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Game 21: Marty returns to Tampa Bay

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

One week ago, three former Rangers made their returns to MSG wearing Tampa Bay Lightning uniforms. Tonight, Martin St. Louis, the best player in Tampa Bay history, will make his return. It’s likely that the fans will boo him, and while you can understand why, it’s really undeserving. As for the game, the Rangers are going to look to avenge the utter embarrassment that the Lightning handed them last week with that 5-1 loss. Expect a different Rangers team tonight.

Jon Cooper has the Lightning playing a pretty similar system as the Rangers. They run an overload 1-2-2 forecheck, but will mix in a 2-1-2 as well. In the defensive zone, they mix zone and overload coverage depending on puck location. On special teams, they run a 1-3-1 power play and rotate between a diamond and box penalty kill depending on opposition setup.

Rangers lineup:

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BSB FanDuel: Thanksgiving Eve

Here is the info for today’s FanDuel league: Sign up here, the league link is here.

For those unfamiliar, you are given $55,000 to construct a team of 2 LW, 2 RW, 2 C, 2 D, and 1 G. The goal is to find some good bargains (my advice is to save money on defense and spend big on offense) and save money for some stars you know will put up points. High fantasy points per game (FPG) with low cost is a good way to go, but look for streaks as well.

Rotowire has a lineup optimizer, as does DangleFactory. They are good resources if this intrigues you, or you’re new to daily fantasy sports.

As always, if the league fills up before you can get in, let me know in the comments. I leave the league size at 10 people for now to ensure it fills up. If there is more interest, I will expand the size as this continues.

Marty’s return to Tampa Bay should be met with cheers, not boos

Photo by Scott Levy/NHLI via Getty Images

Photo by Scott Levy/NHLI via Getty Images

Martin St. Louis spent over 12 seasons with the Tampa Bay Lightning before his midseason trade last year brought him to Broadway. Tonight marks the first time he will set foot in the St. Pete Times Forum since that trade. In those 12+ seasons with Tampa Bay, Marty scored 365 goals, had 588 assists (953 points in 972 games), won two Art Ross trophies for most points (’04, ’13), won a Hart and a Lester B. Pearson (’03-’04), won three Lady Byngs (’10, ’11, ’13), was a six-time All Star (’03, ’04, ’07, ’08, ’09, ’11), and –most importantly– won a Stanley Cup in 2004. He should get a heroes welcome in Tampa.

But, the marriage ended poorly. New General Manager Steve Yzerman snubbed Marty for the 2014 Winter Olympics, initially not selecting him for Team Canada’s roster. Marty –who, for a long time, wanted to come to New York to be closer to his family in Connecticut– requested a trade. Not only that, he requested a trade to one team and one team only: The New York Rangers. That puts a GM in a very tight spot.

On March 5, 2014, Marty was dealt to the Rangers with a second round pick in 2015 for Ryan Callahan and a pair of first round picks (2014, 2015). It was the first time in history two captains were traded for each other at the deadline.

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The power play is beginning to feel the Dan Boyle effect

Dan Boyle has played with many superstars over the years, but he can actually keep up with them

Martin covered Boyle’s impact yesterday, but here’s a little more. It’s Thanksgiving week so forgive me for not rewriting this one.

Though contract length and roster construction played a part, the Rangers basically chose between two distinct skill sets when they elected not to re-sign Anton Stralman and inked Dan Boyle as his replacement in July.

The argument for Boyle was that he was the true offensive defenseman the team had long lacked and a stud power play quarterback. The argument for Stralman was that he was among the league’s best possession players and had emerged as New York’s best defender other than Ryan McDonagh.

While Boyle missed the first five weeks of the season with a broken wrist, the patchwork Rangers’ defense often looked like it might get lit up in beer league and the power play was as inept as always. Meanwhile, Stralman was racking up points at an unprecedented rate and was called “nothing short of sensational” by his new coach, Jon Cooper. Read more »

BSB FanDuel: 11/25

Here is the info for today’s FanDuel league: Sign up here, the league link is here.

For those unfamiliar, you are given $55,000 to construct a team of 2 LW, 2 RW, 2 C, 2 D, and 1 G. The goal is to find some good bargains (my advice is to save money on defense and spend big on offense) and save money for some stars you know will put up points. High fantasy points per game (FPG) with low cost is a good way to go, but look for streaks as well.

Rotowire has a lineup optimizer, as does DangleFactory. They are good resources if this intrigues you, or you’re new to daily fantasy sports.

As always, if the league fills up before you can get in, let me know in the comments. I leave the league size at 10 people for now to ensure it fills up. If there is more interest, I will expand the size as this continues.

McDonagh practicing without non-contact jersey

Very promising news out of Tampa Bay. Captain Ryan McDonagh, out with a separated shoulder, is on the ice and practicing with the club, and he is without the yellow non-contact jersey. McDonagh has been out since November 2, and while a return tomorrow is probably unlikely, the fact that he is skating with the club means he is coming back soon.

The Rangers have not dressed a fully healthy team all season.

Potential trade target(s): Martin Marincin and Jeff Petry

Petry and Marincin (Photo: Windsor Star)

Petry and Marincin (Photo: Windsor Star)

The Edmonton Oilers are reportedly listening to offers for anyone on the roster. The Oilers are very heavy on the wing and defensive prospects, but thin at center and NHL defensemen, Theoretically, they are looking for an NHL ready center, and are willing to deal anyone on the roster.

Martin Marincin (22 years old) and Jeff Petry have been brought up a few times in trade rumblings a few times, but it was more speculation than anything substantial. The reasoning is that the Oilers are heavily invested in Justin Schultz, Andrew Ference, Nikita Nikitin, and Mark Fayne beyond this year. They have Darnell Nurse (OHL), Oscar Klefbom (AHL), and David Musil (AHL) knocking at the door as well. Guys like Petry (UFA, high salary) and Marincin (RFA, squeezed out by younger, better kids) could be used to address their needs.

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Dan Boyle’s return to the powerplay

dan-boyle

Boyle

It’s no secret the Rangers power play has been the subject of much criticism for seemingly the last decade and this season had been no different up until the return of Dan Boyle. The Rangers have been constantly, and unsuccessfully, looking for a man to run the point since the days of Brian Leetch and it seems as though they may have finally found someone more than competent to do so in Boyle.

In the past five games since the return of Boyle, the Rangers power play has looked much better and certainly more consistent. However the five games leading up to Boyle’s return shows that the Rangers power play was beginning to produce more shot attempts:

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Henrik Tallinder signs PTO with Hartford

With the Tomas Kaberle experiment over with, the Hartford Wolf Pack have brought in defenseman Henrik Tallinder on a PTO, per Bob McKenzie. Kaberle skated with the Rangers before being sent to Hartford to play in some games, and it looks like the Rangers are skipping that first part with Tallinder. Tallinder played in the NHL last season, putting up 2-6-8 with the Sabres (keep in mind, it was Buffalo).

His possession numbers are up and down, so it’s hard to see where he’d be an improvement at the NHL level.

BSB FanDuel: 11/24

Here is the info for today’s FanDuel league: Sign up here, the league link is here.

For those unfamiliar, you are given $55,000 to construct a team of 2 LW, 2 RW, 2 C, 2 D, and 1 G. The goal is to find some good bargains (my advice is to save money on defense and spend big on offense) and save money for some stars you know will put up points. High fantasy points per game (FPG) with low cost is a good way to go, but look for streaks as well.

Rotowire has a lineup optimizer, as does DangleFactory. They are good resources if this intrigues you, or you’re new to daily fantasy sports.

As always, if the league fills up before you can get in, let me know in the comments. I leave the league size at 10 people for now to ensure it fills up. If there is more interest, I will expand the size as this continues.