After a disappointing loss to the Devils, the Rangers take the ice in Montreal to take on the Canadiens. This is the first of three straight games against playoff teams, so this stretch will tell us how far along the Rangers have come since their 3-7 start. That said, the Rangers don’t win in Montreal. Period. I don’t think I can remember the last time the Rangers won there. Henrik Lundqvist doesn’t play well there either, and it’s why Cam Talbot gets the start tonight.
Under Michel Therrien, the Canadiens play a 1-2-2 forecheck, but do use a 2-1-2 style from time to time based on the score and puck location. Though this team prefers to want to play passive and clog up the neutral zone. Like the Rangers, Montreal’s defensive zone system is to overload when the puck is along the boards and collapse around the slot when the puck is behind the net.
What’s interesting is that Therrien has said in the past that they overload the boards because of their team size and speed (note: small and fast). On special teams, the Habs play your standard umbrella powerplay. On the penalty kill, they rotate between a diamond force and a box depending on puck location. They really look to pressure the opposition all over the ice when shorthanded.
Cam Talbot gets the start
PP1: Staal-Richards, Kreider-Stepan-Brassard
PP2: McDonagh-J. Moore, Pouliot-Callahan-Zuccarello
Game time is 7pm tonight. Don’t forget to check out our Rangers Tickets link for deals to attend games.