Stanley Cup Playoffs 2012: New York Rangers’ 4th Line Has Been Key

May 15th, 2012 by Jeff Laniado Leave a reply »

It doesn’t take long to notice when the New York Rangers send out their fourth line of forwards.

Usually within seconds you’ll notice Mike Rupp’s colossal 6’5’’ figure chugging alongside Brandon Prust, motoring viciously around the ice, looking for the next opponent to throw their bodies into.

Even John Mitchell, who was largely unknown to the hockey world prior to finding a role in New York, has been the Rangers most reliable faceoff man throughout the postseason.

Following every New York Rangers game, the postgame recap shows how the ice time was distributed between the four lines.

It seems like every time, I am surprised to learn just how few minutes the fourth line of the Rangers actually played despite their immense contributions throughout the game.

Typically the fourth line of a hockey team consists of the least skilled players, but some teams are deep enough to employ an “energy line” as their fourth rotation of forwards. It is vital to have a solid fourth line of forwards, especially in the postseason, as it gives the primary forwards time to rest.< ...

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