For additional insight into the Eastern Conference First Round series between the Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Rangers, NHL.com has enlisted the help of Dave Farrish to break down the action. Farrish will be checking in throughout the series.
Farrish was an assistant coach for the Anaheim Ducks and Toronto Maple Leafs from 2005-14. He won the Stanley Cup with the Ducks in 2007. He also coached 1,027 games in the minor leagues, including the American Hockey League. In addition, Farrish, a former defenseman, played 430 games over seven seasons in the NHL.
The New York Rangers' speed up the ice is a staple of their game and noticeable whenever they're playing well. But it was New York's speed on the back check in Game 3 Monday against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Consol Energy Center that caught the attention of former NHL assistant coach Dave Farrish.
Farrish said the Rangers were dominant in the first two periods en route to a 2-1 win and a 2-1 lead in the best-of-7 Eastern Conference First Round series in part because they were so quick on the back check that it disabled any rush up the ice the Penguins were hoping to have.
"Their back pressure was really incredible and they didn't give Pittsburgh really anything at all off the rush," Farrish said. "It caused the Penguins to turn the puck over at the blue line or just inside the blue line when they were looking for help. I thought that was a big part of the game."