Lundqvist Questions Rangers Toughness

Two weeks ago, it was Marty Biron questioning the Rangers "hardness," now the Blueshirts other goaltender, you might have heard of him, Henrik Lundqvist is criticizing the team's toughness…

“We did a lot of good things, but the games are decided in front of both nets right now. We need to have more traffic in front of their net, and I think we need to be a little tougher in front of our net.”

…Lundqvist has had to deal with a lack of toughness around the crease his entire Rangers career. In fact, it's gotten so bad at times he's had to actually stand-up for himself when his teammates wouldn't (see Habs game two years ago). But never a peep from him. So for Hank to call out his fellow Blueshirts like this you know things are bad. The perfect example was Stralman allowing Miettinen to park himself in front of Lundqvist without putting so much as a finger on him before the Winnipeg forward deflected home the game winner. Stralman has got to make life a living hell for that guy if he's going to plant himself at the top of the crease like that. Constant cross checks to the lower back and slashes to the back of his legs. That's something that's taught in pee wee hockey.

…and similar to Biron, Lundqvist is 100% correct. Unless their name is Rick Nash or Ryan Callahan a Rangers player is likely no where near the front of the net on other end of the rink. It's exactly the reason the Rangers have had a total of TWO power plays the last two games. If you're not constantly driving to the net in the offensive end, how can you expect to ever draw a penalty?

…and yes, I know Brandon Prust alone would not change things drastically with this team, but I tell you what, it wouldn't hurt to still have him around. Maybe he was worth $2.5 million per year.

…since we're on the subject of toughness, I'm loving Haley more and more every game. If Torts can continue to give him around 10 minutes of ice time I think he can become an almost "Avery Light" type player for this team. I was real impressed with the timing of his fight against Stuart last night. Things seemed to be getting away from the Rangers after the Jets early goal and his fight not only quieted the crowd but it gave his teammates a chance to catch their breath.

Here's video of his fight…

…this fight not only changed the momentum at the time, but Haley dropped Stuart like a sack of potatoes with a stiff right to the chops.

Also here's Torts and other players'post game thoughts…

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Kevin

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