Clendening proves not to be the answer, Rangers need a better Kevin Klein

Klein-Rangers-640-gettyKevin Klein should return to the lineup today against Carolina. If practice yesterday was any indication, he will play with Brady Skjei. The Rangers desperately need #8 to up his game and return to form over the last two years.

Clendening Hurt More Than He Helped

Adam Clendening returned to the lineup against Buffalo satisfying those Rangers fans in the “corsi is everything” crowd. The belief was that Clendening was going to finally be the puck carrying, possession wiz defenseman that would spark the Blueshirts.

Things started well for Clendening as he assisted on Rick Nash’s go ahead goal in the 2nd period. Then in the third period in a tie game with the Sabres coming on in waves he took a game killing penalty that led to Jack Eichel’s PPG which was followed up Eichel’s 2nd less than two minutes later.

So Clendening’s 47% corsi looks great when the Rangers overall CF for the game was 35%. But his inability to play clutch defense reared its ugly head against Eichel that led to a holding penalty and eventually sealed the fate of the Rangers.

Rangers Need Klein

The Rangers issues are how they are simply playing into the hands of the opposition who have trapped in the neutral and stand up on the blue line. They continue to think they can finesse their way into the zone. Time to get simple and dump the puck in. Then they need to outwork the opposition for the puck and score dirty goals.

However, the Rangers are giving up too many goals lately and that’s where Klein comes in. They need him to be nasty and gritty in front. After watching Clendening run around in his own zone last game….the Rangers really need Klein more than ever.

Anthony Scultore has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL since 2014. His work also appears at... More about Anthony Scultore

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