Game 82: Regular season finale is still meaningless

April 9, 2017, by

AP Photo/Fred Vuich

The Rangers are playing host to the Penguins tonight in a game that means nothing to both clubs. Unlike last night, where the Senators were playing for home ice in the first round, the Penguins have been locked into their matchup for quite some time now. They will be using tonight to rest some players before the playoff push begins.

As for the Rangers, Antti Raanta gets the start, giving Henrik Lundqvist –who has been solid since his return– a night off. Outside of that, expect some more guys to be rested. We likely won’t know until game time what Alain Vigneault does with the roster. Enjoy one more night of stress free hockey.

Penguins Systems

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.

Disclaimer: This was written on Saturday. The lines are in no way accurate. These Penguins lines are from the last time the two teams played. The Rangers lines are from yesterday. 

Penguins Lines:

Conor Sheary-Sidney Crosby-Bryan Rust
Scott Wilson-Carter Rowney-Phil Kessel
Chris Kunitz–Nick Bonino-Patric Hornqvist
Tom Kuhnackl-Matt Cullen-Oskar Sundqvist

Brian Dumoulin-Justin Schultz
Ian Cole-Chad Ruhwedel
Mark Streit-Cameron Gaunce

PP1: Crosby-Bonino-Kessel-Sheary-Schultz
PP2: Kunitz-Cullen-Hornqvist-Ruhwedel-Streit

Matt Murray gets the start.

Rangers Lines

Chris KreiderMika ZibanejadPavel Buchnevich
JT MillerKevin HayesMichael Grabner
Jimmy VeseyBrandon PirriTaylor Beck
Tanner GlassOscar LindbergMatt Puempel

Brendan SmithDan Girardi
Brady SkjeiKevin Klein
Adam ClendeningSteven 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: Both teams nap at center ice.

Game time is 7pm. Gifs are on @blueseatblogs. Be sure to follow our snapchat (blueseatblogs) too!

Categories : Game Thread


  1. Stevem says:

    Hellberg is starting with Hank as the backup. Raanta was bothered by something in practice on Friday and isn’t dressing. Also, Kreider is sitting along with Hayes and Smith. Still no Jesper

  2. Stevem says:

    McD, Nash, Zucc and Step are back in

  3. HOF 19 says:

    So can this team win any games in the April of 2017…..Maybe yes….maybe no.

  4. Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

    And Fast was named the Players’ Player Award for the second consecutive year. How can that be? I thought I read somewhere he stinks! But hey, what do the players know anyway? 🙂

    • Bloomer says:

      He does stink. Players just trying to make him feel better since he lacks hockey skills.

      • Spozo says:

        If that’s the case then Fast was clearly the consolation pick. Mcilrath had this award locked up by halloween up until he was traded.

      • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

        Of course. Yeah, that’s the ticket!

        • Bloomer says:

          Well at least Mcilrath has a shot that will break a pane of glass 😉

          • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

            ….which he sure is demonstrating in the AHL with his zero goals in Grand Rapids. 🙂

  5. Bloomer says:

    Nice save by Hellberg on the Kessel breakaway. Thats a goal with Leaky in net. McDonough looking rested out there making some strong moves for the first goal. Zucc with the extra efforts award. He truly is a magical hobbit.

    • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

      “That’s a goal with Leaky in net”….

      The hallucinogenics are kicking in early tonight I see…..

  6. Spozo says:

    Thank the lord AV didn’t ruin Mcdonaghs season by having him play 27 minutes a few weeks ago!!!

    • Walt says:

      I see your favorite 3rd leading scorer got a goal last night, in a game that means squat, while a rookie scored one less than him, while sitting about one quarter of the season, and skating with so many different lines. Yeah you have credibility Bozo!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Spozo says:

        They won lastnight. Shouldn’t you be complaining about something right now?

        And what exactly is your point? Vesey has 1 less goal than Stepan, but about 30 less points. Are you on the train that assists don’t mean anything? So in the same breath you applaud Vesey for scoring in a meaningless game but rip Stepan for doing the same? Should all goals and points be stripped from the record books once the rangers clinched the playoffs? What are you even saying? Grumpy old guy!

        • Walt says:


          I’m responding to your cheap shot about 27 minutes dude!!!!!!

          Take your shots water and vinegar bag, I’ll come right back at you………

          As for the game last night, it means nothing, talk to me after the play offs, then we can discuss how great you BOY Step really is, or isn’t????????

          • Spozo says:

            I thought your “AV made him play 27 minutes” rant was a joke when you said it! Clearly it was!

            • Walt says:

              Clown, you’re the joke, really!!! Your support of your ideal Bozo, isn’t that the reason you changed your name?????? Oh yeah, you’re the serious one on this site, always calling people who don’t agree with you delusional, get real fool……

  7. Chris F says:

    I’m pulling for Toronto tonight. If they get 1 point, we’re looking at the following matchups:

    New York – Montreal
    Boston – Washington
    Columbus – Pittsburgh
    Toronto – Ottawa

    Those are all excellent matchups, and probably the best way the stars could possibly align from a narrative perspective.

    I missed the entire playoffs last year as I was away training. It’s so awesome to have playoff hockey back again!


    • Bloomer says:

      The baby leafs will get schooled by the Caps.

      • Chris F says:

        Yeah. I wanted Boston to knock Caps around. I’m afraid they’re gonna waltz through Toronto and be fresh for the 2nd round.

        • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

          Yeah, you had the right idea Chris. But sooner or later, Torts’ unraveling squad was going to win one. 🙂

          Boston and Ottawa will be very physical and should go the distance. If we can get by Montreal, we will have a great chance vs. either. And a Wash-Pitt second round matchup will be a war so the stars can still align.

          That’s assuming that our supposed “stars” align. 🙂

          • Chris F says:

            You writing off the Blue Jackets? They bring the pain when facing off against Pittsburgh.

            • Stevem says:

              I see that series going 7 either way.. Dubinsky is going to absolutely torment Cindy

  8. Bloomer says:

    Klein with the give away setting up the penguins for the tying goal. Guess who sits when Smith is inserted back into the lineup.

  9. Bloomer says:

    Solid outing by Hellberg. He would be a great back up goalie for RAANTA

    • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

      Maybe they will both be in Vegas next year and we can see if you’re right. Perfect non-pressurized situation for them both.

      Meanwhile, every GM would obviously take their chances with the greatest Game 7 goalie in NHL history over two backups.

  10. Bloomer says:

    Lundqvist will have to regain his past form if the Rangers want a chance to play another game 7.

  11. HOF 19 says:

    OK Now if after we play 4 playoff games we have 2 wins then some going deep in the playoffs will start creeping into me.