With a goal last night, Taylor Pyatt now has points in three straight games. This comes after Pyatt went scoreless for the entire month of March, 15 games, and was a minus four and averaged 12:11.
This month, in 11 games, Pyatt has one goal and two assists and is averaging 9:16. In the last three games Pyatt has played over 10 minutes in each and John Tortorella said on ESPN Radio yesterday that the injury to Brian Boyle opened up a spot on the third line for Pyatt.
Tortorella said that Pyatt has been playing well along the walls all season, that he uses Pyatt when the Rangers are protecting a lead, but that he has had an up and down first season with the Rangers.
Pyatt told Ranger Rants that it had been some time since he scored a big goal in a big game and that he feels his game has been improving lately.
Through 19 games, Taylor Pyatt is playing 15:30 per night for the Rangers.
Pyatt has four goals and two assists this season, with a plus five and 38 hits.
Pyatt has spent time in the last two games skating with Ryan Callahan and Derek Stepan.
In describing his game, John Tortorella said “I think Pysie has done a good job, you take out some turnovers and he has been a pretty good player. What I like about Pyatt is that you can put him in a lot of different spots. He is strong on the puck, a big body, not the best skater but he is deceptive, he gets there. There is flexibility. He can play both sides.
Tortorell also said of Pyatt,“he doesn’t say much, but he does a lot of good things for us on the boards. He has been very consistent in how we want to play below the hash and on the boards.”
Sam Rosen and Joe Micheletti both praised Pyatt in the game against Tampa Bay. They talked about how Pyatt is a hard working player, brings flexibility to the lineup and his ability on the boards. Joe mentioned that Pyatt seems to have a near perfect record in coming out of a board battle with the puck.
In his first four games as a Ranger, Taylor Pyatt has three goals on six shots and is averaging 14:54 per game.
After playing about 12:30 in the first two games, Pyatt was moved up to the second line on Wednesday and played nearly 15 minutes and against the Flyers he played nearly 20 minutes.
Following the game against the Bruins, John Tortorella praised Pyatt “he has played well. I worry sometimes about the speed of the game, but he gets there. He has been one of our most consistent players. Sometimes I worry that he isn’t going to get down the ice, but he gets there. We put him on the second line and he contributes with a big goal. He is probably one of our most consistent players.”
Ryan Callahan told Newsday, that one of Pyatt’s strengths is holding onto pucks down low and helping create offense around the net.
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.”
Coyotes GM Don Maloney, the only GM to offer Pyatt a contract in the summer of 2009 said “When he’s focused, he’s an unstoppable force.”
James Duthie has an excellent article about the situation at TSN.
Pyatt was teammates with Marty Biron in Buffalo and the organization knows him and his family from Gordie Clark’s time with the Islanders (where Pyatt was drafted) and from his younger brother Tom who was a Rangers draft pick.
In the offseason, the Rangers lost Brandon Prust, John Mitchell and Ruslan Fedotenko from their bottom six roles and replaced them with Arron Asham, Taylor Pyatt and Jeff Halpern.
Brian Boyle, who played consistently over the past two seasons with Prust and Fedotenko told Blueshirts United that he is excited for his new group of teammates.
On his new teammates, Boyle said “Asham is a tough player, protects his teammates,and we’re all about that here, we’re a very close group. Halpern, having gone against him on faceoffs, you know it’s a huge challenge. I watched Taylor Pyatt in the playoffs and thought he was great.”
Adam Rotter: I think that Pyatt will be on one of Boyle’s wings with the other winger still undetermined. Boyle plays the same kind of game no matter who his linemates are and he will just have to develop chemistry with them like he did with Prust and Fedotenko. Asham and Halpern are likely to be with Mike Rupp on the fourth line.