Last week the Rangers fourth line was a mixed bag of players such as Mike Rupp, Stu Bickel, Benn Ferriero and Brian Boyle. And it really didn't matter what the combination was because John Tortorella only gave them four minutes of ice time a night anyway.
But since the Rupp trade and the Miller call-up, a dependable fourth line has emerged and Torts seems to be gaining confidence in them by the shift as evidence by their combined 28 minutes of ice time last night.
Here's the Rangers head coach on how the play of the fourth line has a positive effect on the entire line-up (via Bergen Record)…
“The way the lines are playing, we just have the puck more. The biggest thing is not so much the goals, it’s the puck possession and the wall play. I just think our lines are a little bit stiffer. The fourth line gets nine, 10 minutes. They deserve it.”
He added this on Asham (Newsday)….
"A guy like Ash, what he does, a lot of players won't do it. Those type of guys who fight for their teammates and do all of the dirty things in the game, and score a goal, you're certainly happy for him. He's played on about a hundred teams and every team we talked to said he's a great guy."
…when Torts feels comfortable rolling four lines, the Rangers are always a better team. There's less chance of burnout, plus the fourth line can add that energy and edge that sometimes a team needs during the game.
…if Boyle wants to get out of that press box, he better be praying for an injury or that someone goes into a big slump. Seriously, who could he possibly replace in the line-up right now?
Here's some of the fourth line's work…
…unreal plays by Powe on both goals. Seriously, how did Sather get him and a prospect for Rupp?
…raise your hand if you knew Asham could shoot it like that.