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Diaz to replace suspended Moore for Rangers tonight

May 29, 2014, 11:23 AM EDT

RaphaelDiaz2 Getty Images

The New York Rangers will turn to a former Canadien when they look to close out Montreal in tonight’s Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final.

Raphael Diaz, who spent the first three years of his career with the Habs, will draw in for the suspended John Moore tonight. He’ll play alongside Kevin Klein and will participate in these playoffs for the first time since midway through the Pittsburgh series — Diaz played in Games 3 and 4, both Ranger losses, getting 19:30 TOI in Game 3 and 16:45 in Game 4.

It’ll be interesting to see how the Blueshirts adjust to life without Moore in the lineup. While he was only averaging around 14 minutes per game, the former Blue Jackets rearguard did get some good minutes on the power play (averaging 1:42 per) and was plus-2 in the first five games of the Conference Final.

  1. nebbah306 - May 29, 2014 at 11:52 AM

    I see this being a positive. NYR have too many left-handed shooters. There were a couple power plays in Game 5 in which if Stepan wasnt on the ice, they had 5 lefties out there. Diaz and his booming shot will be a welcomed addition.

    Still disagree with Moore getting 2 games instead of 1, but he did deserve a suspension. Prust’s hit just seemed worse, and given Prust’s previous history and the fact that the refs missed the call, I thought Prust would get more than Moore.

    • bmy0913 - May 29, 2014 at 12:09 PM

      That coupled with the fact that the league acknowledged that the hit was not late. It was still on time, the contact was the issue. Which, to be fair, is valid.

      I am getting pretty sick of the Prust defenses though. Saying that his hit was clean is garbage, he exploded upward on a completely defenseless player and broke his jaw. The contact was not primarily body, and his intent was clear. History, like you said, should have been a bigger mitigating factor.

    • charlie24zz - May 29, 2014 at 12:51 PM

      Diaz is not a good hockey player, next year he will be in the Swiss league. He better play less than 8 minutes, for the Rangers sake.

      • barkar942 - May 29, 2014 at 1:06 PM

        So I guess if Diaz scores the game winner, you will be a very unhappy man.
        Personally, he has performed well when called upon for the Rangers this season. He and Moore are similar.

      • bwayblueshirt - May 29, 2014 at 1:07 PM

        Clearly you didn’t watch the games he played in. I thought his passing skills, willingness to shoot, and creativity helped turn the PP around (back when they were 0-36). He’s also got a very active stick. With home ice advantage we can ease him in, make sure he doesn’t play against a top line for the first period, and I think this will be a boon for the Rangers.

      • nebbah306 - May 29, 2014 at 1:13 PM

        Well there’s a reason why he’s the team’s extra defenseman. No one here is claiming he’s the 2nd coming of Ryan McDonagh. Thanks again, Bob Gainey!

      • canadiensfanno1 - May 29, 2014 at 2:58 PM

        Lol u guys I saw Diaz for the last 3 years with montreal , hes not like moore, hes more like a defenseman That cant hit and That cant shoot but gréât first pass and excellent in +\- ratio

  2. formerworldchamps - May 29, 2014 at 12:44 PM

    In both cases the intent to send the victim into another county was evident.The fact Prust played the rest that game and the Habs did not have to go on the kill and that Moore was ejected plus the Rangers had a five minute major to kill off; leads me to believe that the Rangers got the short end of this stick.Albeit not by a landslide.

    I am a Ranger fan.

  3. bdkite - May 29, 2014 at 12:54 PM

    The league is fortunate Prust did not score the winner in game 3, they would have had major egg on their face…it’s a joke they all missed it.

  4. rpiotr01 - May 29, 2014 at 4:42 PM

    If I’m AV I go all in to win this series and just pull a Tortorella on Girardi, Mac, Staal and Stralman. Your best players can step up and log extra minutes for one or two games.

  5. DED - May 30, 2014 at 9:56 AM

    And Diaz played just fine last night.

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