The New York Rangers scored their first power play goal of the Eastern Conference semifinals in Thursday’s Game 4 win over Boston, and looked more dynamic with the man advantage than any of the previous three games of the series.
Head coach John Tortorella thinks he knows why — he wasn’t using Ryan McDonagh enough.
McDonagh, who logged 3:32 of power-play ice time in Game 4 (only d-man with more was Michael Del Zotto) was a major catalyst, according to Torts.
“I think he helped us on the power play,” Tortorella said on Friday. “It’s me, I screwed that up not using him early enough and I should have.”
McDonagh was a virtual non-factor with the man advantage during the regular season. He averaged just 38 seconds of power play time per night and had just one point — an assist — in 47 games.
But with the Rangers all but out of ideas (they were 2-for-38 heading into last night), Torts decided to give McDonagh a shot, and the move paid off. He had two of New York’s six power-play shots on the night, and looked comfortable manning the point.
Tortorella was full of praise for McDonagh’s ability to rise to the occasion.
“He’s probably one of the most intense, competitive people, players,” Torts explained. “He just competes.”
Curtis Glencross’ hard-luck preseason continued on Monday, as the Avalanche announced they released him from his training camp tryout.
Glencross had previously been cut from Toronto’s camp, which he described as “kind of a shock” move. Following that release, the 32-year-old quickly shifted to Colorado but arrived fairly late in the overall process, and only got a bit of exposure before being let go.
While some thought yesterday’s trade of Freddie Hamilton to Calgary may have opened up a spot for Glencross, the Avs now appear to be going in a different direction.
A two-time 20-goal scorer that netted 13 in 71 games last year, it’s unclear what lies ahead for Glencross.
The Edmonton Oilers have assigned center Leon Draisaitl to AHL Bakersfield.
The demotion of Draisaitl, 19, means 21-year-old rookie Anton Slepyshev has made the opening-day roster after scoring twice and adding two assists in exhibition action.
The Oilers experimented during the preseason with Draisaitl, a natural center, on the wing. He didn’t have a particularly poor camp, finishing with one goal and three assists in six games.
But Slepyshev apparently impressed more.
“He’s a young player but he’s played pro hockey before,” coach Todd McLellan told the Edmonton Journal. “You can see it.”
Slepyshev played 58 games in the KHL last season, scoring 15 goals for Salavat Yulaev Ufa.