Two-thirds of the Rangers fourth line last night was not in the lineup last Thursday in the Rangers loss to the Panthers.
Arron Asham returned from injury, Kris Newbury was called up from Hartford and combined with Darroll Powe, they scored a goal and drew a key penalty that led to the Rangers tying the game.
- Darroll Powe: 8:35 with one shot, two hits and a blocked shot
- Kris Newbury: 8:55 with an assist, three hits and 2 wins and 4 losses on faceoffs
- Arron Asham: 6:39 with a goal, two shots and three hits.
When asked to describe the role his line played in the game, Asham said that they provided his teammates with some “jump.”
John Tortorella said last night that the fourth line “changed the complexion of the game” and played a big role in the Rangers securing a point.
Dan Girardi said on MSG that the way the fourth line played was exactly the way it needs to moving forward.
Before the game on MSG, John Tortorella said of Kris Newbury “He is a junk-yard dog. He is physical, he is on the puck. He just can’t cross the line with the discipline. He has been a good solider down there. We are hoping maybe he bangs one in for us. He brings some jam.”
Arron Asham skated for the first time since last Wednesday in Winnipeg and told the team’s website this morning that his back is still a bit of an issue, but it’s gotten better and now at a point where he can play through.
Asham said that he feels his back would hold up during a game, but before he can re-enter the lineup, he needs to get back into game shape.
Yesterday in Winnipeg was the first time that Arron Asham has been on the ice since 2/23.
Asham has missed the Rangers last 10 games with back spasms and told the team’s website that he hopes to keep feeling better, but called the process a “work in progress.”
He added that he has been frustrated watching the team over the past 10 games and not having the chance to help the team take steps in the right direction.
John Tortorella said yesterday, via the Daily News, that he hasn’t been able to get a good read on what Asham can provide since he has been injured.
On the Rangers process/decision to bring Asham to the organization, Tortorella said “when we did our work on him, before we signed him, he’s played on every damn team in the league, and we talked to a lot of teams in the league and everybody just raved about him and the type of guy he was … we just haven’t seen enough of him. I’ve watched him from afar. He brings an element to the team and also can play, and I know that but we need to get him healthy to see if he can help us.”
He has one goal this season and is averaging 6:12 per game.
Adam Rotter: Depending on how Michael Haley continues to play, I wonder where Asham will fit into the lineup. They play similar styles, can both drop the gloves, and create energy. Asham is the more polished player but John Tortorella at least seems intrigued with Haley.
6:34PM In a post to twitter, Arron Asham responded to a question from
@HockeyValkyria asking how he was feeling.
Asham responded, “feeling better thanks hope to be back soon.”
Asham last played on 2/19 against Montreal and has been out since with what was originally called back spasms.
The Rangers, as they do with all of their players besides Michael Sauer (concussion), list Asham as “injured” in their game previews.
Rick Nash has eight goals on the season and all eight have come in the third period.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Nash is the second period in NHL history to have his first eight goals be in the third period.
The last player to do this was teammate Arron Asham in 2003-04 when Asham was with the Islanders.
That season Asham had 12 goals and 12 assists, nine third period goals and eight fights.
John Tortorella says, via Andrew Gross, that Arron Asham is out tonight with back spasms.
Michael Del Zotto and Marc Staal are game time decisions.
Christian Thomas is en route to Montreal.
When the Rangers signed Arron Asham on July 1, 58% of readers said that they didn’t like the move.
Asham has played on the Rangers fourth line this season, averaged 6:42 per game, (with 13:05 as a season high in Tampa Bay and 1:57 as a season low in the second game of the season against the Penguins) with three shots, 11 hits and two fighting majors.
Last night, Asham scored his first goal of the season and John Tortorella was quite happy he did.
Tortorella said on MSG last night, “a guy like Ash, what he does, a lot of players won’t do it. Those type of guys who fight for their teammates, the guys who do all the dirty things, they score a goal and his teammates are certainly happy for him. You can see he is a good teammate. We talked about bringing him here, he has played on about 100 teams and every team we talked to said that he was a great guy. He was feeling it. The next shift after he was wheeling and dealing. Good for him, I’m happy for him. He has a lot of things to do in the game that a lot of other players won’t do or are willing to do.
Asham told the team’s website that he appreciated getting a regular shift and the chance to chip in offensively.
For more on Asham, CLICK HERE.
12:47PM: Katie Strang notes that John Tortorella isn’t sure if Asham will be available tomorrow.
11:58AM: According to Katie Strang, Arron Asham has a mild-groin strain and that is why he is not on the ice today.
Asham played 5:53 on Sunday in his season debut against the Penguins.
He played four shifts in the first period, three in the second period and two in the third period.
Asham fought Tanner Glass two seconds in to the game.
Last night the Penguins announced their starting lineup as James Neal, Evgeni Malkin and Tanner Glass. The Rangers countered with Rick Nash, Brad Richards and Arron Asham.
After the game on MSG, John Tortorella said that he started Asham because the Penguins are his former team and because the Penguins started Glass.
Two seconds into the game, Asham and Glass dropped the gloves.
Asham told the NY Post that he fought for one reason, “All fights are to try and get your bench going, get the crowd into it. I thought it was a good time to do it, but it didn’t work out.”
Tortorella said that he was angry with team’s response, or lack thereof, to the fight,”high marks to Ash. That is what pisses me off. Ash goes in there, hangs in there and we don’t come in behind him. When a player does something like that the other players need to feed off of that and do their thing.”
Filip Bondy writes in the Daily News that the fight didn’t have its intended impact and “choreographed fights are a continued disgrace in the NHL”
In the Daily News, Pat Leonard writes about the Rangers new players who aren’t named Rick Nash.
He writes about how Arron Asham, Taylor Pyatt and Jeff Halpern will need to replace players like Ruslan Fedotenko, John Mitchell and Brandon Prust.
Brian Boyle praised the competitiveness of Jeff Halpern and said that these guys know their roles and add to the overall depth of the team, “these are guys who work and do whatever the team needs them to do. And that’s what you want.”
Halpern added that a guy like Taylor Pyatt is who every team needs since he is a big guy who can control the puck. Halpern added “those are the kind of guys you need.”
On his game, Pyatt said “I play that grinding style that can be effective in the playoffs and hopefully in a shortened season like this one.”