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Game 15: Rangers vs. Canadiens

Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images North America

Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images North America

Tonight, the Montreal Canadiens come to town, and it’s the return of old friend Brandon Prust. Prust is expected to get a warm welcome from the fan base, but once the puck drops, all that goes away.

The Canadiens have given the Rangers trouble in the past, but this is a different Ranger team that is built on speed and forechecking. The Canadiens play a 2-1-2 forecheck, similar to the Rangers, which is different from the 1-2-2 that caused so much havoc in the past. The Rangers have seen the 2-1-2 many times before and know how to break it.

In the defensive zone, the Canadiens differ a bit from the Rangers in that they pressure the point while also collapsing to protect the slot. This is a bit of a hybrid of the man-to-man coverage and low zone collapse that Suit spoke about this morning. In doing so, the Habs ensure that they are protecting the high-priced real estate, while not giving the point men too much leeway.

The Canadiens also work an umbrella powerplay, but do so with much more success than the Rangers, converting at an 18.2% clip. Their penalty kill is on par with the Rangers at 83.3%, although they are a little bit more passive than the Rangers, who play a 1-1-2 PK forecheck in the neutral zone, then sit back into a standard box in the defensive zone. The Canadiens do not pressure the puck on the PK in the neutral zone the way the Rangers do, but do pressure the point a bit more with a diamond PK.

2012-2013 Records: Canadiens (10-4-1), Rangers (8-5-1)

NYR Leading Scorer: Rick Nash (3-9-12)
MTL Leading Scorer: Tomas Plekanec (8-5-13)

NYR Goaltender: Henrik Lundqvist (12 GP, 2.35 GAA, .917 SV%)
MTL Goaltender: Carey Price (11 GP, 2.06 GAA, .922 SV%)

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Rangers Lines (unconfirmed): 

Chris Kreider-Brad Richards-Ryan Callahan
Carl Hagelin-Derek Stepan-Marian Gaborik
JT Miller-Brian Boyle-Taylor Pyatt
Arron Asham-Jeff Halpern-Brandon Mashinter

Ryan McDonagh-Dan Girardi
Marc Staal-Anton Stralman
Michael Del Zotto-Matt Gilroy

Henrik Lundqvist

Scratches/Injuries:  Mike Sauer (concussion), Darroll Powe (unknown, likely concussion), Rick Nash (sick), Stu Bickel (healthy)

Opposition Blog:  Hockey Inside/Out

Broadcast Info: 7pm, MSG

Torts Post Practice Interview from Monday:

24 Responses to “Game 15: Rangers vs. Canadiens”

  1. Rangers fan in Boston says:

    How do we know Nash is “sick” and not dealing with a nagging injury? One is certainly preferable to the other.

    • Dave says:

      They said he was sick when he missed the fan forum. He likely has the flu.

    • Tim B says:

      Torts said he was “banged up” on sunday. I believe he was asked again yesterday and said “Nash is a great player and creates oppourtunities for us” and basically didnt answer the question. I believe he is sick.

  2. Walt says:

    Montreal has always given us fits over the years, and this team tonight will be no different. This is a test of our will, with Nash, Powe out, and Kreider back on the second line. Chris, your getting a second shot, prove you want to play with the big boys!!!!!

    Nash has had minor injuries this season, in Europe, so lets hope that he heals real quick.

    • Dave says:

      They mostly give us problems in Montreal. Luckily, this one isn’t in Montreal.

      • Tim B says:

        Few years ago, Rangers scored 5 in first period. Didnt score the rest if the game. They lost. 6-5. Kovalev had a goal in that game. Every Rangers fan was dissappointed. How do you give up a 5 goal lead? Idk. But it happens. Montreal is an old team and has old players. Yes they give us problems.

        • Dave says:

          They lost 6-5 in a shootout, I remember that game. Won’t happen in this one, too little offense.

          • Tim B says:

            They wont because they are strong defensively. They have like 3 all star defensemen (hopefully MDZ will become one too)

  3. Dave says:

    Lines updated:

    Kreider-Richards-Cally
    Nash-Stepan-Gaborik
    Miller-Boyle-Pyatt
    Mashinter-Halpern-Asham

  4. Gary says:

    Love the torts interview addition

  5. Tim B says:

    Not to be negative or anything but the chances of Hagelin have decreased with Nash not playing. How does a healthy scratch go to top line??? Id rather see Hags with Callahan and Richards. Id prefer

    Hags-Richards-Callahan
    Kreider-Stepan-Gaborik
    Pyatt-Miller-Asham
    Boyle-Halpern-Mashinter

    I thought Mashinter wasnt in the system. I thought he was on. PTO.

    • Dave says:

      Just because I list it as the top line doesn’t mean it is the top line. Honestly, I just listed it in a way that required the least amount of editing.

      You put Kreider with Cally and Richards bc they are two vets who will be good compliments for Kreider.

  6. Dave says:

    Good start for the Rangers. Good pressure, no shots though.

  7. Dave says:

    Powe concussion confirmed. Nothing on Nash.

  8. Dave says:

    Side note, this preview is way off (I watched some highlights and thought I picked it up). Habs playing a 1-2-2/2-1-2 hybrid and a low zone collapse.