Game 32: Please show up against Nashville

December 10, 2013, by
Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images

Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images

Following a frustrating loss against Washington, the Rangers shook things up in their lineup. In need of grit, the team recalled Arron Asham. Alain Vigneault also (finally) benched both Benoit Pouliot and Taylor Pyatt in favor of Asham, Derek Dorsett (returning from injury), and Dominic Moore (returning after being scratched). A spark is needed, but inserting three bottom-line players isn’t going to be the difference maker. The stars need to start producing.

Nashville, under Barry Trotz, plays a 1-1-3 lock and a 1-2-2, forechecks that can be used aggressively or conservatively depending on score, puck location, etc. In the defensive zone, the Preds are mostly conservative, playing a low zone collapse/box+1. They also run an umbrella/ 1-3-1 power play, and they run it very well (21.6% success). On the PK they run a diamond/box hybrid penalty kill depending on puck location and opposition setup.

Rangers Lineup:

Chris Kreider-Derek Stepan-MZA
Carl Hagelin-Derick Brassard-Rick Nash
Brad Richards-Brian Boyle-Ryan Callahan
Derek Dorsett-Dominic Moore-Arron Asham

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

Henrik Lundqvist gets the start.

Scratches: Marc Staal (concussion), Taylor Pyatt (healthy), Benoit Pouliot (healthy)

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

Categories : Game Thread


  1. Gary says:

    Inserting 3 bottom line players may not be the difference, but pulling a speedy yet invisible 6’3″ guy and another who through no fault of his own plays in slo-mo may be.

    Pouliot is a ghost out there and poor Pyatt is just a pylon that good teams use for agility practice.

    Agree that stars need to produce. It can’t be all Zuch, Kreider and MacD.

  2. Chris F says:

    Dave (or Suit),

    What’s your take on AV’s comments on the Rangers taking a page from the Red Wings, a team with no tough guys “per se” but that plays with team toughness through their compete level?

    • Chris F says:

      Rangers apparently did not get the message. Unfamiliar with the Red Wings, perhaps?

      • The Suit says:

        Ha, Detroit we are not. Their All-Stars are three zone players. And there aren’t many guys in the league tougher than Bert, Franzie and Cleary.

  3. Rangers Fan in Boston says:

    Ouch. MSG has not been a home advantage for some time now. Not a recipe for sustained winning.

  4. Walt says:

    2-0 after one, enough already, I quit! Turned the damn game off.

  5. joe719 says:

    You can’t quit. I was here long before this group arrived; and I’ll be here long after they leave. Hopefully some of them will be leaving very shortly!! They just look like a team with no game plan. They look unprepared to play. I’m not blaming AV, but it seems like they’re just freelancing out there. Very disjointed, not working as a group on the ice.

    • Chris F says:

      At the end of this year, I want to see Richards bought out, Pyatt, D. Moore, Pouliot, and possibly Brassard moved out. They need a No. 1 Center, a solid, productive RH 3rd Right Winger and a physical, imposing 4th line. The Richards buyout will free up cash for a good free agent signing and trades and or other signings could fill those other needs.

      Teams got get bigger and more physical with some more consistent help up front.

    • Bloomer says:

      Yes, the Rangers do look disjointed out there…they have finally learned AV’s system.

  6. Bob says:

    At what point can we start to point fingers at AV? Pretty sure people were calling for Torts head in October two seasons ago…

    • Rangers Fan in Boston says:

      You must not have been around this blog in the beginning of the season. AV was not spared.

      • Bob says:

        I was. There was two maybe three people calling for it tops. Where as Torts barely had a handful people supporting him. It was Suit, Dave, maybe a handful of others. And pretty much no other blogs.

  7. joe719 says:

    That 3rd goal is just brutal. So tonight’s nightly ‘Girardi gets knocked on ass hit,’ is administered by his own teammate. Same result: another minus on his ledger. Its become comical! Make a trade already—any trade!!

  8. Bloomer says:

    Big juicy rebound on the Preds 3rd goal. How the hell do you defend on that. Who took our Lundquist and put Hardy Astrom in goal?

    • joe719 says:

      I think he’s just shell-shocked. With this group in front of him, it was just a matter of time

      • Bloomer says:

        So what kind of system are the Rangers playing? I have never quite seen it before. Looks like a cluster **** to me, but I am not a hockey professional or a TV color man.

  9. The Suit says:

    Falk is out of position. MZA slew foots G and looses his guy. Goal.

  10. Chris F says:

    Man, there is some serious lack of confidence up and down this roster. No one seems decisive. Haven’t seen a clean shot from the slot all night. I think Nash’s goal and a nice clean shot from a prime area by Stepan in the 2nd are the only decisive clean shots I’ve seen all night. No one gets open, no one finishes. (Add Boyle’s shot to that VIP club of quality shots).

    It’s reached a low point.

    • joe719 says:

      You would think that. But they always seem to find a way to take it a notch lower.

  11. joe719 says:

    So many blind passes in the offensive zone. They always seem to pass the puck to the wrong side of the ice. Nothing ever develops, unless they are on the rush. And then, the shot always gets blocked or goes wide.

    • Chris F says:

      To be fair, it’s been 6 years since the Rangers iced a team that could consistently hit the net. “SHOOTS, wide… SHOOTS, high…”

      I don’t know if fans of all teams feel this way, watching their team the majority of time, but the Rangers certainly seem to have some of the most inefficent shooters for years. But, as I said, maybe when you watch one team by and large their flaws seem magnified.

      It really sucks watching these guys struggle through this malaise.

      • joe719 says:

        I don’t think this a “malaise.” I really believe that they don’t have enough of the type of players they need to play AV’s uptempo game. They just don’t have the talent. Guys like Girardi and Boyle seem lost. The forwards are too small and the ones that do have size, play small. I think a major trade is needed. Not just to turn around this Season, but for the coach to put his stamp on this team for the years to come. Its gonna’ cost them some young talent, but what choice do they have. I don’t see any bonafide All-Stars in the System to bail them out. They need to import some.

        • Chris F says:

          They have a great team on paper. I don’t know what’s wrong. Guys like Nash, Kreider, Brassard, Stepan, Zuccarello, Hagelin should thrive in AV’s system. Callahan is a warrior, and is actually very talented with good hands. Richards is continuing to get points. McDonagh has been a beast, and they have an elite goaltender and very promising back-up. Their blueline could use a creative, playmaking spark, but again, these guys proved they can defend in 2012. No reason they shouldn’t be able to do it again now.

          Really, only a few guys -Pouliot, Pyatt, Moore- should be expendable assets to bring in some gritty grinders who can produce. And yet, here we stand, in need of something much, much more.

          • joe719 says:

            Pouliout, Pyatt and Moore, will bring back nothing of significance in Trade. Brass, Zuke, and Hagelin should be thriving under AV; but the fact is, they are not. Because of that Nash and Kreider, 2 guys who have shown they can play that style, are not getting the puck consistently to put points on the board. Yeah McD has been good, but nobody else has.That’s not me saying that, its the coach. Callahan has been/and now is hurt, so he really hasn’t been a factor. As for our elite goaltender, you can’t say hes been anywhere close to where he should be. Its a bad situation. Av just said at his post game presser, this team does not have the personnel to play his style. There it is. Straight from the coach’s mouth!

  12. joe719 says:

    Wow!…AV looks lost!! Very bad sign!

  13. Chris. C says:

    It’s time to send everyone down. Bring in Hartford. Trades need to happen.

  14. Chris F says:

    Callahan gone 4-6 weeks with 2nd degree knee sprain.

  15. Mundo says:


  16. Chuck A says:

    I’m beginning to believe 2011-12 was an aberration, and this franchise is capable of reaching only pre-Drury levels. Sad.

  17. SalMerc says:

    I can see Messier being brought in as a extra “bench coach” real soon.

  18. Lou says:

    When nearly 1/3 of the squad doesnt deserve to be in the NHL, you’ve got problems.

    And what was the management’s answer? Bring up Asham? When was the last time he really hit someone? Or got into 2 fights in one game?

    Pouliott, Brassard, Pyatt, DMoore, Girardi, Asham, MDZ all gotta go.

    It is time to bring in the kids and lose with boys trying to be men – rather than men playing like children.