Game 72: Big challenge in MinnesotaMarch 18, 2017, by
The Rangers are on a second of a back-to-back, facing a Minnesota Wild team that is one of the favorites to come out of the wide open Western Conference. In the West, it’s Minnesota, Chicago, San Jose, and then everyone else. However Minny has cooled off considerably over the last month, playing .500 hockey.
The Wild boast depth and skill up and down the lineup and solid goaltending to boot. There aren’t many holes in their lineup, and it’s a reason why they are with the elites in the West. If you’re looking for a true test of how the Rangers will fare in the playoffs, this is it.
Bruce Boudreau is the new man in Minnesota and likes to stay aggressive with his schemes. He runs an aggressive 1-2-2 forecheck. The defense are not afraid to get involved in the rush, looking to fly the zone early if there’s a chance for a break. With a late lead, he will sit back use their 1-2-2 more conservatively. Overall, this is comparable to AV’s system.
When it comes to defensive zone schemes, the Wild will send a forward to challenge the points while everyone else collapses in the zone and overloads the half boards. Their powerplay strategy is a 1-3-1. Their penalty kill formation is generally a diamond force, which sends a player high to challenge the point.
Disclaimer: This post was written well in advance of the game. Lines may be off.
Wild Lines (presumed)
Nino Niederreiter-Eric Staal-Charlie Coyle
Jason Zucker-Mikko Koivu-Mikael Granlund
Zach Parise-Jason Haula-Jason Pominville
Chris Stewart-Tyler Graovac-Ryan White
Ryan Suter-Jared Spurgeon
Matt Dumba-Marco Scandella
Jonas Brodin-Nate Prosser
Devan Dubnyk gets the start.
Rangers Lines (presumed)
Antti Raanta gets the start.
Crazy Prediction: Statement win against a good team.
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