Game 50: Just keep rolling in Ottawa

January 18, 2014, by
Photo: Star Ledger

Photo: Star Ledger

Two days ago, we saw one of the best 1-0 games we will ever see. With the win over the Wings, the Rangers improved to 9-3-1 in their recent stretch, and now have another four point swing game in Ottawa. The Sens, who started slow, are a team fighting for a playoff spot. They are just two points back of the Rangers, and will continue to be on shaky ground as they split starts between Craig Anderson and Robin Lehner. Sooner or later the Sens will start Lehner and relegate Anderson to the backup role. When that happens, watch out.

The Sens forechecking strategy is a bit complex, as they are a hybrid forechecking/lock team. When they are trailing or tied, they’ll send two or three guys after the puck in a 2-1-2 formation. When they are ahead though, they lock it up with a 1-1-3 forecheck, a variation of the 2-3 lock. They are also an overload/zone defense team depending on puck location. On special teams, they run a standard umbrella power play, but run a hybrid PK (box, diamond, wedge+1) depending on puck location and opposition formation.

Rangers Lineup:

Chris KreiderDerek StepanRick Nash
Carl HagelinBrad RichardsRyan Callahan
Benoit PouliotDerick BrassardMats Zuccarello
Brian BoyleDominic Moore-Dan Carcillo

Ryan McDonaghDan Girardi
Marc StaalAnton Stralman
Michael Del ZottoJohn Moore

Cam Talbot gets the start.

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

Game time is 2pm on MSG. Don’t forget to check out our Rangers Tickets link for deals to attend games.

Categories : Game Thread


  1. insiderinfo says:

    talbot is starting. 

  2. Chris F says:

    Stepan certainly showed up to play today. Great game so far.

    Let’s finish this in the third, boys! LGR!

    • Dave says:

      He was due for a big game at some point. He was really the last piece that needed to get going. Hopefully this is it.

      • Centerman21 says:

        Without Stepan that top line with Nash & Kreider is really handicapped. Stepan is shooting more than he did last season and I thought last year he shot more than he had in his previous 2 seasons. If the opposition has to account for him more than it opens time and space for #20 & #61. Coverage fails will happen more often and Nash will be a monster.

  3. Walt says:

    Nice road victory for the boys.
    What has gotten into Pouliot, all game long they were calling his name out?  It looks like he may be playing for a new contract, and if he continues like this, sign him up!!!

    • Chuck A says:

      And Mats…

    • Centerman21 says:

      I wanna point out that until that 2-1 SO win against Fla, the Rangers hadn’t won a single game when allowing the first goal. They have won 5 more such games since then. They’re now 6-18 when trailing first. No longer is that a death sentence or an automatic loss. The top teams in the NHL also have winning records when the other team scores first. St Louis is coming to town and that seems to be their Achilles heel. The Blues are 5-9-2 when down 1-0. Same for the Caps tonight. That has to be a focal point. Jump on them early. Their goaltending is suspect.

  4. HARLEMBLUES says:

    AV has this team playing solid hockey.He stayed with Pouliot and he has responded. The power play and pk is top 10. Guy are now healthy. The king is back on his throne. A few moves b4 the deadline and a cup run is possible. A real cup run. ZUCCARELLO PERIOD

    • Centerman21 says:

      I Agree but I’m looking forward to see him play in the playoffs when the games are tighter. He could thrive with his speed 1 on 1. He had a decent 12 games last season. That’ll give his linemates time to make a play if the coverage is sliding to him. Have to give Sather credit for bringing him back. Zuc has refined his game a little since he first came to North America.

  5. Spozo says:

    Hey BSB, can we get an article about what it will cost to keep Zucarello after this season? He’s an RFA right? A Sather Bridge Deal? Even though I could see Zucc commanding a pretty hefty raise if he went to arbitration.

    • Centerman21 says:

      I think they did a post called “Is Zuc playing himself out of NY” where they looked at what his next deal might look like. He’s an RFA I believe without looking but he’s a guy that should get an extension now or sometime during the season. Guys tend to play harder when they don’t have a deal yet but Zuc seems to have bought in. I’d get it done with his agents during the break.