Game 43: The Leafs aren’t that good, please win

Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

After last night’s debacle in Pittsburgh, the Rangers are in Toronto trying to salvage the second half of the season. Playing .500 hockey will not suffice if this team has playoff aspirations, so this is a team that needs to get their act in gear yesterday. Toronto is a team that finds ways to get points despite being one of the worst puck possession teams in the league. This is a beatable team, but the Rangers need to beat them in regulation to gain any ground on them in the “wildcard” spots.

On the ice, the Leafs mostly rotate between an aggressive 1-2-2 forecheck  and a passive 1-2-2. However, they’ll also mix in a 2-1-2 forecheck on occassion depending on game situation. In the defensive zone, the Leafs generally play a collapsing box, which will leave the point men open for opportunities. Their powerplay (umbrella) is fairly standard. On the kill, the Leafs will rotate between PK strategies depending on opposition setup.

Rangers Lineup:

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

Ryan McDonagh-Dan Girardi
Marc Staal-Anton Stralman
John Moore-Connor Allen

Cam Talbot gets the start.

Scratches/Injuries: Derek Dorsett (broken leg), Michael Del Zotto (healthy), Justin Falk (healthy)

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

36 thoughts on “Game 43: The Leafs aren’t that good, please win

  • Jan 4, 2014 at 5:08 pm

    Rangers Facebook page just wrote that we traded for Dan Carcillo from LA for a 7th rounder

    • Jan 4, 2014 at 5:12 pm

      its conditional. if he doesn’t lose at least 8 teeth its a 6th rounder

      • Jan 4, 2014 at 5:31 pm

        Is that why everyone and their mother just followed him?

        • Jan 4, 2014 at 6:08 pm

          Carcillo is a prick. He offers nothing Asham doesn’t already bring to the table.

          • Jan 4, 2014 at 6:45 pm

            Carcillo is about 10 years younger than Asham and Carcillo steps it up in the playoffs. He’s a good pest and when Dorsett returns we have a decent 4th line now. I think the Rangers have either Moore or Boyle, not both. Neither has made the decision easy with breakout offensive numbers but neither is really a 3rd line player.

            • Jan 4, 2014 at 6:51 pm

              Carcillo is a punk. Period.

              • Jan 4, 2014 at 7:02 pm

                He’s our punk now! I like the move and it’s a 7th rounder. Chances are those picks won’t make the NHL.

              • Jan 4, 2014 at 8:28 pm

                my only issue with this is after that whole gaborik fight, is he even gonna mesh with some of the team? kinda like how donald brashear clashed with dubi and them.

    • Jan 4, 2014 at 7:45 pm

      I like the Rangers that’re here tonight. This isn’t the same team as last night. This team can play with any team in the NHL.

  • Jan 4, 2014 at 5:30 pm

    I wish AV would change things up on the Forecheck. The Rangers just don’t cause enough turnovers in the neutral zone and teams are afforded time and space right on through. I personally wish AV would use either a 2-1-2 or a 1-3-1 with a lead. Cause more turnovers when teams are being more aggressive. This group just haven’t mastered this Forecheck yet. While we cough up the puck on a regular basis.

  • Jan 4, 2014 at 5:42 pm

    Why won’t this dickhead coach put Hags on the same line as Nash, and Kreider back with Zucc???

    Too hard a call to make??? Hags did very well with Nash, while Zucc and Kreider were terrific, but AV doesn’t look at tapes, especially from last season!! It’s becoming a joke isn’t it??

    It’s clear as day, the top line as listed isn’t working, so keep at it, and expect different results. What was it that Einstein said???????

    • Jan 4, 2014 at 6:04 pm

      Hagelin hasn’t done anything to warrent top 6 mins. He’s one of the fastest skaters in the league but yet he can’t Forecheck or beat the opposing Defense. Top 6 spots aren’t given out because of a report 2 players had last season. I’d like him to do a little tinkering but when Torts was here all complained about it. Never happy!

      • Jan 4, 2014 at 6:48 pm

        God I hate doing this but I’ll embark on a Tortz rant….

        Everyone bitched about Tortorella and his line tinkering but atleast he was actively trying to get results. He was aggressive and tried everything possible to win every night. AV does the complete opposite. He is too much of a passive coach.

        I’ve tried my hardest this season to not go on an AV vs Torts rant and I think I’ve been pretty good at that.

        Then again I do believe blaiming a coach is the biggest excuse for an underperforming team.

        So in the end, I have no idea what the hell is wrong with this team!

      • Jan 5, 2014 at 9:03 am

        It’s clear as day Nash is doing zippo, and maybe he should be moved to the second line, and have Zucc in his place with Kreider. They jelled very well, and carried the team earlier this season, why not go back to what worked in the first place?????

  • Jan 4, 2014 at 5:50 pm

    Just what they needed. Another Lefty. Thank goodness! So a Left heavy team loses a righty from the lineup and they replace him with a Lefty. I like Carcillo but can Sather find some balance.

  • Jan 4, 2014 at 6:09 pm

    So the guy who we all used to call a filthy slug when he was a Flyer, is now our beloved enforcer. They need someone who can play tough within the AV system of hockey. Not some injury-damaged, cement-head who’ll do nothing but pile of penalty minutes. Now that hes a Ranger, every hit, every move will be scrutinized to the point where he’ll become useless. It happens with every tough guy we ever got. All of a sudden, the refs realize hes in the lineup. I really believe Sather doesn’t have a clue how to improve this team. But I will say, a 7th rounder isn’t a great loss.

    • Jan 4, 2014 at 6:20 pm

      Yea we didn’t give up anything really, but Carcillo is a useless pile of trash. He’s scum, and he has nothing to offer. We have Asham, he can provide anything Carcillo might bring to the table.

      • Jan 4, 2014 at 6:39 pm

        Did Asham ever fight with that noted tough guy, Marion Gaborik? See, Carcillo has that over Asham!!! (;

      • Jan 4, 2014 at 7:12 pm

        He’s a decade younger than Asham. Asham is washed up. He had some opportunities in the lineup and couldn’t stay in. Carcillo also has a Cup. Went all the way last year.

  • Jan 4, 2014 at 6:18 pm

    Is there any possible correlation to the lackluster play of the team and Mark Messier’s departure from the organization?

  • Jan 4, 2014 at 6:43 pm

    I am starting to wonder about AV…he may not be the right fit for this team or conference. But at 2 million a year we might be stuck with him for a couple of years. But then again, whats 10 mil for Dolan?

  • Jan 4, 2014 at 6:55 pm

    Some guys just shouldn’t be Rangers. Carcillo is on that list.

  • Jan 4, 2014 at 7:06 pm

    Wow I just laughed out loud.

    Eklund is reporting that the Rangers have interest in Gaborik.

    I don’t know which is funnier. That Eklund might have pulled it out of his behind or that the Rangers are such a huge flustercluck that it could be true.

    • Jan 5, 2014 at 9:27 am

      Gaborik isn’t coming here. He makes too much and hasn’t done anything to warrant 7 mil this season.

      • Jan 5, 2014 at 9:33 am

        Don’t need another non producer who is injury prone, and is a cap buster. I think they are sending out feelers to see people’s reaction, Sather can’t be that brain dead now can he??????

  • Jan 4, 2014 at 7:08 pm

    I like the guy. Well because he is ours now

    Avery Jr.

    • Jan 5, 2014 at 2:29 am

      Yeah but Avery NEVER tried to injure the opposing player.

  • Jan 4, 2014 at 8:22 pm

    Gee!! Boyle mixing it up with Phaneuff. First time any Ranger has touched him since he ended Michael Stewart’s career111

  • Jan 4, 2014 at 8:24 pm

    My Bad!!!!! Michael Sauer!!!!!!!!

  • Jan 4, 2014 at 8:52 pm

    Did Toronto get stuck in Detroit? Yeah, the Rangers look good, but there’s only one team playing out there. Much like last night in Pitt. Don’t get me wrong; take the points and get out of there. But still, lets not make too much out of this.

    • Jan 4, 2014 at 10:00 pm

      No one made too much of the game. This was a nice win but it was against possibly the worst puck possession team in the NHL. The Rangers played well and were on the puck and puck carrier all night long. It was Toronto tho so keep that in mind. Lets see if this team can learn how it needs to play and get on a roll with this win. So many players made a contribution tonight that maybe the entire team can play with confidence and an identity for the rest of the season. I’ve been saying that maybe this team needed some locker room guys. Maybe Carcillo is one of those guys. With him and Dorsett on the 4th line with either Boyle or Moore in the middle, I like the combo.

      • Jan 5, 2014 at 9:37 am

        Dude, can’t get too excited with the win until they prove to be for real. All season they have been at 500, until they get over the hill, and play some 600-700 I won’t be happy!! We have to be realistic, the only reason we are even in the run for an outside chance of making the play-offs is the division is sooooooooo piss poor!

  • Jan 4, 2014 at 10:06 pm

    I think you’re overestimating the Carcillo move. Looks like nothing more than window dressing, after last nights debacle. If he helps, fine. But I don’t see it. Hes a fourth line prick that will take too many penalties and forfeit his place in the lineup.

    • Jan 5, 2014 at 1:07 am

      im curious to see what he can bring to the table. he’s played on successful teams, so i feel like he isnt going to be a liability.

  • Jan 5, 2014 at 9:10 am

    I have never been a fan of Carcillo, probably never will be even with our jersey on his back, but we need some grit, and he will provide it! For a 7th round pick, what have we got to loose, nothing????????

    • Jan 5, 2014 at 11:55 am

      exactly! He also might be a good guy to have in the locker room. I think this team needs leadership. A positive voice for when the Rangers are down or loosing. Being Carcillo played for the Hawks last season through their entire Cup run, I think he may be that type of guy. I wish Sather would find a couple righties. I think loosing one in Dorsett and replacing him with yet another Lefty hurts. The Rangers only have 1 righty on their top 6.
      Miller- played his best game in the NHL last night. He was all over the place and skated real hard. He looked much better in his zone.
      Callahan- had a good game last night. I think he was a little rusty but overall was effective. I hope he’s fully recovered and he didn’t rush back to play soft, bland hockey.
      Nash- had a decent game. He’s skating better every game the last 3-4 games.
      Del Zotto- played his best game of the season also. He looked like the defenseman fans have been waiting for. He was decisive with the puck and looked confident on D. Very good come back game from DZ.

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