Game 12: Get back to back wins, climb back into relevancy

October 28, 2017, by
chris kreider

Photo Credit: AP / Graham Hughes

The Rangers beat the worst team in the NHL the other night. It’s a start. The kids shined, but it wasn’t perfect. That said, it’s a game that can be used as a stepping stone. Up next is an equally bad Montreal club that is the only team in the East worse than the Rangers at the moment (Buffalo doesn’t count). So if the Rangers are to build on their win, this is the team to do it against.

Ondrej Pavelec, who was good but not solid, gets the start over Henrik Lundqvist. Surely that will stir some controversy. That said, it’s probably just Alain Vigneault trying not to change anything when there’s a win. I’m sure we’ve all heard that before. At this point it doesn’t matter. Just get points.

Habs Systems

Claude Julien is one of the top coaches in the game. He gets his team to play consistent team defense, and it has worked in Montreal. He starts with an aggressive 2-1-2 forecheck early and then a more conservative 1-4 or 1-1-3 lock later with a lead. In the defensive zone, the he keeps it simple with a low zone collapse, defending in layers depending on puck location. On special teams, it’s again simple with an umbrella power play (perhaps a little 1-3-1 sprinkled in) and a wedge+1/diamond force penalty kill where they pressured for turnovers.

For more on these systems, check out our Hockey Systems page.

Habs Lines

Max Pacioretty-Jonathan Drouin-Brendan Gallagher
Charles Hudon-Tomas Plekanec-Artturi Lehkonen
Alex Galchenyuk-Phillip Danault-Andrew Shaw
Paul Byron-Jacob de la Rose-Ales Hemsky

Jordie Benn-Shea Weber
Karl Alzner-Jeff Petry
Victor Mete-Mark Streit

PP1: Drouin-Galchenyuk-Pacioretty-Gallagher-Weber
PP2: Hudon-Lehkonen-Shaw-Mete-Streit

Carey Price gets the start.

Rangers Lines

Rick NashMika ZibanejadMats Zuccarello
Chris KreiderDavid DesharnaisJT Miller
Jimmy VeseyKevin HayesJesper Fast
Michael Grabner-Boo Nieves-Pavel Buchnevich

Ryan McDonaghBrendan Smith
Marc StaalKevin 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: Pavelec pitches the shutout, everyone proclaims him to be the heir to Hank.

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

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Categories : Game Thread


  1. Hockey Sittoo says:

    Zipay pretty much confirmed Hank had a minor injury. After practice Hank told him his knee was “better.” Sore knee. Montreal house of horrors. Pavs with a good game against the Yotes. Hank sits and rests. No big deal. Unless of course Pavs pitches that shutout and we go through the “Hank’s washed” nonsense all over again…

    • Richter1994 says:

      So here we are, the coach talks about goalies stopping pucks and Pav gets back to back starts, giving the impression that Henrik is benched, in effect.

      But the real reason may be that Henrik is nicked up. So why give the impression that the King is getting benched instead of just saying that he’s getting some time off to get back to 100%?

      See, this is what I mean and why I have no respect for AV. He acts like a punk.

      • Richter1994 says:

        Alain Vigneault met with the media on Friday after practice and said (NYR):

        On Pavelec starting, “just feel that it’s the right thing to do for the game tomorrow.”
        Is it nice to get on the road, “our schedule was built this year with 10 of our first 13 were at home. Home or on the road, and I’ve said this hundreds of times, there is not a home way to play or road way to play, gotta play the right way. Tomorrow is in Montreal or at home, no difference, we have to execute, compete and play a good solid defensive game in front of our goalie and make sure we get quality opportunities. At the end of the night it’s two points and that is what we will try and get.”
        On Pavelec, “he stopped the puck. Goaltenders gotta stop the puck. He did a good job like I mentioned yesterday, one of the turning points was the save at the end of the first period. He made some other ones in the third, just feel that it’s the right thing for the team tomorrow.”

      • Spozo says:

        You are literally making something out of nothing. PAV played ok last game. Hank hasn’t gotten in to the grove of the season yet.

        You could easily take what AV says and call it him trying to put confidence in to Pav rather than denounce Hank. But that doesn’t fulfill your narrative. BACK TO BACK GAMES FOR A BACKUP, who was supposed to get 25 starts this season anyway isn’t a big deal.

        • Richter1994 says:

          No it’s not a big deal but you’re wrong. the coach handled it wrong, as usual.

        • Richter1994 says:

          and just to set the record straight I never ever said merely firing the coach fixes this team. I have said it because that’s the only way you will be able to properly evaluate the players because then they don’t have any excuses.

  2. HOF 19 says:

    Enough…..Enough of this mediocrity …..Give me a nice 3-5 game winning streak RANGERS…..C’MON……..LETS GO RANGERS !!!!!

  3. Bloomer says:

    I am hoping to see some Freaky Hobbit Magic tonight.

  4. Bloomer says:

    Another inspiring start for the team in blue.

  5. HOF 19 says:

    The next time Sam Rosen does a game I hope there is a moment where they go to a commercial and forget to turn Sam’s mike off and we hear Sam Rosen say ….On The Air…….”THIS RANGER TEAM SUCKS “

  6. Mancunian Candidate says:

    Crisp 1st period for the Rangers. Outshot 19-2, outscored 3-0. Anybody who still thinks this coach deserves his job is kidding themselves.

    Again–outshot 19 to 2 in the 1st period. Disgraceful.

    • Richter1994 says:

      f–king Hank.

    • RichS says:

      Cant get any worse! Abysmal effort, team definitely not prepared or motivated……First goal said it all, biron left completely alone in front of the net—– totally uncovered while a ranger player [ who?] stands directly in front of pavalick instead of covering/tying up biron!!!!!
      How can this happen so often????????
      Is leaving guys uncovered in the slot part of the system????
      Isnt the center supposed to backcheck and pick up the slot ?????
      You will see better defense in a pee wee game!!!!
      Either trade 20 players of get a new coach……

      • BSMasochist says:

        I believe the Ranger you are referring to was Marc Staal on the fist goal. The is nothing new, though he’d been playing pretty well for a while, at least compared to everyone else.

      • RichS says:

        Montreal goal #4……..mcdonagh, sjkel and hayes all fail to cover pacioretty who is standing right in front of pavelick!!!!!!!!
        McDonagh looks awful!
        This team could use a tanner glass or a sean avery or a tie domi…………
        I think the referees have been told to whistle kredier every time he hits a canadian!!!!!!!

    • Walt says:

      Who prepared, or motivated these guys?

  7. Bloomer says:

    For your own safety kids don’t go out on Halloween dressed like a New York Ranger.

  8. TootSOon says:

    Let’s all cry,panic, get sarcastic and blame the coach now like always

    • BSMasochist says:

      On paper, this team should be middle of the pack at worst. It’s arguably the second worst team in the league, and shows precious little sign of improving. If the team comes out virtually every night looking unprepared or unwilling to compete, who are you going to blame? They’re all professionals, who generally need to make enough money in their relatively short careers to provide the bulk of the support their families for the rest of their lives. For them to give up and not try to improve their results speaks to something extreme.

      I will say, however, that in the first period, I could clearly see several Rangers holding on to the puck too long, trying to force their way into chances to get a point. You can translate this as “trying to carry the team on his back” or “trying to at least dress up his personal stats so he won’t be dragged down with this carcass.” Alas, it’s starting to look more like the latter than the former.

  9. Richter1994 says:

    It’s not even the results. it’s the “effort.” There is none. No puck battle, no compete, no nothing.

    If this is what it is then just blow it all up because this is disgusting.

  10. BSMasochist says:

    Buch looks like a proto-sniper.

    Send him back to the fourth line.

  11. Richter1994 says:

    Buch one of the best Rangers so far this year.

    • BSMasochist says:

      And he just got the crap hooked out of him after the face-off. Why would the refs be so anxious to call crap penalties on the Rangers when they’re trying to climb back into the game? Is the league that desperate to get the Canadiens a “W” that they make calls like the one on Zucc – the one on Kreider just now, and then not call an obvious and huge look that resulted in possession in the o-zone on a PP? Evidently, he said, answering his own question.

      • Richter1994 says:

        you know it’s the usual reffing in Montreal, especially with the team desperate for a win. That Zuc penalty was laughable.

      • RichS says:

        Typical refereeing in montreal!!!!!
        I will never forget the hosing the bruins got in montreal in game 7 in the conference playoffs in 1979!!!!! I think they were up by 2 with couple minutes to go when REFEREES took over and started calling ghost penalties on bruins!!!! Cost the rangers a cup, we matched up well against bruins but not well against montreal!!!!

  12. HOF 19 says:

    Now it is a game…..I hope !

  13. Richter1994 says:

    So where is this on a regular basis?

  14. HOF 19 says:


  15. BSMasochist says:

    Why are McD and Skjei a pair?
    You just saw the result of two LHDs out on the ice – both have the wrong instinct.
    This coach really is friggin nuts.
    Was that just an odd pair because of a change, or has it been an actual pairing. Hate to admit I hadn’t noticed.

    • Bloomer says:

      The Rangers only have one righty dman in the lineup. Skjei has played on his offside before.

  16. Richter1994 says:

    Gallagher can hit players in the face with his stick (Smith and Kreider) but if you put out your arm it’s a penalty.

  17. Richter1994 says:

    Obviously the personal stats are not good but Pavlec giving his all and battling. Kudos to him for not giving up to try and keep his team in the game.

  18. Richter1994 says:

    Nash just dominant this year, now the goals just need to come.

  19. Richter1994 says:

    wow, great comeback.

    where the eff is this on a regular basis? they are capable of playing well.

    The Habs’ fans have shat themselves, lol.

  20. HOF 19 says:

    This IS …..IS….IS the type of win (if we win) that might just get a team going…………I HOPE !

  21. Richter1994 says:

    Someone needs to line up Gallagher and put him through the boards. legally.

  22. HOF 19 says:

    Dang they are getting more shots ON OUR PP than us !!!!!!!

  23. Spozo says:

    Seriously what the hell is SHattenkirk doing on that PP?

  24. King Sieveqvist ! King Sieveqvist ! King Sieveqvist ! says:

    Well we got a decent backup … Played a strong game with lots of back door goals and no help … Yup Shattenkirk still sux , so happy he left a bunch on the table and we moved guys to fit him under the cap …. Lol

  25. Richter1994 says:

    Welp, what now? The players should absolutely be ashamed of themselves. They are in a season long hole so far, put together a couple of games where they got points, and were an absolute no show in the first period last night.

    They basically abandoned their goalie and teammate. 19-2 in SOG and most of those shots were high quality. Against stiffs like the Habs who can’t score.

    Again, it was even the goals against, it was the lack of competition nor lack of fight for the puck. Just awful. Nice comeback but should it have really been needed if they started the game in even a decent way?

    Kreider and Miller have been no shows this season. I feel Miller being traded at this point.

  26. Jerry says:

    This would be comical if it wasn’t so sad.

    The first period was one of the worst Ranger hockey periods imaginable. And again we are talking about a Montreal team that is in the bottom three in the league right now. A Montreal team that I believe up to last night has scored fewer goals than any team in the league.

    This team is consistently unprepared for what the opposition is going to do. The game plan is the job of the coaches.

    • Richter1994 says:

      As much as I would like to blame the coach for everything, the players, at some point, need to have some pride and come ot of the gate flying. It’s about effort and desire, which they had none and none that first period. Embarrassing to the franchise Jerry my friend.

      • Jerry says:

        Sure the players bear some responsibility.
        And I’d gladly remove the responsibility from the coaches if it was one, two or a few players who were complicit in the disgraceful showing in that first period.
        It was the whole team. They were unprepared for Montreal. Montreal, currently one of the worst teams in the league.

        • Richter1994 says:

          Trust me, I get it. I’m trying with substantial restraint to lay off you know who for one day.

          But in all honesty, you look at the facts and it’s almost every game this year, starting off badly in the first period, except for the Preds’ game and the Yutes’ game. It’s very poor preparation, whether it be the coaches, the players, or combo of the 2.

          Every once in a while, ok, it happens, but just about every game? Nah.

      • Walt says:


        Too many fat cats, living large. It’s time for the kids to take over, and sit the likes of Kreider, Staal, even Mac truck, who is playing terrible this season. If we lose, so what, they get experience. Playing a bunch of cadavers isn’t getting us anywhere!!!!!

        • Richter1994 says:

          You know what Walt, I was going to say that. Give it by the end of this coming week and if it does not turn around then turn the keys over to the kids of the future, because then this run will be over.

          I think it’s over now but give it this coming week. Then I would trade all that is over 30.

          Kreider is playing like he just signed an extended contract. He has been invisible. And while Miller had a couple of assists last night, he glided nice and slow behind a Hab that put back a rebound without getting touched.

          • Walt says:


            Reason #1 why I hate these long term deals, they get too comfortable, and then lose the desire. I’ve gone round, and round on this issue with E3, but I’m convinced if you’re sitting in the clouds, with a load of money, why bust your tail, and have a possible injury. I could be dead wrong, have been in the past, but I strongly believe that to be the case……….Just look at the policy of Walter O’Malley, no Dodger of old got over a one year deal, so his teams always were in contract years. Think about it…

            • Richter1994 says:

              Unfortunately that is the way of sports and the NHL. There are the entry level contracts, then the one or two bridge contracts, and then the big one.

              If you’re any kind of NHL player that will play here 10 years or so, that’s the process, like it or not.

        • Richter1994 says:

          You know how many 5 on 5 minutes Buch got last night? 10. That’s in 1 and a 0. TEN.

          For a guy who has been one of the best Ranger forwards so far this year.

          BTW, Lindberg has 4 goals in case anyone hasn’t noticed.

          • RichS says:

            Richter 1994
            You beat me to it! Read an article about Lindberg and knights are now considering putting him on the power play!!!!!
            This guy SHOULD have been PROTECTED….Let them take stepan and we would have not traded raanta as well. We really wouldnt have needed deangelo or anderson……
            REALLY who evaluates talent here???? Strallman, hagelin, stempniak, talbot and now lindberg!!!!!!

            • Richter1994 says:

              No doubt Rich. I mean trade picks to keep Oscar. Then we would have 4 legit centers. No question.

    • Walt says:


      You mean the guy with all those regular season wins, but who can’t, or won’t motivate his team? I was sick to my stomach after the first, what a horrible display of a team that looks like a shell of itself. LV comes in on Halloween, what are we going to get, a trick, or treat????????????