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Game 24: The struggling and shorthanded Lightning

AP Photo/Mike Strasinger

AP Photo/Mike Strasinger

After winning two games in a row in the central time zone, the Rangers are back in this time zone to take on the Tampa Bay Lightning. Tampa is falling and falling fast without the injured Steven Stamkos, losing their last four games in a row. This is also a team that had good puck luck (over 100 PDO) early on while not driving puck possession, which is a recipe for losses and regression to the mean. While that doesn’t guarantee a win, it means the Rangers are catching the Lightning at a vulnerable time.

These aren’t your 1-3-1 neutral zone trapping Guy Boucher Lightning anymore. Jon Cooper has the Lightning playing a pretty similar system as the Rangers. They run an aggressive 1-2-2 forecheck with a lot of pinching from their defensemen. Once they get a 2 goal lead, they tend to sit back in the neutral zone with a more passive 1-2-2.

Jon Cooper has the Lightning playing a pretty similar system as the Rangers. They run an aggressive 1-2-2 forecheck with a lot of pinching from their defensemen. Once they get a two goal lead, they tend to sit back in the neutral zone with a more passive 1-2-2. In the defensive zone, they mix man-on-man and zone coverage. On special teams, they still run a 1-3-1 power play and a diamond/box hybrid penalty kill.

Rangers Lineup:

Chris Kreider-Derek Stepan-Mats Zuccarello
Rick Nash-Brad Richards-Ryan Callahan
Carl Hagelin-Derick Brassard-Benoit Pouliot
Derek Dorsett-Brian Boyle-Dominic Moore

Ryan McDonagh-Dan Girardi
Marc Staal-Anton Stralman
John Moore-Michael Del Zotto

Henrik Lundqvist gets the start.

Scratches: Taylor Pyatt (concussion), J.T. Miller (healthy), Justin Falk (healthy)

Game time is 7:30pm tonight. Don’t forget to check out our Rangers Tickets link for deals to attend games.

17 Responses to “Game 24: The struggling and shorthanded Lightning”

  1. Andrew says:

    if your not gonna play miller, why keep him on the roster!

    • Chris A says:

      I imagine Miller is just here so the team has an extra body during this road trip. I wouldn’t be surprised if he is sent back to Hartford after Wednesday’s game.

      One week of not playing is not going to ruin the kid’s development.

    • Dave says:

      Need him for the road trip just in case. Figure he gets sent back when Pyatt is healthy.

      • Bloomer says:

        Couldn’t thee bring up Asham or Powe for the 13th forward? Miller sitting in the press box adds nothing to his development. It is bush league.

  2. SteveM says:

    Once Pyatt is cleared JT will go back to HFD

  3. Al says:

    Derek Dorsett gets beaten up again. This team needs a legitimate heavyweight enforcer

    • Chris F says:

      Dorsett wasn’t enforcing anything. It was just a random fight for no real reason. Now if someone took a run at Nash and Dorsett was the only one to stand up and drop the gloves and he got pummeled, then I’d agree with your lamentation.

  4. Rustafarian says:

    Hank not looking very good. The kid hasn’t given up a goal in 2 plus games and Hank gives up two goals on two shots….
    He has got to be better!!!

  5. Dave says:

    Games like this make me cry about doing the goal breakdown.

  6. Rustafarian says:

    Well at this pace you will only have to break down goals for one team. Hanks body language is horrible.

    • Rob says:

      Rangers need to trade Lundquist. He is a clear negative influence. He has been a great player, but never a team player.

      As for a replacement, talbot is incredible.

      Look at the recent Cup teams, dollars are not spent on goalies

  7. Bloomer says:

    Tampa seems to be able to score at will, they make it look so easy. The Rangers inability to put the puck in the net is not on the coach, they simply are crappy shooters.

  8. Rustafarian says:

    I’m not suggesting we trade Hank but he does need to get his $hit together. Aside from a few good games this year he has been extremely ordinary. He is getting out played by other ordinary goalies on a regular basis. Not a good sign in his contract year. Maybe we get a break to resign him…

  9. AD says:

    At the risk of sounding like a broken record, it’s simple:

    Firing Tortorella after a strike-shortened season set this team backward. This season will be a year of adjustment, on the ice, and another classic Sather reshuffling of personnel.

    Time will tell if it proves the right thing to have done but, for the immediate future, this team will continue to perform well below prior season levels.

    We have a new coach with no knowledge of his players; we are nearly 30% through with this season and AV hasn’t figured out that Hagelin is his best LW option to enhance Nash’s skillset. AV is also learning that Richards is no longer a top line forward; or that playing Miller is a better option for this team than playing either UFA Pyatt or Pouliot.

    How many games does this coach need, and do fans give him, before expecting better performance?

    Sure, we do look like a more exciting team, at times, but at what cost? We give up 3-4x more high quality shots than I recall this team giving up in years past. Not to mention as exciting as we look, at times, we aren’t scoring more goals than prior seasons; we are scoring less! and giving up more!

    This year will prove one big personnel wash. Girardi, Richards (buyout), Stralman, Del Zotto, Boyle, maybe Brassard, D Moore, Pouliot……all gone by beginning of next season, and around and around we go!

    This is called the “GM Approach to Doing a Lot, & Accomplishing Nothing”

  10. Mikeyyy says:

    Hank looked like the last cookie in the cookie jar…. Broken and alone.