Tag: Erik Karlsson

Tampa Bay Lightning v New York Rangers - Game Five

In defense of Yandle, who’s ‘trying to make some plays’


Keith Yandle tried to make a play.

Unfortunately, it ended up on the stick of Steven Stamkos, right in front of the Rangers’ net…


Thank goodness for Henrik Lundqvist.

But the fact no goal was scored didn’t stop reporters from asking Rangers coach Alain Vigneault what he’s seen from Yandle the past couple of games.

“He’s working extremely hard,” replied Vigneault. “He’s trying to make some plays. With the pressure sometimes our D are under, (it’s) a little bit more challenging to make the right play. But he’s got the right idea.”

Vigneault was then asked about the challenge of making the right play under pressure.

“It’s a big challenge,” he said. “It’s the biggest team that we’ve met this year, and not just when they have the puck, but when they don’t have it, they are quick to put pressure. You’ve got to have
your head up. You’ve got to be thinking a play ahead, and you’ve got to make the right plays.”

The fact is, puck-moving defensemen like Yandle are going to make the odd giveaway. P.K. Subban led the league in giveaways by defensemen during the regular season. Erik Karlsson and Drew Doughty were up there, too. Those players aren’t out there to clear it high off the glass, and give it right back to the opposition. They’re out there to make plays, with the intention of keeping possession and going on the attack.

On top of that, with more and more teams bringing their defensemen down the wall to pressure wingers on the breakout, more and more plays need to be made in the middle of the ice, right in the danger area. So get your stick on the ice, Kevin Hayes. Be ready for the pass.

That’s not to let Yandle off the hook entirely. When Stamkos is lurking, putting the puck in the danger area is a pretty big risk. There were probably better options available, like spinning off the forecheck and skating with the puck behind the net. But that’s easy to say in hindsight. Also, easier said than done. (“Oh, just spin off the forecheck next time.”)

Yandle had his struggles adjusting to a new system after joining the Rangers in a late-season trade from Arizona. It hasn’t been all struggles though. He had two points in Game 3 versus the Lightning and three more in Game 4.

“We need him tonight to find a way to get a couple more pucks to the net, and we’ll be in good shape,” said Vigneault.

Habs’ Beaulieu available for Game 5

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Defenseman Nathan Beaulieu is available to the Montreal Canadiens for Game 5 tonight.

Beaulieu has been sidelined with an upper body injury since Game 3 of the Habs’ first round series with the Ottawa Senators following a hit from Erik Karlsson.

The 22-year-old has one assist in three Stanley Cup playoff games while averaging 12:18 in time on ice.

Michel Therrien would not confirm whether the blue liner would be in the lineup for tonight’s must-win contest against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Habs rule out Beaulieu (upper body) for first four games of Round 2

Nathan Beaulieu

The series-ending injury Montreal d-man Nathan Beaulieu suffered against Ottawa will carry over to Round 2, per TVA Sports.

Beaulieu will miss the first four games of the next round, with an upper-body injury suffered during Game 3 of the Sens series on this hit from Erik Karlsson:

Beaulieu, 22, remained in that contest but didn’t play in the third period or overtime, and missed the final three games of the series.

It’s likely that Montreal head coach Michel Therrien will continue to play Greg Pateryn on defense in place of Beaulieu, as he did for the second half of the Ottawa series. That said, Therrien has options: Sergei Gonchar and Mike Weaver, a pair of veterans, are currently sitting as healthy scratches and could draw in.