Game 35: Targeting four in a row

December 21, 2017, by

rangers devils mats zuccarello

The Rangers have won three in a row and are fully healthy. Sure doesn’t feel like it, though. The Blueshirts, despite their recent runs through November and December, are still in the wild card spot. It shows how tough that Metro Division is, and how important games like tonight against the Devils are.

This is another critical four point swing game in a division where every point matters. The Blueshirts have a chance to leap frog the Devils in the standings tonight. This is the best time to play them too, as they’ve been mediocre at best and riding Cory Schneider for quite some time. It’s similar to the way the Rangers ride Hank, but without the scoring skill throughout the lineup. This is a winnable game.

Devils Systems

John Hynes has his club running a 1-2-2 forecheck, a low zone collapse, an umbrealla powerplay and a hybrid penalty kill. These are standard systems across the board, and are not very aggressive in nature. The Devils will look to sit and force turnovers in the neutral zone on the forecheck, then collapse to block shots and defend the high priced real estate in the defensive zone. Considering the team, conservative is probably his best bet.

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

Devils Lines

Taylor Hall-Nico Hischier-Kyle Palmieri
Blake Coleman-Travis Zajac-Brian Gibbons
Jesper BrattBrian Boyle-Stefan Noesen
Miles Wood-Pavel Zacha-Drew Stafford

John Moore-Sami Vatanen
Will Butcher-Damon Severson
Andy Greene-Steven Santini

PP1: Hall-Zajac Palmieri-Boyle-Butcher
PP2: Bratt-Hischier-Stafford-Severson-Vatanen

Cory Schneider gets the start.

Rangers Lines

Chris KreiderMika ZibanejadPavel Buchnevich
Jimmy VeseyKevin HayesRick Nash
Michael GrabnerJT MillerMats Zuccarello
Paul Carey–David Desharnais–Jesper Fast

Ryan McDonaghNick Holden
Brady SkjeiKevin Shattenkirk
Marc StaalBrendan Smith

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

Henrik Lundqvist gets the start.

Scratches/Injuries: Steven Kampfer (healthy), Boo Nieves (healthy)

Crazy Prediction: Three Rangers defensemen score.

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

Categories : Game Thread


  1. Richter1994 says:

    Just win baby…

    Off topic, as stupid as it is to have yet another arena in the area, I am happy for the Isles and their fans that they are coming back to Long Island, sort of.

    They should have rebuilt the Coliseum for hockey to begin with, the Isles playing in Brooklyn temporarily, and then coming back. But, you know, politics.

    Hopefully this secures Tavares for them as well.

    • Jake W says:

      I kinda hope it doesn’t secure Tavares for them lol if we can’t have him I’d rather him be out of the division with another team! Lol

      • Richter1994 says:

        lol, I get it Jake. But by the same token, I like to see franchise players stay on their original teams. It’s good for the league.

  2. Jake W says:

    Why we made absolutely no attempt to bring Boyle back to the Rangers in free agency is just moronic.

    • Richter1994 says:

      The Rangers didn’t have a chance quite honestly. TB offered a contract the Rangers could not and Boyle got married to a woman who lives in Florida.

    • Chris A. says:

      Meh. Take out the sentimentality and Brian Boyle is just another big bodied 4th liner.

      Paying $2.75m a year for a 4th liner is an egregious display of cap mismanagement. The rangers are getting better production out of the 4C combo of Boo/DD for about half of what Boyle cost NJ.

  3. Stevem says:

    Fantastic pass by Holden in the first :15… Oy

  4. HOF19 says:

    Lets keep rolling …….Win this game ……..LETS GO RANGERS !!!!!!!!

  5. Stevem says:

    Abysmal start

  6. HOF19 says:

    Good bounce back….Now kill off this PP……LETS GO RANGERS !!!!!

  7. HOF19 says:

    Lets add to the lead……….Win this second period !

  8. Stevem says:

    9:20 into the 2nd and already Hank has stopped 25 of 26.. can we please for the love of God get our SOG against down?!?

  9. Avsucks says:

    Wtf no defence shattenkirk sucks

  10. HOF19 says:

    We keep passing to the wrong team !

  11. HOF19 says:

    We look asleep !

  12. Stevesse says:

    I never have seen a 40 minute powerplay

  13. Leatherneck says:

    Leaky gets to be called Lundqvist today….he has been phenomenal considering how bad the Rangers have been….the whole D from top to bottom has been atrocious

  14. Bobby B says:

    Out shot 23-8 in the second period, inexcusable in such an important game!! Hank is THE MAN!!!. Amazing goal by Hayes who has definitely stepped up his game!!

  15. HOF19 says:

    I know the Rangers fan base might FORBID to say this….But I am glad Hayes is a Ranger………..LETS GO RANGERS !!!!!

  16. Stevem says:

    Oh how I just friggin LOVE the loser point!!! NOT!!! Shatty was abysmal.. and the D on a whole wasn’t much better.. didn’t deserve a point forget about 2 in this game.. just wish there was a better outcome for Hank..

  17. King Sieveqvist ! King Sieveqvist ! says:

    It’s gonna be a long 47 games if they keep playing D like this with lack of forward support … It’s a simple game and they just keep forgetting the D zone part of it and half the neutral zone for that matter … Need a center and a Defensive Dedenseman !

    • Richter1994 says:

      It’s been like this almost all season, YOU just don’t acknowledge how Henrik bails them out constantly. This shouldn’t be a shock to anyone.

      • King Sieveqvist ! King Sieveqvist ! says:

        AV’s system …. It’s old school Sather minus all the talent

  18. King Sieveqvist ! King Sieveqvist ! says:

    Shattenkirk in the SO again ?

  19. Mythdoc says:

    I missed most of the game, dinner with mom. Guess they didn’t win the Corsi battle, lol.

  20. Trade Bait says:

    It was like the scuttling at Scapa Flow,
    and we were ze germans!

  21. Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

    I hate losing to the Devils, but if we were going to lose, I’m glad it was this way. I’m a huge Brian Boyle fan, even more so now given all he is going through. So very happy for him, and frankly, we didn’t deserve more than a point here. I’ll take the road point and run with it.

    4th line looked good again. Hayes’ game is really coming on. McDonagh looking better and better. Skjei was good. There is nothing here that is suggesting we need to upgrade with kids from the farm, since kids from the farm, who might be talented, usually the last thing they figure out is how to play defense. That help isn’t likely coming from Hartford. Seems to me a trade is going to have to happen here in order to tighten things up. Because Hank can’t do this by himself. Man, was he incredible again tonight! Fantastic six week stretch for him.

    But the turnovers are just killers. Rangers were just not anywhere near good enough tonight…polar opposite of the way they played vs the Devils at MSG a few weeks ago. It’s hockey, and it happens. Move on, get better, and get ready for Toronto and then a much needed break.

    • Bloomer says:

      Leaky is looking like vintage Lundqvist. The untouchables continue to produce in the goal scoring department. I know your not keen on physical defenceman Eddie cubed…but a snarly blueliner that wins puck battles and plays a simple game is what the Rangers need.

      • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

        I never said I wasn’t keen on physical defensemen. We need some better defensive players, no doubt. They just have to be able to play, and not be overrated 1st rounders with a colorful nickname that can’t crack an NHL lineup. 🙂

        • Bloomer says:

          Well I don’t believe Boink or Delangelo are ready for primetime. Gudbranson hasn’t worked out for the Canucks. A change of scenery may help him regain his form when he played for the Panthers. Should be able to pick him up in the discount section.

          • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

            I’m no AHL expert, but there is nothing statistically at least that says that DeAngelo or Pionk are NHL-ready. Both are a -6, for whatever that is worth. ADA is playing better recently offensively, but I’ve never heard anyone suggest he’s considered a strong defensive player. So in terms of helping to fix our defense, I would doubt either are the answer.

    • Richter1994 says:

      The Rangers are an extremely sloppy playing team.

      Hmmm, who to blame???? 🙂

      • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

        Answer….not any one person. It is everyone. A coach can only do so much. The players have an enormous amount of responsibility here. So does the GM. Coach as well, sure. But to suggest it’s on AV singularly? Sorry, ain’t buying it.

        • Trade Bait says:

          Seriously? A great coach is the difference between a bunch of good players and a championship team. Some of our d-men are limited in terms of physical gifts – actually just one of them, Marc Staal. The rest are elite athletes in their prime with experience – save Skjei, who has exhibited superior skills and “IQ.” There is absolutely no reason for our defensive play to be this abysmal. Holden is mental garbage as a d-man. He stands around looking dumb and lost. On the Devils second goal, he literally was guarding the side of the fucking net. Now, if I am a coach, I show him that film over and over and over until he starts to cry. I get him on the ice, and any time he wanders out of position, I have Kreider smash him in the back as hard as he can. Eventually, the dog learns not to pee on the floor. (I would never hit a dog or allow one to be hit in my presence. An NHL defenseman is a different story). I make him practice with 20 on net front play until he is black and blue, and learns to keep his head up and his eyes on the puck, and develops a sense of where to be and who to cover. I see NO EVIDENCE that this defense is even being coached. They do the same shit over and over.

          Our forwards repeatedly leave the zone too early, and get caught out by a turnover – they need to linger and support the puck carrier/pass until the disc is out of the zone. Yes, we are a speed and transition team, but you can do that when you have a clean exit – if you keep doing it against a successful forecheck, you are dead meat. How many times can one man stand watching Nash, Grabs, etc etc skate up ice only to turn around and desperately try to get back? Every friggin play isn’t a breakaway. This team is coached by morons. They have tons of talent and a great goaltender. AV is no longer the guy for this squad. Between his idiotic deployment issues (no Buch in an OT is a capital offense) and the defensive shitshow, enuf is enuf.

          Ruff appears to be doing nothing – or maybe he is even sabotaging AV so he can be the interim/replacement when the house burns down. No one can be this bad on purpose.