Since being called up by the Rangers on March 5, Micheal Haley has been better than expected. His days with the Islanders showed he could fight anyone, but not much else.
With the Blueshirts, we've actually seen he can be an effective hockey player. He forechecks well, uses the body and skates decently (although he won't be confused with Ryan McDonagh anytime soon) to go along with his toughness. With Arron Asham still recovering from back spasms, Haley has almost made fans forget Asham is even on the team.
Last night during the Rangers woeful loss to the Buffalo Sabres, John Tortorella rewarded the grinder for his play by placing him on the second line with Ryan Callahan and Derek Stepan. It nearly paid off as Haley had a prime scoring chance right on the doorstep blockered away by Jhonas Enroth late in the third period.
Here's what Haley had to say after the game last night about his game (courtesy of Brett Cyrgalis of the NY Post):
”It’s my job to do what I’m asked [to do], and just try to play hard,” Haley said. “If it’s four minutes, or eight minutes, or whenever they ask me to do something, I just want to be ready to the best of my ability.”
– I have to say, I've liked what I've seen from Micheal Haley. I'm pleasantly surprised he can do more than goon it up out on the ice. Although, he shouldn't playing in the top-six at any time for any reason.
– Even in limited minutes, he's shown more ability than Stu Bickel. Once Asham comes back, it should be Bickel, not Haley, that gets sent to the Whale. Haley has shown to be, at worst, less of a liability than Bickel.
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