Nov
11

Game 18: Keep rolling in a fast paced game

November 11, 2017, by

rangers oilers

The Rangers are looking for their sixth win in a row this afternoon, with the Edmonton Oilers presenting what should be a good challenge. The Oilers, while not exactly a great team this year, are a fast paced team that can basically score at will. Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl are just unreal talents. The problem with Edmonton is that beyond those two and one or two other guys, their depth stinks. It’s a product of bad trades.

As for the Rangers, they are winning despite some odd roster choices. But considering how badly they needed a confidence boost, you kind of just deal with it. Ride the winning streak.

Oilers Systems

Todd McLellan had his Oilers mostly running an aggressive 2-1-2 forecheck, mixing in some 1-2-2 depending on game situation. In the defensive zone schemes they overload the boards and play zone defense when the puck is at the points or down low. The power play is a 1-3-1 and their penalty kill formations are a hybrid (depends on puck location/opposition setup).

Oilers Lines

Patrick Maroon-Connor McDavid-Leon Draisaitl
Milan Lucic-Ryan Nugent-Hopkins-Jesse Puljujarvi
Jussi Jokinen-Ryan Strome-Iiro Pakarinen
Brad Malone-Mark Letestu-Zack Kassian

Darnell Nurse-Adam Larsson
Oscar Klefbom-Matthew Benning
Kris Russell-Eric Gryba

PP1: McDavid–Maroon-Draisaitl-Letestu-Klefbom
PP2: Strome-RNH-Lucic-Draisaitl-Benning

Cam Talbot gets the start.

Rangers Lines

Chris KreiderMika ZibanejadPavel Buchnevich
Rick NashKevin HayesMats Zuccarello
Jimmy VeseyDavid DesharnaisJT Miller
Michael Grabner-Boo Nieves-Jesper Fast

Ryan McDonaghNick Holden
Brady SkjeiKevin Shattenkirk
Marc StaalSteven Kampfer

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

Henrik Lundqvist gets the start.

Scratches/Injuries: Paul Carey (flu), Brendan Smith (healthy)

Crazy Prediction: A Kampfer goal, just because.

Game time is 1pm. Be sure to follow on Twitter for gifs, and on our Snapchat for in-game.

Categories : Game Thread

42 comments

  1. Chris F says:

    Hey, Walt, Leather, and anyone else here on the boards I’m unaware of, Happy Veterans Day, gents.

  2. Chris F says:

    As much as I usually stand by AV, this Smith benching has got to stop at this point.

    He’s been signed this summer to a big contract to fill an important top-4 role.

    Yes, by all accounts, he was out of shape coming into the preseason, and that affected his performance into the early season. A message was sent by benching him, which doubled as an opportunity for him to focus exclusively on his conditioning and get game ready.

    It’s been nearly two weeks, now. He’s a better option than Kampfer, he needs to play.

    I know we’ve managed to rattle off 5 wins in a row without Smith, and I’d even go so far as to acknowledge that we DID NOT win these games despite Kampfer, who was more than adequate. But there is only so long you can justify the 7th D journeyman getting dressed night after night over one of our top-4 defenders simply because he hasn’t f#$%ed up yet.

    • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

      I agree and disagree. In an overarching sense, I agree that clearly, Smith is the better choice. And I would agree, if this is simply about AV sending him a message, than sure, fair to say, enough is enough on that front.

      But I disagree because I think the premise is flawed. I don’t think this is primarily about sending a message. It probably has more to do with who is the best option at the moment.

      I think we all would agree that Smith is a better player than Kampfer. Obviously. But is he a better player TODAY? And it’s not like we are talking about a high end player here like benching a Shatty or McD. Smith is, well, Smith. Good but hardly indispensable.

      So the real question, is Kampfer at his best (however one would define “best”) better than Smith at whatever he is at the moment—50-75% of what he is at his optimum? I think that is really the question and I suspect the answer is, if he is a compromised Smith, then Kampfer may well be the better choice at the moment.

      I don’t think this is about sending a message anymore. I think it’s about buying time until Smith is ready to play. And shame on him for putting the coaching staff in this position.

      • Chris F says:

        If Smith truly still isn’t game ready then there is a massive problem here.

        • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

          Exactly. And most likely, we will never truly know the answer to this. To some extent, this is a lot like the Hayes situation two years ago. We didn’t know exactly what the deal was, but we later learned he came to camp out of shape. How much he was out of shape, like Smith, we will never know.

          • Chris F says:

            If this is all about conditioning and being out of shape, then Smith belly-aching to the media about feeling pretty good about his game prior to being benched is even worse, because it implies that he was being singled out for his defensive play when there are other conditioning issues involved.

            • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

              That’s a great point Chris.

              Then there’s this in Brooksie’s column the other day from Smith’s agent.

              “I’m not sure who’s the buyer and who’s the seller in this case, but there are no regrets at all from Smitty,” Thun told The Post prior to Wednesday’s match. “And while I don’t want to speak for the Rangers, I talk to Jeff pretty regularly and I’ve never gotten that impression from him.

              “Smitty’s no dummy. He knows this is a performance-based industry and his hasn’t been where he would like it to be or where it needs to be. He’s just working hard to get back in the lineup.”

              I suppose this could mean a number of things, but I interpret this as meaning that Smith and his agent both realize that Smith hasn’t played or probably practiced well enough to dress. You’d have to believe that if Smith his agent felt the player was being “wronged”, that this quote would look a lot different.

              • Chris F says:

                Interesting.

              • NYKer says:

                So, Smith either looks on his contract as a ticket to be garbage and still be rich, or maybe he does some things he shouldn’t that would explain the slow reflexes and seeming disorientation on the ice.

                One of the strangest things Ive seen in 55 years of fandom – a guy play like an amateur hack five months after playing like a elite pro. This story will have an interesting ending. I suspect.

    • Richter1994 says:

      Yep, nothing more to say Chris.

      I was listening to the game and hearing Holden out on the ice at the end of a one goal game committing a gaffe that resulted in a scoring chance (Dave Maloney trashed Holden for it) tells me (us) that the coach still hasn’t learned from the Ottawa series.

      Simply, Holden and Kampfer should never, ever, ever be out on the ice at the end of one goal games. Ever.

      • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

        I think you are overreacting and not at all being fair here. For two reasons—

        1) Last year vs Ottawa, the Rangers had three different alignments. Every one of them failed. And then in the final game, the supposed “answers”, Smith and Skjei, had brutal games. So is it coaching or talent? That says to be it’s lack of talent.

        2) Take a look at the roster and tell me who exactly is supposed to be out there late in the game? McDonagh was out there with his partner Holden. So who instead of Holden? Shatty isn’t great defensively. Skjei maybe. Staal and Kampfer? You don’t think much of either.

        And again, as I said last year, you don’t necessarily get to decide who goes on the ice at the end. Depends on if there’s a play stoppage. Depends on who has fresh legs. Depends on who was just out on the prior shift.

        The roster is what it is at the moment. The defense has been playing better. McDonagh, their best defenseman, was out there—with his partner. What else should AV have done?

  3. Chris F says:

    Nash heating up.

  4. Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

    Hayes to Nash. What a pretty goal that was!

  5. King Sieveqvist ! King Sieveqvist ! King Sieveqvist ! says:

    Lost stick again

    • Hockey Sittoo says:

      Missed the game so watching now. Hank lost his stick because Staal stepped on it and then it slid with him when he went down. For once, Hank’s sweaty hands not at fault!

  6. Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

    That 3rd goal might be the best Rangers goal of the year. Or the last three years. McDonagh-Skjei-Nash = WOW!!!!!!

    • Chris F says:

      The Rangers have had some beautiful tic-tac-toe goals in the Zuccarello era.

      This was a wonderful goal, in part just because of how close that was to being offside, which McDonagh did a wonderful job of keeping in, spinning to pass across to Skjei who elevated his pass over the defender’s stick for Nash to chip in. It’s a great goal, but I think we’ve seen some better from the KZB line.

      • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

        Yeah…I’m probably overreacting to the moment. But what made it amazing was the pass from McDonagh. That was highlight reel stuff!

      • Bloomer says:

        Just when one thought Zuc and Nash turned invisible they reappear.

    • King Sieveqvist ! King Sieveqvist ! King Sieveqvist ! says:

      Almost looked like they knew what they were doing ! I was like why is DD on the PP and he made a good play on the boards

      • Chris F says:

        Yeah, nice, soft touch there by DD to slow that puck down so McD could keep it in.

        He still shouldn’t be on the PP over Hayes, though.

        • King Sieveqvist ! King Sieveqvist ! King Sieveqvist ! says:

          I’m sure AV is mad about something so he’s no longer on that PP unit till further notice

  7. Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

    What happened to Vesey? I must have missed it.

  8. Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

    Zuc has NO scoring touch! Ugh! Love the guy but….

  9. Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

    Let’s hope Mika’s gamble doesnt backfire.

  10. Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

    Thank you Macllelan for the timeout call. We will take that!

  11. Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

    I think our cursed 6 on 5 moments are a thing of the past now! Another great win!

    SIX in a row!!!! Who saw that coming two weeks ago?!

  12. Peter says:

    Nice all-around game by the Rangers today. Six in a row!

  13. Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

    Come on Sieve and Leather….time to give Hank his due. You both know if the Rangers had lost 3-2, you’d be advancing the bogus narrative that Cam outplayed Hank. Technically speaking, Hank outplayed Cam today. But the truth is both goalies were outstanding.

    Maybe they will meet again in the Garden…in June. 🙂

    • Bloomer says:

      Henk and the untouchables/invisibles make it 6 wins in a row. Brenda Smith observed the game from the press box while riding his stationary bike and eating his low calorie yogert.

      • King Sieveqvist ! King Sieveqvist ! says:

        Man of my word … He’s playing good … Maybe Sittioo will like the name change .. Lol … Still only one real King … King Kenny Roberts Sr / he delivered !😉

        • Hockey Sittoo says:

          Haha! Love it! In all seriousness they, and Hank, are looking good. Fun to watch them lock a game down.

          • King Sieveqvist ! King Sieveqvist ! says:

            Least u get it Sittoo , most are butt hurtiver the name 😂

  14. Richter1994 says:

    Thank you to all the people that have served and continue to serve in our military. Honor our military every day, not just on November 11.

  15. Richter1994 says:

    I guess Hayes can play a top 6 center role.

  16. craig says:

    What has Kampfer been doing so wrong? The Rangers have won six in a row! If it works, don’t fix it! Smith (who was absolutely terrible in the first few games) will get his chance again(, but maybe a bit overpaid,,not like he is an all-star), but Kampfer has earned his spot with some steady defensive play. AV (to his credit) has finally come up with the right defensive pairings and it is clicking! Right now,I wouldn’t change to many things at this point.

    • Richter1994 says:

      Kampfer is not a season long player. Obviously there is an issue between Smith and AV. Kampfer has the worst possession stats on the team, which should surprise no one. He’s not a good possession player or any kind of D man. He just gets in the way. Sometimes.

      But even forgetting Smith, DeAngelo or Pionk should have the spot and playing in Nov to see if they are viable players in March and April.

      • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

        I strongly disagree with most of this. Yes, you are probably right, Kampfer is not the long term answer. Unfortunately, Smith coming to camp out of shape has seemingly taken him out of the mix of options for now, putting AV and the coaching staff in a tough spot. So Kampfer’s filling in, and I would say he’s done fine. The defense has played much better with Smith out of the lineup. That’s fact.

        I would advise caution in using possession stats as absolute measures of a player’s performance—lest I once again cite the end results of the McIlrath/Clendo vs Girardi debates of the past two years. The league has weighed in pretty clearly on those options, proving that those stats you are citing paint a very incomplete picture of reality.

        The final paragraph I even more disagree with. Why in the world would any GM want to recall two young players who have thus far proven very little on even the AHL level, bring them up, and potentially disrupt a winning chemistry that right now has the Rangers rolling along as the hottest team in the league? Have you checked the standings? The team has won 6 in a row and still, they are barely in the playoffs if the season ended today. They are fighting for every point right now in a very, very balanced East. They cant afford to “try out” guys who can’t even get it done on the AHL level.

        I’d trust my front office. When and if they say those kids are ready, then great, bring them up. But until then, and certainly while the team is hot, I’d ride the winning combination and change nothing.