Game 4: Aim for better possession, same quality against

October 10, 2017, by
rangers blues

Photo: AP

The Rangers won their first game of the season on Sunday night, but did so in a manner that wasn’t that impressive. It looks like Alain Vigneault backed off the 11F/7D train for now, which is good. The Rangers also limited quality chances and Royal Road chances against, which is good. However they were crushed in possession, which is bad.

If they keep the quality chances down and get more sustained offense/breakouts/zone exits, then it’s a huge step in the right direction. It’s about both quantity and quality. They’ve had one or the other so far, but never both. St. Louis is going to be a tough challenge to try to find consistency, but the Rangers are too good to be as bad as they have been. Perhaps this is the opponent they need to get things going.

Blues Systems

Mike Yeo is the new man in St. Louis, replacing Ken Hitchcock. I haven’t watched St. Louis that closely since he took over, but Yeo ran a nice balance of aggressiveness and passiveness in Minnesota. Expect a 1-2-2 forecheck that rotates between pressuring the puck carrier low and taking a more passive stance high, depending on game situation. Also expected straight zone coverage in the defensive zone, with some pressure on the points to force turnovers. Special teams isn’t going to be crazy, with a hybrid umbrella/1-3-1 powerplay and a zone penalty kill.

Blues Lines

Vladimir Sobotka-Paul Stastny-Vladimir Tarasenko
Jaden Schwartz-Brayden Schenn-Dmitrij Jaskin
Magnus Paajavri-Ivan Barbashev-Tage Thompson
Scottie Upshall-Wade Megan-Kyle Brodziak

Joel Edmundson-Alex Pietrangelo
Carl Gunnarsson-Colton Parayko
Vince Dunn-Robert Bortozzo

PP1: Schwartz-Stastny-Schenn-Tarasenko-Pietrangelo
PP2: Sobotka-Barbashev-Thompson-Parayko-Dunn

Carter Hutton gets the start.

Rangers Lines

Chris KreiderMika ZibanejadPavel Buchnevich
Jimmy VeseyKevin HayesMats Zuccarello
Michael GrabnerJT MillerRick Nash
Adam Cracknell-David DesharnaisPaul Carey

Marc StaalRyan McDonagh
Brady SkjeiKevin Shattenkirk
Nick Holden-Steven Kampfer

PP1: Zibanejad-Kreider-Buchnevich-Zuccarello-Shattenkirk
PP2: Nash-Desharnais-Miller-Vesey-McDonagh

Henrik Lundqvist gets the start.

Scratches/Injuries: Jesper Fast (hip), Tony DeAngelo (healthy), Brendan Smith (healthy)

Crazy Prediction: AV gets fired in the second period.

Game time is 7pm.

"Game 4: Aim for better possession, same quality against", 5 out of 5 based on 2 ratings.
Categories : Game Thread


  1. Jerry says:

    Thanks Dave.

  2. SalMerc says:

    Bold prediction. Dinner on me if it happens.

    Me thinks AV re-affirming to the team that you need to play hard and his way or you sit. Not bad to do game 4.

    Smith and DeAngelo need to be better. The kid was a non factor, and all this does is highlight the need at center.

  3. Peter says:

    Sitting DeAngelo? Send him to Hartford if you are going to play Kampfer over him. Develop the kid. You would have thought that they would had made their assessments of his play long ago.

  4. HOF 19 says:

    LETS GO RANGERS…..Get a nice winning streak going…ALSO Gonna tune in on NBCSN at 10PM to see the first home game ever for the Las Vegas Golden Knights…..Might be some extra feeling going on at the start of that game ….GOD BLESS The victims and families of that shooting…..GOD BLESS the people of VEGAS…..GOD BLESS THE USA !!!!!!!!!!

  5. Spozo says:

    At least Holden and Kampfer weren’t on for that. We would never hear the end of it.

  6. Mythdoc says:

    GREAT power play. Shatty and a no look from Buch!

  7. Chris F says:

    Mika is going to score 100 goals this year, with 80 on the PP!

  8. Peter says:

    Nice clear by Kampfer on that 2nd Blues goal…

  9. Reenavipul says:

    Great clear by Kampfer there on the PK. SMH.

  10. Spozo says:

    Skjei looking pretty bad tonight.

  11. Mythdoc says:

    Is anyone else tired of seeing Hayes open in the low slot with the puck, passing to someone for a sharp angle shot?

  12. HOF 19 says:

    Need a second and third period shutout…..LETS GO RANGERS !!!!!

  13. HOF 19 says:

    On the PP…..Someone PLEASE SHOOT !

  14. Mythdoc says:

    Ugly pp that time. Brutal

  15. Mythdoc says:

    In addition to his tic of always saying “Marc Staal” instead of “Staal,” Sam Rosen just loves the man and is always complimenting him for no apparent reason.

    • supermaz says:

      He does the same thing with Lundqvist and now he’s doing it with Shattenkirk.

  16. Mythdoc says:

    Message to (all) our defensemen: you don’t get credited with an assist if you pass to the other team’s player for a goal.

  17. Bloomer says:

    Offense drying up. Need a goal here Rangers

  18. Peter says:

    Nice work on the penalty kill by Kampfer…

  19. Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

    Grabner’s not finishing this year.

    Huge kill though. Need to grab some momentum from that.

    • Bloomer says:

      He is not picking the corners like he did this time last year.

      • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

        I said this to Rich…there is NO WAY Grabner duplicates what he did last year. Total fluke. He’ll be lucky to get 15 goals.

        • RichS says:

          Yes you certainly did 3E and i thought about it when he missed another breakaway……..its early though so dont start cooking the crow yet!!!!
          But this 4 th line…..ugh…….
          We really miss lindberg and fast……….
          Love the play of buch and vesey…….hayes still not carrying the play…….
          Rangers look good when they started forcing the play and opening up the game……thats why I prefer deangelo in there , he is so much better offensively than stall, holden and kamfer…..

    • Richter1994 says:

      I was at the game and my friend asked me the last time Grabner finished a breakaway and I said “2016.”

  20. HOF 19 says:

    Get a goal……C’MON !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  21. Mythdoc says:

    Cmon, Vesey, lets start making the layups.

  22. Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

    The only guy that has a nose for the net on this team is Zib. The rest are all a bunch of passers who can’t finish. I said this last year, if the NHL had a team by team competition on shooting accuracy like they do at the all-star game, i’m convinced we’d be annually one of the worst in the league.

    • Mythdoc says:

      You missed some discussion earlier about the effect of elite players on results. Anyone who saw Matthews’ game winning snipe last night would understand that effort alone or “seeing the ice” is not enough. You have to have elite talent to win the Cup.

      • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

        What are you talking about Myth? We don’t need elite talent! We should be winning the Cup with all the B+ level talent we possess. 🙂

  23. Chris F says:

    Buchnevich is really, really good.

    • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

      He is….but he’s another “playmaker” (aka, really not a scorer).

    • Richter1994 says:

      He will become a dominant player, sooner than later. He has such command of the puck this year. More physically fit (muscle wise) and very confident now.

  24. Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:


    My goodness, we make every bleepin goaltender look like Ken Dryden! Geez!

  25. Five Hole says:

    Carter Hutton or Paddy Roy? Amazing how this team can make any goalie look all world.

    • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

      For the most part, except for the fluky beginning to last season, it’s been that way for a decade now. We just dont have guys who know how to finish consistently enough on scoring chances. Not a formula to win a championship.

  26. Mythdoc says:

    Joe: it’s not a “great save” when we fail to lift the puck into a yawning net.

    • HOF 19 says:

      He is trying to say we are playing well just not lucky…..He is not too accurate on his take on this team right now !

  27. Five Hole says:

    This team sucks

  28. HOF 19 says:

    This team is not to good right now !…..That is not a happy thought !

    • Mythdoc says:

      Yes, but I read somewhere that “on paper” we are one of the best teams in the eastern conference. Better recheck that paper.

      • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

        We are exactly what most of the pundits said we would be. A borderline playoff team. At best.

  29. Mythdoc says:

    Margin of victory and defeat is very narrow in hockey. You need to cash in opportunities.

  30. supermaz says:

    Carter Hutton, the latest goalie that the Rangers make look like Ken Dryden.

  31. Spozo says:

    Shatty on ice for another 2 goals against…..

    • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

      Not sure either goal was really on him though.

      • Spozo says:

        I agree to a point. Just saying!

      • Spozo says:

        Skjei missed the start of the game by about 20 seconds. He was undressed on that 1st goal and was pretty bad through the first half of the game. He got better as it went though.

        • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

          I see a few people jumped on Kampfer on the clearing attempt on the PK. But total crickets on the INEXCUSABLE Skjei blunder 15 seconds into the game. Imagine if Staal, Kampfer or Holden did that? This site would be going nuts! Total double standard from some folks.

  32. Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

    Defensively we were fine. Hank was great. We put plenty of pressure on them, especially in the third. A typical Rangers loss where our so-called stars fail to deliver.

    But sure, let’s blame the coach.

  33. Bloomer says:

    Mike Yeo getting the most out of his squad. He is a very good coach highly underated. Rangers can’t score but skate fast and make pretty passes.

  34. HOF 19 says:

    Sam Rosen and Joe Micheletti good company men….Just not accurate but as good company men they can’t be accurate.

  35. James Carr says:

    Nash Grabner Vesey and Buch all should have scored in this game…Rangers have 5 goals in 3 home games. Issue is scoring 5v5, not defense or goaltending

    • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

      Exactly. Our 5 on 5 has been pitiful thus far this season.

      • Stevesse says:

        MSL the last sniper we had. Nash at one time was elite, but now can’t finish. The rest of the crew need tap ins to yawning nets. Maybe Zib can shoot, but only see it on pp.

    • Mythdoc says:

      Issue is all of the above. You never know which of them will rear its ugly head on any given night.

  36. Chris F says:

    MSG’s live look-in at the locker room interviews is weird as sh!t this year.

    Why can’t they compile the interviews and then edit player comments into the post-game show like they’ve always done?

    Must we really see John Gionnone creeping around the locker room trying to find someone to talk to, and then watch him awkwardly hovering over his victims while they put their heads down and prep for the interview?

    • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

      Yeah, I was going to post this, too. I work in TV. Whoever came up with this idea needs to quickly rethink it. It’s just awkward and frankly amateurish.

  37. Peter says:

    It is rather early for so much doomsday talk. But, obviously, there are things that need to be worked out.

    Kampfer does not belong in the lineup unless Smith has lost the use of his legs. Did he come to camp out of shape?

    No, DeAngelo does not belong in the press box doing the Clendo. Send him to Hartford if he needs to work on his game or play him. He can out skate Kampfer on one leg. Kampfer might make a few less mistakes (maybe) but cannot move the puck out. Don’t sit DeAngelo, play him or send him to Hartford.

    Marc Staal does not belong on a pairing with McDonough. Substituting a new anchor around the Captain’s neck for the old one is the surest way to wear him out.

    The rest of the problem is just the forwards not being able to finish their chances thus far. That is not a permanent condition. They will start to score some goals….I hope! Mika is firing away. The goals will start to go in.

    There I solved it. Where’s my check Mr. Dolan? 🙂

    • Bloomer says:

      Staal has been good so far this year. Why slag him. McDonough looked better tonight and Streaky Leaky has found his mojo.

      Forwards couldn’t score but eventually they should start lighting up the lamp.Delangelo will get another crack in the lineup as will Smith.

      Shatterkirk concerns me. No one can question his offensive ability but man he is bad on defence. Still early in the season..I hope he finds his way.

      • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

        Dumping on Staal is a favorite sport of some, just like dumping on Girardi or Glass was in the past. Overblown narratives.

        • Jeff P says:

          Staal is hit or miss (and mostly miss last season). This year he’s been ok (other than occasional swing the puck around your own net to the opposing player tactic).

          Girardi on the other hand hasn’t been good for the last three years, so the criticism is well deserved there. Glass hasn’t been good… ever.

        • Peter says:

          Cheap shot Eddie. I rarely dump on Staal. That being said, at this stage of his career the guy is a third pair guy, not a first pair guy.

          • Ray says:

            Eddie is right. Many people dump on Steal — and you did here. Not a cheap shot at all.

            • Peter says:

              Ray, is Staal the guy to be playing with McDonough? Is he fleet enough on his skates to keep up with the speed of the best players these days? Is his passing as good as it once was? In my estimation he is not and pairing him with McD in top pair minutes will only wear out McD and not work the the club’s advantage. I believe he should be 3rd pair, where he should do well for the team. If that is ‘dumping’ on Staal, so be it.

    • RichS says:

      Well said Peter…….exactly how I feel about the defense……deangelo pushes the play, joins the rush, makes terrific passes putting guys in position to score………I can live with the occasional blunder sjkel, mcdonagh, kamfer had a few themselves this game……
      Once our forwards begin to score on the many chances they have had……we start winning…..
      But again we need a 4th line…….desharnais does not impress me…..

      • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

        4th line is a problem. Fast will help to fix that. But, sorry to say, right now, we miss Stepan more than you realize. Just from a depth perspective.

  38. Egelstein says:

    LOL…this is spectacular.

    Dave told you, this was going to happen. Only a matter of time.

    VIVE Alain Vigneault, L’Magnifique!

    • Richter1994 says:

      I hate him (as the Ranger coach). I have had no use for him after the 2014 Cup run. His success in 2013-14 went to his head and he’s been stupid ever since.

      I’m not saying the Rangers have this great team, they don’t, but the coach does zero to put the team into a position to win. Seriously, I could do a better job, and that’s not saying a lot. I don’t know what he’s watching, and he has the benefit of video.