Game 81: Stupid Sens made the playoffs, now I owe Becky a bottle of scotch

April 8, 2017, by
matt puempel nick holden rangers senators

AP Photo/Julie Jacobson

Earlier in the year, I had made a bet with Becky that the Senators would not make the playoffs. I put too much faith in the Lightning. Well, that sucked for me, didn’t it? I now irrationally hate the Senators. Stupid Senators making me buy scotch that isn’t for me.

Yea this game doesn’t matter. So I’m just having some fun with the preview. We are not going to be able to tell what kind of momentum the Rangers are going to have in this game. The biggest key is to watch Hank, and hope he is dialed in. He needs to be for the Rangers to have a shot in the playoffs.

Senators Systems

Guy Boucher is the new man in town for the Senators. He has the Sens running a 1-1-3 forecheck, which can be an aggressive forecheck or a neutral zone trap depending on the puck’s location, the score, how much time is left on the clock, etc. As for the defensive zone, he has his guys playing straight zone coverage, overloading the boards and collapsing low when the puck is below the goal line.

For special teams, he runs standard hybrid systems. With the man advantage, he runs 1-3-1/umbrella power play, which creates four triangles to pass around and take one-timer shots. This system forces the defense to focus on the middle players causing the PK to miss coverages. On the PK, it will be a hybrid box/diamond.

Senators Lines

Ryan Dzingel-Kyle Turris-Mark Stone
Viktor Stalberg-Derick Brassard-Alex Burrows
Mike Hoffman-Jean-Gabriel Pageau-Tom Pyatt
Clarke MacCarthur-Chris Kelly-Tommy Wingels

Dion Phaneuf-Ben Harpur
Chris Wideman-Mark Borowiecki
Frederik Claesson-Cody Ceci

PP1: Stone-Turris-Hoffman-Dzingel-Phaneuf
PP2: Stalberg-MacCarthur-Brassard-Wideman-Claesson

Craig Anderson gets the start

Rangers Lines

Chris Kreider-Mika Zibanejad-Pavel Buchnevich
JT Miller-Kevin Hayes-Michael Grabner
Jimmy Vesey-Brandon Pirri-Taylor Beck
Tanner Glass-Oscar Lindberg-Matt Puempel

Brendan Smith-Dan Girardi
Brady Skjei-Kevin Klein
Adam Clendening-Steven Kampfer

PP1: Five guys, hopefully not all lefties
PP2: A different five guys, hopefully with at least one righty

Henrik Lundqvist gets the start.

Injuries/Scratches: Mats Zuccarello, Derek Stepan, Jesper Fast, Ryan McDonagh, Rick Nash, Marc Staal, Nick Holden

Crazy Prediction: In a protest of both teams benching stars, the fans stage a coup, grab gear, and storm the ice for their own scrimmage.

Game time is 12:30pm. Gifs are on @blueseatblogs. Be sure to follow our snapchat (blueseatblogs) too!

Categories : Game Thread


  1. Jon says:

    Does anyone think that the 1-3-1 forecheck Boucher used in TB is why it took so long for him to get hired again in the NHL.
    He’s using it again in Ottawa so maybe as far as the league is concerned, it’s more when/how he used it in TB that kept him sidelined so long. TB turned 2-1 games into 4-1 games in the blink of an eye in those days so maybe it’s the trapping version of that forecheck that Boucher was asked not to use?
    Anyone have an opinion on the matter?

  2. Jon says:

    Are those old scratches being used for this post?

  3. tempogain says:

    Wait a second. What kind of scotch? This is clearly vital information.

  4. Five Hole says:

    This team’s clicking on all cylinders, heading to the playoffs, huh?

    • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

      Not ideal obviously. But, PK was good today. Hank made some stellar saves and is rounding into form. And obviously, with this many guys out, this was a glorified exhibition game so the loss has to be taken with a grain of salt.

      This stretch of mediocre play is really going to test the debate some of us have had here about Rest vs Rhythm. The Rangers should go into post-season more rested than just about any team in the league. But they haven’t played at a high level for 25 games now. Other than a brief stretch a few games ago, the offensive production has declined dramatically. To me, if players are healthy, I’d like to see most of the projected starting lineup playing tomorrow–if only to get some good mojo going. Only exceptions should be Girardi and Klein in deference to their age in back to back games.

      Can they suddenly get the rhythm going again? Seems like a lot to ask, especially against Price.

      • Jack says:

        Big big difference to think rest will manifest into quality compared to teams right now like the Pitts and Caps. Rangers only true identity that could put them over the top is Hank playing like his normal self in the playoffs and true depth. Right now it’s kind of hard with our goalie who could have a bruise ego and AV contemplating to ruin the 4 line approach by putting Glass in. I don’t care how rested they get but thinking that’s going to help is a real waste of time. Caps and Pitts (seriouse contenders) didn’t get in the race by the Rangers following of…

        JT- Leading in points
        Grabner- Coming 2nd in goals with less than 1 to our top line winger
        Hayes- 5 points shy to our 6.5 top line center with less games in hand.
        ^ That’s our freaking 3rd line that basically covered for our top line. Sorry to tell you Edd Ed and Eddy but teams generally don’t make it in with that type of top 6 production.

  5. Spozo says:

    What’s the bottle you Dave?

  6. Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

    Thought it would be interesting to see how the Rangers have done post-lockout, comparing full season, late season and playoff run.

    Season. Points. Mar/Apr Record. Playoff Result

    2005-06. 100 points. 8-11-4. Lost in first round
    2006-07. 94 points. 12-3-4 Lost in second round
    2007-08. 97 points. 9-3-5. Lost in second round
    2008-09. 95 points. 11-6-1. Lost in first round
    2009-10. 87 points. 10-6-4. Missed Playoffs
    2010-11. 93 points. 11-6-1. Lost in first round
    2011-12. 109 points. 11-9-1. Lost in ECF
    2012-13 56 points. 10-3-1 (April only). Lost in second round.
    2013-14. 96 points. 12-7-3. Lost in SCF
    2014-15. 113 points. 15-6-1. Lost in ECF
    2015-16. 101 points. 9-7-3. Lost in first round
    2016-17. 100 points. 7-7-4. ???

    Obviously, each year has its own individual story line that has to be considered, but most seasons the Rangers have finished the regular season well. However, they only made deep runs in two of those seasons (AV’s first two).

    This feels a lot like Renney’s first year….young team that overachieved expectations but struggled down the stretch and was swept in the playoffs.

    On the other hand, it also feels a lot like Torts’ best season. Another team that overachieved regular season expectations, had a playoff berth locked up early, struggled down the stretch, but was able to play a weak Ottawa team in round one and a good but not yet great Caps team in round two to make it to the ECF.

    Then again, it also feels a lot like last year, when we simply proved we just were not good enough and went into the playoff cold vs a red hot team (no, I don’t think the Habs are as good as last year’s Pens, but still…..)

    • Jack says:

      The Presidents trophy year in the year of 14-15 was when Hayes broke into the league with Kreids average point total to end the regular season on the 3rd line. That supplied unheard-of depth for anything that wasn’t putting up what they’re suppose to in the top 6 at the time.Nash having his best season as a Ranger next to Brass also helped of course.

      I really wanted to see Mika in a full season and especially after that hot start that looked to have brought out the untapped skill s of Kreider. If you look at the serious teams that win it all then you know it’s all about the center depth from lines 1-4 but mainly the names that would come out of the top 6. Habs are a bit weak there imo and with the other glaring issues like there slow D men so maybe there’s a true chance to win it in 5 or 6.

  7. Sally says:

    Becky, you are a true Brass fan! Enjoy the scotch. Hope it is a single malt.

  8. King Sieveqvist ! King Sieveqvist ! King Sieveqvist ! says:

    Still say in 5