Game 20 Preview: Sabres at Rangers

March 3, 2013, by
Consistency is key.

Consistency is key.

The Sabres made waves recently when they fired Lindy Ruff after 16 seasons as their head coach. Since then they’ve gone 3-2 under Ron Rolston.  Under both coaches, the Sabres system is similar to what we’ve seen from the Flyers under Peter Laviolette, which is essentially two different looks.

The first look is the 2-1-2 forecheck, which the Rangers utilize as well. This is an aggressive system designed to create pressure below the dots and cause turnovers down low.

In certain game situations (i.e., the score, time left in a period, etc.) they tend to switch to a slightly more conservative 2-3 lock. This system also sends two forecheckers into the zone, but the third forward sits back with the defense up high. This ensures protection against odd man rushes, but also provides some pressure to create turnovers.

In the defensive zone, the Sabres tend to pressure the points, yet they haven’t been very good at giving Miller protection in the slot. If our defensemen can handle their high zone pressure and get shots through, our low forwards will have an opportunity to crash the net and score some dirty goals.

As for special teams, the Rangers also have an opportunity to continue to build on their power play. They’ve scored 4 PP goals in their last 7 games. With the amount of penalties the Sabres take, hopefully the Rangers will get an early PP goal and get the crowd behind them and a lead in front of them.

Speaking of special teams, the Sabres have a lot of fire power up front in Vanek (12g), Hodgson (8g), Ennis (7g) and Pominville (7g), yet their power play is 28th in the league. And a few people thought Ruff should replace Torts? Um no.

For more on Tortorella’s systems read here.

2012-2013 Records: Buffalo (9-12-1), Rangers (9-8-2)

NYR Leading Scorer: Rick Nash (4-10-14)
BUF Leading Scorer: Thomas Vanek (12-15-27)

NYR Goaltender: Henrik Lundqvist (16 GP, 2.31 GAA, .917 SV%)
BUF Goaltender:  Ryan Miller (20 GP, 2.82 GAA, .916 SV%)

New York Rangers Tickets.

Rangers Lines (unconfirmed): 

Carl Hagelin-Brad Richards-Rick Nash
Taylor Pyatt-Derek Stepan-Ryan Callahan
J.T. Miller-Brian Boyle-Marian Gaborik
Stu Bickel-Jeff Halpern-Darroll Powe

Ryan McDonagh-Dan Girardi
Marc Staal-Anton Stralman
Michael Del Zotto-Steve Eminger

Henrik Lundqvist

Probable Scratches/Injuries:  Mike Sauer (concussion), Arron Asham (back), Matt Gilroy

Fun Fact: The Rangers are one of the least penalized teams in the NHL (thanks Torts)

Broadcast Info: MSG 730pm

JT Miller post-practice interview from Saturday:

Categories : Game Thread


  1. Bloomer says:

    The Rangers are paying 7.5 million for a 3rd line winger. Gabs’ salary is more then Hags, Cally, Stephan and Stalmans’ put together. Its time they moved him when they can still get a reasonable return, perhaps for a dman who can run a PP.

  2. rickyrants13 says:

    there is a nice post on here that has the rangers trading gabs for Dan Boyle and Clowe. I think it would be a great trade. Clowe is another big body and Boyle would give us that shot we need from the point.

    • Dave says:

      I don’t believe that’s anything we’ve posted on.

      • rickyrants13 says:

        Look under your YARD BARKER NETWORK posts on the right of this page

        • Dave says:

          Are you serious? That links to a different website. Please tell me you were joking in suggesting we wrote that.

          • rickyrants13 says:

            never did I just said i liked it

            • Dave says:

              “there is a nice post on here ” indicates you read it on this blog.

              Side note: Gaborik for Boyle and Clowe is highway robbery and doesn’t work in a cap world.

  3. Spozo says:

    I just read that Vanek is not playing tonight. That is definitely good news for the Rangers

    • Tim B says:

      I like Vanek. This is one of his better seasons. Never the same after the 40 goal season a few years back. No offence but i’d take Vanek over Gaborik right now. If Gaborik is traded, i would hope the Rangers can get a decent PP QB. And maybe a third line forward to replace Gaborik. Ferriero looked strong and hopefully he can be an everyday player. Or trade Gaborik straight up for a PP QB who is a defensemen and have Slats sign Zuccarello to play third line and help the PP. Third line isnt a great offensive threat so I could care less if Zucc scores that much, however it would be nice. No back to Vanek, i mentioned like a week ago about the upcoming free agents. Vanek’s contract expires this season or next season. I hope the Rangers make an offer to him. Having Vanek on the top line with Richards and Callahan would make me happy. Hags, Stepan and Nash have chemistry. Also, hasnt Kreider played center before? I thought he could play all 3 forward positions. If thats the case, he can replace Boyle at center and center Pyatt-Miller or Zucc in the upcoming years if they are still with the team.

  4. The Suit says:

    Most people want to replace Gabby with a power forward or a PP QB. You want to replace him with Vanek through free agency?

    What am I missing?

    • Tim B says:

      Get a PP QB defensemen straight ip for Gaborik. Also you need soneone to take Gaboriks spot on the roster. I want that player to be Vanek. That way you get a scorer and a PP QB defensemen. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

      • The Suit says:

        Vanek is a lateral move. If you don’t like Gabby, you won’t like Vanek. Same type of player. But I hear you on the PP QB.

  5. rickyrants13 says:

    Has anyone seen that Bumb Marian Gaborik tonite. This guy is just a joke and a half No shots on goal is not what were paying for. Please trade this loser for anything.

    • Spozo says:

      Sour on a player who hasn’t produced through 18 games after offseason shoulder surgery and posting a 40 goal season?

    • Dave says:

      He had two assists tonight. Were you watching?

      • rickyrants13 says:

        O please this guy has been a joke Maybe you guys dont give a hoot that we are paying this had 7 mill for on again off again seasons. But many of us are not.

        We have that right. I could see you asking me this if I was the only one talking this way but Im not. and maybe before you say something you should try reading what time this was posted

  6. Bloomer says:

    Torts can’t get production out of Gaborik. I believe Marions’ time in New York is finished. It would be better for the Rangers and for Gabby’s career if they parted ways.

  7. Joestradamus says:

    I liked the shootout lineup of Nash-Cally-Miller. Torts finally realized that Gabby and Richards were not good on the shootout.

  8. Dave says:

    Yup. Gaborik can’t produce. Two assists tonight. Third on the team in scoring. Seriously, trade him.

    Better yet, Old Yeller him. I mean, cmon.

  9. Chris F says:

    Gaborik HAS been producing, as evidenced by his two assists tonight and his 14 pts (good for third on the team).

    With that said, his hesitancy to shoot has been a bit frustrating. But, we all know his skill, so we should cut him some slack. It’s not like he’s disappeared by any stretch of the imagination.

    On a side note, fantastic to see the Rangers make the Sabres pay (TWICE!) on Kaleta’s 5-minute boarding major against Richards. Glad to see Richie come right back out to finish the PP.

  10. rickyrants13 says:

    Gaborik is not producing for a $7 million dollar player. This guy is missing way too much to justify what we are paying him. If the rumors are true that there could be a deal in the works with SJ Ide make that trade in a heartbeat. We would get a PP Def that will give us a top 5 Second to none on D. And another big body up front to boot.