Home ice advantage certainly has its perks. Craig Berube did a masterful job of getting the Flyers the match-ups he wanted in game 3 at the Wells Fargo Center. Ryan McDonagh and Dan Girardi played 45% of Claude Giroux‘s even strength minutes last night. This was the first time Giroux has seen McDonagh for less than 50% of his ice time in three games.
Anton Stralman and Dan Girardi played only 35% of Giroux’s minutes, which meant that the third pair of John Moore and Kevin Klein saw quite a bit more of the Flyers first line last night than they would at MSG.
This minutes allocation for Giroux really shows the true value of the Klein trade for the Rangers. Berube can run from the Rangers top pair. He can limit Giroux’s exposure to Staal and Stralman with the advantage of home ice. But for all that effort, the Rangers really don’t have a glaring weakness on the third pair. Imagine the consequences of a Michael Del Zotto and Moore third pair playing against 20% of Giroux’s minutes in the playoffs on the road.. Yikes.