The Rangers have woken up, or at least that’s what it looks like. They are winners of three in a row, including two in overtime. They used that run to survive October ahead of the magic number of three. It’s not the start anyone wanted, but they aren’t dead yet. There are holes, but at least they are starting to win.
That said, the three wins were against not-so-good teams. In town tonight is Columbus, and they are a pretty good team. John Tortorella adjusted his systems and is now thriving. It’s something Alain Vigneault should look long and hard at.
John Tortorella is a notorious aggressive forechecking coach, deploying a 2-1-2 forecheck with most of his teams. In the defensive zone, he’s also notorious for clogging the slot in a low zone collapse, keeping shots to the outside. On special teams, he usually runs an umbrella powerplay, but there’s enough skill on the top-six in Columbus to run a 1-3-1 as well. On the kill, it’s a standard box/diamond hybrid.
The big change Torts has made while in Columbus is that he allows his defensemen to have more freedom. Specifically, he allows Seth Jones and Zach Werenski to play a “rover” position, where they take chances if they see a scoring opportunity. It’s been working so far. Weird to say, but Torts is a pioneer in this aspect.
For more on hockey systems, check here.
Zach Werenski-Seth Jones
Jack Johnson-David Savard
Ryan Murray-Markus Nutivaara
Sergei Bobrovsky gets the start.
Henrik Lundqvist gets the start.
Crazy Prediction: A goal for Kampfer, just because.
Game time is 7pm. Be sure to follow on Twitter for gifs, and on our Snapchat for in-game.