Game 11: Welcome back, old friend

October 26, 2017, by

The Rangers are at home to face the winless Arizona Coyotes, one of just a few teams worse than the Rangers right now. Tonight marks the return of Derek Stepan (and Antti Raanta/Adam Clendening) to New York since the summer trade. Funny enough, Tony DeAngelo will not be in the lineup for the return.

Stepan’s consistency in New York was something that never ceased to be under appreciated. Stepan played seven seasons in New York, putting up at least 50 points in five of them. The other two were his rookie season and the lockout shortened season. Stepan’s absence has left a true hole on the Rangers, one that has left them struggling.

I personally loved Stepan as a Ranger. Consistent 50-55 point guys are incredibly rare. Sure, he was a little slow on the powerplay and wasn’t an elite center, but he was guaranteed for 50 points a year as a 1/2 C. Fun times.

Yotes Systems

Rick Tocchet is the new man in Arizona, and has them off to a winless start. I know nothing of how Tocchet coaches, but he was with Pittsburgh as an assistant the last three years. I’ll take an educated guess that he runs similar systems to Mike Sullivan. So we can run through those systems and see if they are a match. Hooray systems!

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.

Yotes Lines

Max Domi-Derek Stepan-Clayton Keller
Mario Kempe-Christian Dvorak-Tobias Rieder
Jordan Martinook-Nick Cousins-Christian Fischer
Zac Rinaldo-Brad Richardson-Anthony Duclair

Oliver Ekman-Larsson-Jason Demers
Nicklas Hjalmarsson-Adam Clendening
Alex Goligoski-Luke Schenn

PP1: Domi-Stepan-Keller-Demers-OEL
PP2: Fischer-Dvorak-Duclair-Hjalmarsson-Goligoski

Adin Hill gets the start.

Rangers Lines

Rick NashMika ZibanejadMats Zuccarello
Chris Kreider–David Desharnais–JT Miller
Jimmy VeseyKevin HayesJesper Fast
Michael Grabner-Boo Nieves-Pavel Buchnevich

Ryan McDonagh-Brendan Smith
Marc Staal–Kevin Shattenkirk
Brady SkjeiNick Holden

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

Ondrej Pavelec gets the start.

Scratches/Injuries: Paul Carey (healthy), Steven Kampfer (healthy)

Crazy Prediction: No one cries when Stepan is honored.

Game time is 7pm. Be sure to follow on Twitter for gifs, and on our Snapchat for in-game.

Categories : Game Thread


  1. Mythdoc says:

    Well, we’ll see who is better and who is worse, tonight. But, you never know. Maybe the charts will disagree or something.

    I was counting on your crazy prediction being Step scores the game winner and AV is fired tomorrow.

  2. SalMerc says:

    Stepan hat trick and nobody lays a glove on him. AV still behind the bench through Thanksgiving.

  3. Rhodork says:

    Did something change? AV said the other day that Pavelec was starting tonight in goal

  4. Richter1994 says:

    The only bad thing about not being there tonight is not being to stand and applaud Derek and thank him for his time here.

  5. Mythdoc says:

    Clendening hat trick, Stepan hat trick, and AV looks up at the scoreboard shrugging each time.

  6. Mancunian Candidate says:

    The trade’s looking great for both teams, huh? Combined record of Coyotes and Rangers is 2-14-3. Neither DeAngelo nor Andersson are on the Ranger roster, Raanta’s been hurt & bad when healthy, and what do you know? Stepan has 7 points in 9 games while his team is in flames around him. He’s got solid possession numbers as well. It’s almost like Stepan was the best asset in this trade, imagine that!!

    • Reenavipul says:

      Stepan’s Corsi when they have a lead is 45%(I know, a small sample), when they’re behind, it’s in the 60s(a much larger sample) Winning the Ratelle trophy (best Corsi for a guy who has won nothing) will be a great feeling for him in Vegas next summer after 2 months golfing.

    • Spozo says:

      But hey As many around here say, it was addition by subtraction.

      • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

        I know. Incredible. It’s one thing to say he was overpayed. Or that he wasn’t the guy to take us over the top. Or that he needed to go because of the NMC. All fair.

        But to say just removing him from the roster without adequately replacing him would make us better was nothing short of crazy talk. We miss him (and yes Girardi too) more than anyone would care to admit. I’d bet anything that if we still had them both, we’d be a .500 team right about now.

        • Chris F says:

          Miss the hell out of Stepan’s steadiness and production.

        • Spozo says:

          I think we need to stop talking about the “loss of Stepan”. Let’s call it the “loss of a steady 55 point center”.

          Cuz ya know we don’t have one of those at the moment.

        • BlueshirtMasochist says:

          You had me right up to the missing Girardi part. The guy was the worst defenseman in the NHL the last three years. If by “miss” him you mean miss his turnovers leading to backbreaking goals, his pathetic snow angels as he hits the end boards and the puck goes past Hank. getting pushed off the puck by a teenaged girl… we miss Girardi like someone would miss a Herpes zoster.

          • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

            You’re right. He’s just killing the Bolts right now.

            • Bloomer says:

              Yeah no kidding what was Yzerman thinking. The last thing the Bolts needed was a serviceable experienced shot blocking defensive man.

              • Reenavipul says:

                I’d suggest looking at Girardi’s corsi and usage, but why bother pissing on your cornflakes.

  7. chrisqct says:

    It will be interesting to see both Stepan and the NYR missing each other tonight. Seems this business decision left both sides unhappy with the outcome. I always liked Stepan no matter what fancy stats say. That Game 7 OT goal still gives me chills.

    Gorton seems to have a knack for trading key players like Hagelin and Stepan and not getting much back in return in terms of NHL talent. Both of those players left holes behind that changed the team significantly…. and then we’re left searching for the type of player we just had. It’s not really the trading that bothers me, its the way he seems to get taken for a ride by other GM’s on the return.

    I’m fine if both pack their bags at this point. The team is just regressing year after year under these guys.

    • Spozo says:

      The Stepan trade was all about unloading cap so they could sign Shatty.

    • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

      You cant fault Gorton for being unable to get more for either. In Hags’ case, he was a third line winger that everyone knew the Rangers had to unload—so therefore no one was going to overpay there. In Stepan’s case, we got a 1st round draft pick and another former 1st rounder who is still young and learning. More than fair return. But too soon to tell if those guys will pan out or not.

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

    First shot = save ! There’s a good start

    • BlueshirtMasochist says:

      That handle would get you the wheel boot in certain places #thetruthhurts

  9. Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

    Not watching, so maybe this already happened. But Stepan deserves a standing ovation for his contributions, and I suspect he will get just that.

  10. Mythdoc says:

    Surely we can’t make Ken Hill look like Ken Dryden…

  11. BlueshirtMasochist says:

    Wit 20/20 hindsight, Derek Stepan should probably have been retained, even with his pending NMC, and they should have seen if they could have unloaded Nash on someone even with some retained money for the year. DeAngelo clearly is going to get his head cooked here, and as his frustration builds for being kept well below his competitive level, he will start getting off lines that will earn him fines and suspensions. Nash wold have brought something worthwhile back — if the evidence of the bulk of a certain type of Rangers fans’ refusal to accept how deeply awful the trade for Nash has been, then there should have been several GMs willing to take him for a high pick or a decent center, believing he would somehow get back to being a 50 plus point guy in the right setting.

    As for this Nashagiography that he’s such an awesome two-way forward, why has the guy only cracked the top 20 Selke vote-getters once, and even made the entire list three times?

    Hayes going to the net is nice to see. Can NOBODY on this team lift a puck over the goalie on the ice?

  12. Chris F says:

    Hayes’ power move to the net is becoming quite dangerous. He needs to keep that up.

  13. Chris F says:

    The Return of the Hobbit.

  14. King Sieveqvist ! King Sieveqvist ! King Sieveqvist ! says:

    Stepan doing what he did best … Missed assignment = Krieder goal

  15. Mythdoc says:

    Clendening showing why BSB had him rated so highly.

  16. BlueshirtMasochist says:

    Staal has been playing nice hockey lately… maybe we could unload him???

    And why does EVERY Ranger turn the puck back into his own zone if there’s any resistance at the line???

  17. Mythdoc says:

    A bad goal! A two goal deficit! Is this the opponent, or us, we’re talking about?

  18. Mythdoc says:

    I’m watching the AZ television feed. They are having a contest for viewers. Top prize is a Coyote’s jersey. Second prize is two Coyote’s jerseys.

    • Walt says:

      now that is funny……..

      • marc says:

        you realize that’s a take off on an old wc fields line, “..first prize is a week in Philadelphia, second prize is 2 weeks in Philadelphia..”

  19. Bloomer says:

    Grabs pots one after the coyote capitalize on a Shattenkirk brain fart.

  20. Mythdoc says:

    NHL.com crapped out, dammit.

    • Chris F says:

      Same here. I don’t get to watch a lot of games here on the West Coast with these 4pm local starts. Got off early today, super pumped to watch a game and lost the feed halfway through the 2nd. Rats.

  21. Bloomer says:

    The Ranger 4th line is on fire. Go Boo go. He has paid his dues down in the Iron League nice to see him having a strong game.

    • Chris F says:

      Don’t expect this from him every game, but he seems to be a real good fit.

      • Walt says:

        What were you saying about a happy dance the other day???? Just busting my man…Glad for the kid, or any other blue jersey wearing player……..

        • Chris F says:

          Please tell me you’re at least doing your happy dance tonight!

          • Walt says:

            Like I said before, I’m not a big fan of this kid, but I could be. As for the dance, only when the game is over, and we get 2 points!!!!!!!1

            • Chris F says:

              Wait? Weren’t you arguing all summer for Nieves?

              That’s what I thought, which is why I said you were doing your happy dance when they called him up. Guess it was someone else.

              • Walt says:

                I did mention his name on many occasions as a possible fourth line center if we lose Oscar. No one care for the suggestion, but I said what have we got to lose?


                The happy dance was just completed!!!!!!

              • Chris F says:

                Good to hear!

  22. Mythdoc says:

    How many thumbs down do I get if I ask what the score would be now with Hank in the game?

  23. Mancunian Candidate says:

    Buchnevich with 2 goals on the 4th line tonight. Will Vigneault actually up Buch’s ice time to give him a shot at the hatty? I doubt it.

    • Spozo says:

      Buch our there with 1 minute left while the coyotes net is empty

      • Mancunian Candidate says:

        Buch was 9th out of 12 forwards tonight in ice time. I guess that’s how AV rides a hot hand.

  24. Mythdoc says:

    AZ announcers on the Rangers: “with all the money they have to spend, only two wins so far…”

    Dudes: ever hear of the salary cap?

  25. Mythdoc says:

    Crazy prediction: if Hank doesn’t play well in Montreal Saturday, Pavelec goes back into net on Tuesday.

  26. Walt says:

    Let’s see now, Rangers win 5-2
    Stepan no goals, no assists, -2 for the game
    Another all-star performance by Daisy, oh how we miss sweety!!!!!!!

  27. Chris F says:

    Good, good win.

    You have to overlook that this was against the Coyotes. The team needed this. Up and down the line-up, lots of effort, lots of good performances. The team never let up and played a full 60, despite the lead they held for most of the game. Saw some physicality, speed, capitalizing on chances, and better defense for the most part. Hopefully this sparks something.

  28. Larry says:

    Why can’t the Rangers play the Coyotes every game of the season? That way we’ll make sure the Rangers would win the President’s trophy and AV would have a new contact.

  29. Larry says:

    Why there’s no tribute for Antti Raanta? Antti Raanta had some great moments as a Ranger too.

  30. Larry says:

    Stepan would still be a Ranger if AV managed the playoff games against Ottawa ‘the right way.’ But he didn’t, so now Stepan is a Coyote.