Preseason Game 1: Lots of prospects in against DevilsSeptember 16, 2013, by
The preseason starts tonight, with the Rangers in Newark to face those pesky Devils. Even though this is preseason, the general mood of the fan base is that of excitement. There is a lot of hype for this year’s club, as they should be contending for a Cup this season. Today is all about the prospects, as only eight regulars from last year are in tonight’s lineup. Keep an eye on Ryan Bourque, Marek Hrivik, Danny Kristo, and Dylan McIlrath (if he plays) tonight.
The Devils use two separate forechecking systems. In the early going the Devils play a 2-1-2 forecheck, but once the Devils get a lead, they switch forechecking strategies to a 1-2-2 hybrid trap. In the defensive zone, the Devils play a shot-blocking collapsing box style. The Devils allow their wingers to have the freedom to attack the point if the matchup is right (i.e.: When a slow-footed defenseman is out on the ice). On special teams, the Devils play your standard umbrella powerplay. On the penalty kill, the Devs play a rotation between a box and a diamond, depending on puck location and the setup of the opposition.
Rangers Lineup (per Pat Leonard):
Since this is a preseason game, expect the lines –particularly those with prospects– to be juggled a bit to see how players react to specific linemates and scenarios. The one thing we should expect is the top line (Kreider-Richards-Nash, Staal-Del Zotto) to stay intact for the majority of the game, as AV tries to see which of his core guys click with each other.
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