Lineup notes: Oscar Lindberg and Adam Clendening to be scratched

January 31, 2017, by

adam clendening

With Jesper Fast and Marc Staal returning to the lineup tonight, coach Alain Vigneault has announced that Oscar Lindberg and Adam Clendening will be the healthy scratches. Antti Raanta is likely the backup tonight, as the Rangers have not recalled Magnus Hellberg.

Fresh off his two year contract extension, Vigneault has highlighted his main weakness, which is defensive evaluation. Clendening wasn’t perfect, but added an offensive flair to the back-end that the Rangers sorely needed. At this point, he’s no worse than Kevin Klein in the defensive zone, so adding puck moving is a critical need for this club.

In regards to the forwards, Lindberg was the likely odd-man out once the Rangers got healthy.

"Lineup notes: Oscar Lindberg and Adam Clendening to be scratched", 2 out of 5 based on 3 ratings.
Categories : Lineup Changes


  1. Rhodork says:

    “Lindbergh the likely odd-man out”

    So Pirri is a better 4C?

    I wish I understood.

    • Chris F says:

      Not only that, but I also feel Lindberg brings more to the table than Fast. Just because Fast is healthy shouldn’t be a guarantee that he plays.

    • Walt says:

      Not to kick a dead horse again, but here we go, Fast is one of the fair haired guys that is loved by this coach, and will play even if we sit Lindberg, who in my opinion is a better all around player. But then again, what do I know, and AV walks on water !!!!!!!!!!

      • paulronty says:

        Same old, same old with Perry Como. I think Lindberg’s days in NY are numbered. Fast has been a disappointment for me over the last couple of years but he’s well beloved by the coach & some bloggers.

    • AZgene4240 says:

      I’m okay with Clendening sitting this game but Pirri should be the odd-man out over anyone at this time. Hayes comes back, Pirri to the box….and put Oscar back in.

  2. Chris F says:

    “Clendening wasn’t perfect, but added an offensive flair to the back-end that the Rangers sorely needed.”

    Considering the Rangers have one of the most potent offenses in the League, I would contend that offensive flare should not be a consideration on the back end. It comes down to defensive prowess, and I’d argue Klein has shown a resurgence in that department lately. He’s been physical and is playing like a guy desperate to keep his slot. Reward that.

    • Richter1994 says:

      Except Christopher, that a successful way to defend these days is to have offensive abilities in passing and moving the puck forward. The old ways that I grew up with in defending are a thing of the past. Bottom line is that you need to possess, pass, and retain the puck, both in the offensive and defensive end.

      Clendening fits AV’s style perfectly, and yet he sits. EXTENSION!!

      • Chris A says:

        I wouldn’t say perfectly. AV is making a judgement call.

        Clendnening really isn’t that great a puck mover or puck carrier. His decision making is very suspect. Yes, he’s better than Girardi or Klein, but only incrementally better.

        AV has proven with all his other lineup decisions that when there are two poor options in front of him, he goes with the veteran (Glass over the drek that was in Hartford last year and Girardi over NHL washout McIlrath last year). But as far as I can remember he’s never sat a younger Rangers player that was significantly better than his other options.

        • John B says:

          ” But as far as I can remember he’s never sat a younger Rangers player that was significantly better than his other options.”

          Be careful with the word “never”

          Defense exhibit A- Hayes, Kevin scratched so that Glass, Tanner can remain in said lineup.

          • Chris A says:

            Hayes stunk last year. And I say this as one of Hayes’ biggest fans on this blog.

            Clearly the kid didn’t work out hard enough after his rookie year. He came into camp in tremendous shape (didn’t you hear, he lost 21 pounds!) and now he is not just a fantastic skill player, he is also a very good skater.

            So, I stand by my never.

            • John B says:

              Kevin Hayes could go out there and stand at center ice and watch the play go back and forth, and still be a better option than Tanner Glass.

              Hayes “stunk” last year, yet still was a FAR superior player than Tanner Glass. There is no stat, no advanced stat, no eye test that can prove otherwise.

              • Chris A says:

                True, but maybe benching Hayes in favor of Glass motivated Hayes to get into proper shape?

        • Walt says:

          As incremental as it is, the better player is sitting. Why are we not playing our best at all times????????

        • Richter1994 says:

          My opinion is more based on Clendening vs the alternatives (KK and G) as opposed to Clendening himself, who is not great.

    • John B says:

      To play physical the puck needs to be in the Rangers zone. To look resurgent means that the puck has been in said zone more than it should.

      The puck spends more time in the Rangers zone when Klein is on the ice then when Clendening is on the ice.

      Sometimes the best defense, is making the other team defend. I’d rather have a defenseman who moves the puck out of our zone into the other teams zone and keeps it there, then watch our defense chase other guys around and try and hit them, take themselves out of position and lead to increased shots against the goalie.

      Clendening has given up less shots against (56×82), has a CF% of 52.63 to Kleins 46.37, and a xGF60 of 2.86 and xGA60 of 2.58 to Klein’s 2.44/3.07.

      That’s just since, Jan 1 of 2017. He’s been nothing to write home to momma about, but Klein has “looked” better because Holden is now being asked to carry him.

      Same thing with Lindberg over Pirri. Pirri does not drive possession. If Fast is going to draw in, and lord knows AV would have it no other way, it should be at the expanse of Pirri or Pumpel, not Lindberg.

      • Chris A says:

        Agreed, Pirri needs to sit and then rotate him and Puempel to keep the hot hand in the lineup.

        Lindberg and Fast are far better hockey players and more suited to bottom 6 roles than Pirri and Puempel.

      • Hatrick Swayze says:

        I’m with you on this John, but how do their relative numbers look? Is Clendenning enjoying success over Klein because he’s been given better opportunity to do so (qual comp, teammates and zone starts)? I’d assume so, but would be nice to know for sure.

        • John B says:

          Dave already pointed out in his article a bit back about Clendening that QoC is a wash. If anything, Clendening was playing with “worse” line mates (3rd/4th line) while he was on the 3rd pair and Klein on the second. Only time that flip flopped was when Clendening/Skjei made up the 2nd pair? If they were, or was Holden/Klein the 2nd pair. Who knows with AV.

          Even adjusting for Zone, Score and Venue, Clendending has the better advanced metrics.

          Using Klein’s “best” game lately as an example was Philly.

          Adjusting for Zone, Venue and Score:
          Clendening CF%57.85 (1 minute less of ice time)
          Klein CF% 59.54

          Clendening’s xGF60 and xGA60 however was 2.83/2.35
          Klein was at 2.27/2.8

          Again, only one game. However, it is showing that even when Klein is playing his “best”, opponents have a better opportunity to score against the Rangers when he’s on the ice.

  3. Spozo says:

    The last couple of games Klein played his best hockey of the season, which also happen to be better than Clendenings.

    Fast vs Lindberg. Is there really much of a difference besides the position they play?

    • sherrane says:

      Lindberg hasn’t registered a point in his last six games (after scoring a goal and an assist in Columbus) and has been credited with only 2 shots on goal during that stretch. He’s been ice cold.

    • John B says:

      Numbers disagree with the Clendening vs Klein argument. Showed that above. I won’t include the LA game, mainly for Klein’s sake. Cause its pretty ugly for him. Something to the tune of a Girardi-esqe CF% of 24ish.

      Also, its not a matter of Fast vs Lindberg. It’s a matter of Lindberg vs Pirri vs Puempel. Puempel is riding a laughably high 110% PDO right now. Pirri a depressingly bad 88% PDO. Lindberg is a better center than Pirri, handles the puck better than Pirri and passes better than Pirri.

      I have no issue with Jesper Fast drawing into the line-up (provided he isn’t in the Top 6 or 9). I have a problem with a worse overall player staying in the lineup while a better one sits.

  4. SalMerc says:

    I really thought Vesey would have been a better candidate to sit instead of Oskar,especially if Hayes is still out, but what so I know.