Brassard-Pouliot-Zuccarello line getting it done for the Blueshirts

5/5/14 in NHL   |   patrickhoffman3530   |   122 respect

Jan 3, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Rangers center Derick Brassard (16) and left wing Benoit Pouliot (middle) congratulate right wing Mats Zuccarello (right) after Zuccarello scored a goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the third period at the CONSOL Energy Center. The Penguins won 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY SportsWhen it comes to the Stanley Cup playoffs, teams cannot rely on just one line to get it done.

Sure, that philosophy might work in video game hockey or even parts of the regular season, but in the playoffs, every line needs to try and make an impact. Just look at what the Chicago Blackhawks did last season when they won the Cup because they were the most complete team in that postseason.

For the first time in the last few seasons, the New York Rangers can now boast that they can roll four lines. Through their team's first eight games in this year's playoffs, each line has been able to generate scoring chances, put up points, and have an impact in one of their team's victories.

One line that has been consistent all postseason long for this Rangers' hockey club is a line that consists of Derick Brassard, Benoit Pouliot, and Mats Zuccarello. Not only was that apparent tonight when two of the three line members each scored a goal, including the game's overtime winner that gave their team a 3-2 victory in Game 1 over the Pittsburgh Penguins, but it has been apparent from the get go this postseason.

Looking back at tonight's tilt, this line factored into two of the Rangers three goals. Pouliot (one goal and one assist for two points) got the team off on the right foot when he scored the game's first goal just over five minutes into the hockey game.

Brassard (one goal) scored an even bigger goal for his team. It was his goal that went just under the crossbar in overtime that gave his hockey club the Game 1 victory and a 1-0 lead in the series.

While Zuccarello did not get a point tonight, he was someone who generated scoring chances, used his speed to create offense, and was able to get pucks deep for Brassard and Pouliot to go get. He was the perfect complement to Brassard's and Pouliot's game tonight.

The trio has been playing like this since the playoffs began. The best player on the line has been Pouliot.

In eight games, Pouliot has three goals and three assists for six points. Pouliot scored the game winning goal in Game 7 against the Philadelphia Flyers and has been tenacious in front of the net this postseason, has taken 13 shots, and has been everywhere in the offensive zone.

Zuccarello is playing much like he did in the regular season. He has four points (two goals and two assists) and in Game 7, his beautiful pass led to the first goal in game 7 as he was able to
connect with Dan Carcillo.  

Brassard, who led the team in points in the postseason last year, has struggled a bit this postseason, but appears to have come out of it in the last few games. In Game 7, he picked-up an assist on Pouliot's goal and tonight, he scored in overtime to give his team the victory.

In all, the line has combined for 13 points and has found a way to be a factor in each game. This is what happens when a team has depth.

In all, the line has combined for 13 points and has found a way to be a factor in each game. This is what happens when a team has depth.


The Blueshirts have depth and in the Pouliot-Brassard-Zuccarello line, they have a line that can do it all to help their team win hockey games and come playoff time, that is all that matters.
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