Game 31: Needing two points against Washington

December 8, 2013, by
AP Photo/Alex Brandon

AP Photo/Alex Brandon

After a disappointing overtime loss against New Jersey, the Capitals are in town looking to pad their lead on the #2 spot in the Metropolitan Division. The Caps have 32 points to the Rangers 31, but have a game in hand. Naturally, a win tonight would go a long way to giving the Rangers some breathing room in the division. Plus a win tonight would give them two wins against Washington, which is incredibly important for tiebreakers later in the season.

On the ice, Adam Oates runs a hybrid 1-2-2/2-1-2 forecheck. They generally send one man in, but if the chances at a turnover are high, they will send the second and third man in. They are fairly aggressive when it comes to defensive zone schemes, playing an overload style and collapsing down when the puck is down low. Their powerplay strategy is a 1-3-1, and their penalty kill formation is an aggressive box.

Rangers Lineup:

Chris Kreider-Derek Stepan-Rick Nash
Mats Zuccarello-Brad Richards-Ryan Callahan
Carl Hagelin-Derick Brassard-J.T. Miller
Benoit Pouliot-Brian Boyle-Taylor Pyatt

Ryan McDonagh-Dan Girardi
Michael Del Zotto-Anton Stralman
John Moore-Justin Falk

Henrik Lundqvist gets the start.

Scratches: Derek Dorsett (wrist), Marc Staal (neck), Dom Moore (healthy)

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

Categories : Game Thread


  1. Bloomer says:

    The Devils were fit to be beaten and the Rangers let them off the hook. I expect we will see a better performance by Lundquist tonight, I don’t care what Dave Maloney says, the king was lousy yesterday.
    The Rangers will miss Marc Staal who even when he is not 100 percent, is one of the teams’ better dmen. Should be an exciting game with end to end action. I am looking forward to watching it on this brisk winter day.

  2. Spozo says:

    I get updates from the NHL Game Center app and it just reported Staal is out because of his neck. I know app notifications are hardly an official medical diagnosis but a case of whiplash is a helluva lot better than another concussion.

    Has anyone heard anything official?

  3. @Centerman21 says:

    I hope that your lineup is wrong and DZ is on the 2nd pair with Strahlman. Moore isn’t ready to play against top 6 forwards or 18-20 mins yet. Unless Mac & G are playing 30 mins each. That’s a recipe for disaster.

  4. Spozo says:

    Lets see if they can make another backup look like Patrick Roy

  5. joe719 says:

    Boyle and Pouliot on the same line: The Stay-Puff Marshmallow line!

  6. joe719 says:

    Once again, Hank can’t shake off a goal, and gives up another quick one. 7 more years of this?

    • Bloomer says:

      Hank should of stopped that second goal, its a back breaker.

      • Walt says:

        As was the third!! The man could stand on his head, and look like sh*t within seconds!

    • @Centerman21 says:

      That wasn’t his fault. The Caps had 2 guys in the crease down low. Had us outnumbered down there in front and Hank couldn’t pick it up. I don’t know why the Rangers can’t do that but I think it’s time Allen or McIlrath. The latter adds a much needed element of toughness and it’s been said he’s getting better by the shift. I don’t think the team is complete. They’re good in some areas but very bad in others. If Staal returns soon, I’d trade him in a heartbeat. I think the supposed talks between Sather & Rutherford in Carolina were about Staal. Not Del Zotto
      A change is needed. They could add in all areas and help the team. Cut Pyatt And Pouliot. I’m going to bed.

  7. joe719 says:

    Wow….Moore is having a miserable game!!!

  8. Chris F says:


    Is your entire purpose in coming to this site to get everyone to concede to your view that the Rangers, top to bottom, suck, that the management is irresponsible, and that Henrik is on the decline? If all you’re going to do is bash on various Rangers players, a view that 90% of the commentators here do not share, then why comment at all?

    Do you ask questions? Inspire informative debate? Offer insightful observations? No, no, and no.

    Just keep it to yourself. Kick your tv or something, for God’s sake.

    • jow719 says:

      So you just blindly drink the Kool Aid. This team was 2 victories away from the Finals 2 Seasons ago, and since then have gone to hell. It seems that this whole site is full of nothing but pom pom wavers. The minute anyone dares speak ill of anyone on this team, the attacks start. I’ve been following this team for over 30 years now. I enjoy finding sites where fans are honest about their teams fortunes. However, I know when I am being sold a bill of goods. Wake up, turn down the sound on the TV, and judge for yourself just how bad this team is. It has to be addressed now, before the Season slips away completely. But this is all lost on so-called fans like you. As long as Boyle is a nice guy, or Henrik looks good in a suit, we’re ok, right. It will all work itself out, right? You’re whistling past the graveyard!

      • Walt says:

        As Chris has said, if you are here to pour gas onto the fire, please, enough is enough. I come on this site, will praise the team when they play well, will call them out when they look piss poor, but at least I try to be fair about it. It appears that you won’t say anything good, so go to another site that rags on the Rangers if that makes you happy.

        • joe719 says:

          I didn’t know this site was full of nothing but hot-house flowers. If a frank assessment of where this team is, at this point, can get you so worked up, I’ll leave you to share in your delusions. You sound like your a perfect match for this collection of 3rd and fourth line players. Underachievers all! See ya!!!

      • Chris F says:

        I have no illusions about the performance of this team thus far.

        I want the Black And Blueshirts of 2012 back. I challenged their lack of identity all last year and am none too pleased with the restructuring of the team these past 12 months or so.

        With that said, I come to this site to get excellent insights into systems, cap issues, intelligent breakdowns and game recaps and a whole host of other stimulating converasations. I certainly don’t find anything useful about your incessantly whimsical and negative denunctiations each and every night. It brings nothing to the discussion.

        I suppose we shall disagree on this.

        • joe719 says:

          It must bring something to the discussion, to have you comment on what I post. You don’t like the truth, don’t read it. Find out Michaletti’s phone # and have a good long talk about how this group of our heroes can get that “spark” they need…… Delusional!!!

          • Chris F says:

            Oh please, Joe. Guys like you are a dime a dozen. Full of sarcasm and ridicule, but nothing contructive ever. You come here to toss out little one-liners, that’s about all.

            I commented to let you know your shtick is very abrasive. Don’t flatter yourself thinking it was anything more.

            • joe719 says:

              With apologists like you, this team doesn’t need anything constructive from me. You got their backs covered. All the way to the golf course this spring. Just like last year, and the year before, and the year before that………….

      • @Centerman21 says:


        Ok for the hell of it just let us discuss the team. If you don’t like the team then don’t watch and please stop spreading your negativity here. A fan sticks with it like it or not. The team is far from perfect and we all know this but we still root for them. Make a point and ask others opinions. Don’t just bash the team. The NYI would love to have you as a fan on their sites.

  9. Bloomer says:

    I love a fiery debate. Thumbs up for Joe and Chris!

  10. Ray V says:

    This is getting painful. I really miss Prust now. He did so much more for this team by leading by example. No one seems to have that fire right now. I still think something is wrong with Cally. He is not finishing his checks like he used to, and he is losing the battles along the boards. Where has Boyle been that last few games? Where is Hags relentless forechecking been? Will the real Stepan please stand up. No one seems to have that desire right now. No one is trying to fire up the rest of this team by example. Zuccs cant do it alone. He is the only one that is giving 120% every shift. Watch him chase the puck, finish checks. He plays likes he wants to win, and no one seems to have that fire right now. At least not for an entire game.

  11. HARLEMBLUES says:

    Too many nice guys on this team.Big guys play small and small guys play big{Zuccarello}.Oh,the big guys are also slow as hell with no skill minus Nash..No MEAN or NASTY.Kreider,Zuccarello are the only one’s playing with a edge.Guys are taking shots to the head because no PROTECTION no i will kick your ass players.ENUFF ALREADY.

  12. Lou says:

    I said this a while ago and now its a fact — the cancer HAS spread.

    When you have guys like Brassard, Pouliot and Pyatt not putting a lick on a stamp it spreads like wildfire.

    No accountability…no leadership!

    Larry Brooks even brought out today the “F” word …something we had avoided for years and THE reason Torts was brought here to begin with —fatcats!

    Brassard, Pouliot, Pyatt, DMoore, Girardi, MDZ and Boyle all must go!!!

    Bring up Haley and the kids and give them a chance —its no better with these lifeless vets.

    These guys just slept their way through the last 3 games —what an insult to you and me!

    Really? They play 2 games a week and cant get up?!

    I bet you practices are fast skating and lots of shots — that’s cause there’s no fear of contact!

    In 2 years time this team has lost its balls — and its not Prust or Dubi or Anisimov. Its those players that have come in to replace them.

    There are a few guys that are showing up – McTruck, Zuc and Strallman. Now even Kreider has had a sip of the Koolaide with his motionless performance yesterday.

    Get rid of the boys and bring in men to play for our team!! Is there any doubt that Boston and Pittsberg are competing. Is there any doubt teams hated to play against us 2 years ago? Its because those teams may lose, but the other team WILL pay a price!

    Isnt that what hockey is about? Its not figure skating, hitting a home run, dunking a ball or making a putt — its “I will grind you to the ground with my will and beat you physically and mentally”. Frankly, as New Yorkers, we know about grinding….and we DESERVE better than this pansey squad!