no Marc Staal)?