The Derek Dorsett Factor
What kind of player is Derek Dorsett going to be for the Rangers?
We've been talking a lot recently about the types of things Derek Dorsett is going to bring to the table when he finally suits up for the New York Rangers. To be clear, we don't know exactly when that will be. Dorsett still hasn't been cleared for contact, although one of the benefits of his injury is the fact that he can still skate and stay in game shape .
When the Rangers made the Marian Gaborik trade it was expected that Dorsett would suit up sometime around the start of the playoffs. Well, we're here, and while he's not ready just yet he is inching closer and closer to getting into the lineup.
So what does any of this mean for the Rangers?
Well, Dorsett did a little of everything for the Columbus Blue Jackets. He's physical, fights, can kill penalties and can soak up minutes without giving John Tortorella heart palpitations on the bench in pressure situations. Dorsett played nearly 16 minutes a game for the Blue Jackets this year -- a figure which included 1:50 of penalty kill time a game as well. The only thing you can't expect much from Dorsett is offense; which is OK, he's not here for that.
He's here to be a tough guy who can also actually play hockey. He's not a goon but he'll drop the gloves the moment he feels it's merited (seriously, I had to go through two pages of photos to find one where he wasn't fighting). He wore the "A" for Columbus, and everyone spoke about how much they were going to miss his voice and leadership in the locker room once he got traded.
If you need help following: Those are all good things. They also happen to be things the Rangers need. The guy never takes a shift off, will die for his teammates and has no problem doing the dirty work on the ice. That's a guy anyone would want taking the ice for their hockey club.
One of the biggest concerns Rangers fans have walking into this series against the Washington Capitals is the penalty kill. The Capitals have an exceptional power play and staying out of the box has to be the main concern for the Rangers' coaching staff. But you can't expect your team to never take a penalty, so the Rangers penalty kill can't be up and down like it was in the regular season. They need to be more steady. Dorsett will help that.
He'll also provide another body to play even strength minutes and penalty kill minutes; meaning guys like Ryan Callahan, Rick Nash, Derek Stepan, Carl Hagelin and anyone else who kills penalties won't have to be leaned on as heavily. Which means they'll be on the ice in more offensive situations.
Like I said. Dorsett only brings good things with him.
It's just about actually getting him on the ice to use them.