Game 78: “Meaningless” game against struggling PittsburghMarch 31, 2017, by
The Rangers return home tonight to take on an ailing Penguins club that is having a rough month. The Penguins are dealing with a ton of injuries. As noted by their lineup, they are basically dressing half of their AHL team to deal with their injuries. Seriously, that blue line is a train wreck right now.
I’m expecting this to be a high scoring affair. The forwards on the Rangers should be able to steam roll that Pittsburgh blue line tonight. Meanwhile, the Penguins still have Crosby and Kessel, so they are capable of scoring despite the AHL lineup around them. This is not going to be indicative of any potential playoff matchup, but is the perfect time for the Rangers to get back to proper process in their own end.
The best part about facing the Penguins is that the Rangers faced them last year in the playoffs. So I have a very detailed systems comparison between the two teams. Go check it out here.
If you don’t want to read it, here’s the long and short of it. Mike Sullivan has the Penguins running a 2-1-2 forecheck, much like Sully used to have when he was an assistant here under John Tortorella. The Penguins run a full zone in the defensive zone, overloading the boards and switching to a box+1 depending on puck location. On special teams, Sully runs a 1-3-1/umbrella hybrid powerplay and a full fledged zone hybrid (box, diamond, wedge+1) penalty kill.
For more details on hockey systems, check out our Systems page.
Brian Dumoulin-Justin Schultz
Ian Cole-Chad Ruhwedel
Mark Streit-Cameron Gaunce
Matt Murray gets the start.
Henrik Lundqvist gets the start.
Crazy Prediction: A Corsi win!
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