Rangers replace Diaz with Moore for Game 2

To little surprise, the New York Rangers will insert defenseman John Moore back into the lineup for Raphael Diaz in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Los Angeles Kings.

Moore, 23, served a two-game suspension for a hit that concussed Montreal Canadiens forward Dale Weise. He’s been averaging 14:06 minutes per game in the postseason, generating one assist in those 17 postseason contests.

Despite Game 1 going to overtime, Diaz only received 10:15 time on ice. He only received two shifts in the third period, a clear indication that Alain Vigneault didn’t trust the 28-year-old blueliner in this situation.

It might be a subtle difference, yet Moore’s presence can help Vigneault ease up on other Rangers, particularly Ryan McDonagh (who logged more than 31 minutes in Game 1).

Suspended Moore sorry for hit on Weise, eager to play in Cup Final


New York Rangers defenseman John Moore won’t get to make his first appearance in the Stanley Cup Final against the Los Angeles Kings until Game 2 because of his suspension.

Moore was banned for two games following his head-high hit on Montreal Canadiens forward Dale Weise. As Brett Cyrgalis of the New York Post shares, Moore is apologetic for what he did and eager to get back into action.

“Obviously, if I could take it all back, I would,” Moore said after Sunday’s practice, the Rangers’ first day back on the ice after two days off. “The biggest thing is I hope Dale is OK, and I just have to get ready for an opportunity coming up here.”

Moore added that he thought he “got in front of” Weise but said he has to make sure he’s not hitting a vulnerable player. A suspended player owning his dangerous hit makes for a pleasant change of pace.

For now, it’s Raphael Diaz who will likely suit up in his place in Game 1. Diaz played in Game 6 against Montreal and he played just 11:35 while on the third pairing with Kevin Klein.

Diaz to replace suspended Moore for Rangers tonight


The New York Rangers will turn to a former Canadien when they look to close out Montreal in tonight’s Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final.

Raphael Diaz, who spent the first three years of his career with the Habs, will draw in for the suspended John Moore tonight. He’ll play alongside Kevin Klein and will participate in these playoffs for the first time since midway through the Pittsburgh series — Diaz played in Games 3 and 4, both Ranger losses, getting 19:30 TOI in Game 3 and 16:45 in Game 4.

It’ll be interesting to see how the Blueshirts adjust to life without Moore in the lineup. While he was only averaging around 14 minutes per game, the former Blue Jackets rearguard did get some good minutes on the power play (averaging 1:42 per) and was plus-2 in the first five games of the Conference Final.

Rangers, Penguins make minor tweaks for Game 5


The New York Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins are about to kick off Game 5 on Friday, with both teams making some changes from Game 4.

Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault is going back to one of his old lineups, which means that John Moore is in for Raphael Diaz while Derek Dorsett (pictured getting punched) takes Dan Carcillo’s spot as a pest with a touch of offense:

At least partially because of Brook Orpik’s injury issues, the Penguins are bringing defenseman Robert Bortuzzo back into the mix.

It’s a good time to be a right-shooting d-man free agent


So I was thinking something watching the Rangers’ power play last night…

No, it wasn’t, “Boy, that does not look like a very confident power play.” Though it definitely didn’t.

It was this: If you’re a right-handed shooting defenseman that can play a regular number of five-on-five minutes and help a team’s power play, you’re going to be a hot commodity this summer.

Because the Rangers — with all due respect to Dan Girardi, Anton Stralman, Kevin Klein, and Raphael Diaz — don’t really have one of those double threats. Or, at the very least, they don’t have one that’s doing a very good job of it at the moment.

And the Rangers aren’t alone. The Red Wings made no secret that they’re in the market for “a top-four right-handed shooting defenseman.” Detroit’s power play hasn’t been the same since Brian Rafalski retired.

The Vancouver Canucks, meanwhile, were forced to dress seven defensemen on occasion this season, just so power-play specialist Yannick Weber could be available. Vancouver’s power play hasn’t been the same since Sami Salo took his booming shot to Tampa Bay. (And similarly, since right-handed shooter Mikael Samuelsson was traded.)

Read this post on the Phoenix Coyotes for more on the importance of right-handed shooters to teams’ power plays.

Then, after you read that, read MLive’s list of players the Wings could target this offseason, whether in free agency or a trade. Safe to say, Matt Niskanen is going to get PAID.

Finally, just in case you’re not sold yet, here are the top 10 d-men in terms of power-play points during the regular season. Notice anything about seven of them?