Last week, while Dan Girardi was out of the Rangers line up, Anton Stralman stepped in and played a big role with Ryan McDonagh.
With Girardi back in the lineup last night, Stralman was shuffled around, first to the third pair with Matt Gilroy and then some time with McDonagh.
Prior to the game against the Devils last week, Stralman a season high 16:04 against Pittsburgh in the Rangers 3-0 but was mostly playing between 9:15 and 13 minutes a night.
In seven games in January, Stralman averaged 13:02 per game. In four February games, Stralman is averaging 20:41.
With Girardi out of the lineup, Stralman played 22:59 against the Devils and 26:41 against the Islanders.
Last night Stralman played 20:36. He has no points, is a plus two, has 15 shots, 17 hits and is averaging 15:49 per game.
John Tortorella said that Stralman is a guy who just keeps plugging away for the Rangers.
When asked about Stralman and the role he recently had, Tortorella said “that is a guy who has grown on me. He competes, but it was a lot of minutes for him. We are hoping we don’t have to do that for him. We think his game has really grown. We had him on the PP, PK, it was a lot of minutes. It will help in the long run, but we are happy with how we have our time divided up when we have our six.”
Stralman told the Daily News that he couldn’t meet the high standard that Girardi set, but feels good about his time in that role, “I don’t think I quite lived up to that, but I think I played some good hockey and some good minutes.”
He is also seeing 1:53 on the PP and 1:09 on the PK this season.
Stralman is signed through next year with a cap hit of $1.7 million.