Game 41: Raanta Reunion

January 6, 2018, by
antti raanta

Photo: Harry Howe/Getty Images

The Rangers are in Arizona tonight to face the already-lottery-team Coyotes, a team that is so bad it really defies all logic. On paper, the Coyotes should be better. They’ve dealt with some injuries, that’s for sure, but they have a talented young forward group and a surprisingly solid –on paper– blue line, minus that bottom pair. They should be better. Coaching? Players? Both?

The story the last time these two teams met was the return of Derek Stepan to Madison Square Garden. Antti Raanta was injured and did not play in that game. Tonight the story will be Raanta facing his former team. Don’t expect an emotional affair this time around, but it still stinks to see Stepan in Arizona. Raanta, good for him on getting a starting role, something he deserved.

Yotes Systems

Rick Tocchet is the new man in Arizona. I know nothing of how Tocchet coaches, but I’m not sure if that’s because I haven’t watched the Yotes, or that they are so bad you can’t identify the system. 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

Brendan Perlini-Derek Stepan-Tobias Rieder
Clayton Keller-Max Domi-Christian Fischer
Lawson Crouse-Christian Dvorak-Josh Archibald
Jordan Martinook-Nick Cousins-Anthony Duclair

Oliver Ekman-Larsson-Jason Demers
Jakub Chychrun-Alex Goligoski
Kevin Connauton-Luke Schenn

PP1: Domi-Stepan-Keller-Fischer-OEL
PP2: Archibald-Dvorak-Perlini-Chychrun-Goligoski

Antti Raanta gets the start.

Rangers Lines

JT MillerMika ZibanejadMats Zuccarello
Michael GrabnerKevin HayesRick Nash
Jimmy VeseyDavid DesharnaisPavel Buchnevich
Paul CareyBoo NievesJesper Fast

Ryan McDonaghNick Holden
Brady SkjeiMarc Staal
Brendan SmithKevin Shattenkirk

PP1: Nash-Zuccarello-Buchnevich-Zibanejad-Shattenkirk
PP2: Vesey-Miller-Desharnais-Skjei-McDonagh

Henrik Lundqvist gets the start.

Scratches/Injuries: Chris Kreider (blood clot), Steven Kampfer (healthy), Vinny Lettieri (healthy)

Crazy Prediction: Raanta gives up 7 goals in the first two periods.

Game time is 8pm. Be sure to follow on Twitter for gifs, and on our Snapchat for in-game shenanigans.

"Game 41: Raanta Reunion", 5 out of 5 based on 2 ratings.
Categories : Game Thread


  1. JERRY MALEY says:

    You state it still stinks to see Stephan in Arizona. I for one, DO NOT miss his 7MM salary, slow skating, non physical play, mediocre face offs (if that) and lousy scoring touch. NOT A 7 MILLION DOLLAR PLAYER. And if the Rangers give up 7 goals tonight, then they need to pack it in.

    • Mancunian Candidate says:

      CAN YOU READ AT ALL? The prediction was for Raanta to give up 7 goals. Raanta is on the Arizona Coyotes. Plus—Stepan makes $6.5 a year.

  2. King Sieveqvist ! King Sieveqvist ! says:

    Easy win … goalie we play against barely has any games under his belt 🙂

    • orangemike says:

      Good prediction, Sieveqvist. Well done. So in the last week they have somehow gotten four points from playing three terrible teams. Against Buffalo and Arizona, two AHL teams (at best) they’ve scored three goals in 250 minutes of play. Those four points were saved by your friend Sieveqvist, as you so graciously call him. Against Chicago (at home, by the way) two goals were scored against the Hawks’ fifth string goalie, one of which was a 5-on-3, on which I could have scored. And I can’t skate.

      What in the name of Rod Gilbert is going on here? Is the absence of Kreider having that much of an effect? Let’s hope this gets straightened around before they come back from Vegas (after they lose 8-0 tonight) and play some important division games. P.S. is Rick Nash still on the roster? Has he been on the ice?

      Stay warm, everyone. Regards- orange

  3. Joe Fortunato says:

    You probably saw my opinion piece in Banter today. Here’s a summary:

    AV keeps mentioning his use of proprietary advanced analytics, but he won’t tell us what they are. Waaah. All the great coaches in the league don’t tell us either; therefore, AV is not a great coach. Furthermore, the exact same complaints were made about his coaching faults before he left Vancouver as my blog is making now. He never changes! See, here is a quote from Vancouver including names of players AV refused to give good minutes to. Like his Ranger castoffs, none of them ever did anything much after AV with their other teams, either. But that’s not the point. Waaah! Fire AV! Waaah!

    Enjoy the game. LGR!!

    • Chuck A says:

      Great article!

    • Bloomer says:

      I don’t need advanced metrics to tell me the Rangers sucked in the first period.

    • roadrider says:

      I read your post. I’d like to see you and every other know-it-all blogger try to coach a team. If you even won one game it would be by accident.

  4. Spozo says:

    Zuke out while feeling under the weather. The revised lines:

    JT – Zib – Buch
    Vesey- DD – Nash
    Grabner- Hayes – Fast
    Carey – Nieves – Lettieri

  5. King Sieveqvist ! King Sieveqvist ! says:

    In the glove and out and in the net , great saves

  6. supermaz says:

    Is there any other goalie in the league who loses his stick more than Lundqvist?

  7. James Carr says:

    Maybe the rangers can find someone in the locker room to remind everyone to shoot the puck

  8. Bloomer says:

    Rangers look disorganized out there in the first. No flow and no sustained pressure in the desert dogs end of the ice. Let’s see if the taskmaster AV can get his team back on track in the 2nd.

  9. Bloomer says:

    Vesey taking the puck to the net in Nash like fashion .

  10. HOF19 says:

    Been away a couple of days………Did the Rangers decide to play at a lower level over the last 6 games …..2-4 correct ?…..AND Mr. Vesey scores !!!!!!!!

  11. Stan C. Fats says:

    I think my 84 year old mother could knock Desharnais to the ice in a puck battle.

  12. James Carr says:

    Nothing makes couches happier than rookies making between the legs, backhand passes in overtime

  13. Dan says:

    Good thing we’ve got this Henrik Lundqvist guy

  14. Stan C. Fats says:

    Man, Zib can sure pick a corner on a shootout. Ugly win, but sometimes you need those in the course of a season.

  15. roadrider says:

    I’ll take the two points but man what a stinker. If they play like this against Vegas it will be a lot uglier result. Once again the Rangers show why they have to lean on Henrik Lundqvist to win games. That “vaunted” top six that got a grade of B on this blog earlier today? Give them all an F. In fact, give just about everyone but Lundqvist an F tonight (Vesey had some good moments and the only goal). Piss-poor puck management, turnovers galore, no fore check, no offensive pressure. But its all AV’s fault, right?

    A bit of comic relief. Center Ice had the AZ feed tonight and their play-by-play guy kept calling Nieves Jimmy Hayes. Not even Kevin Hayes. And he did it once after calling Nieves’ name correctly on the same shift.

    • Spozo says:

      In all fairness you need to account for Zuke and Kreider not being on the lineup. It wasn’t pretty but it was a win!

  16. Stevem says:

    I’m sorry but not sorry.. that was as an underserved win as I’ve ever seen. Hank again the most notable one on the ice. Anything remotely resembling this type of performance tomorrow night in Vegas and we will be lit the absolute f up

    • Stevem says:

      Further note.. Vesey was the only notable forward tonight.. I’ll gladly take the win, but a skills competition win doesn’t help heaven forbid it comes down to a tiebreaker at the end of the season

  17. avsucks says:

    Game was a stinker, all hail the king.

  18. King Sieveqvist ! King Sieveqvist ! says:

    4th line was the best and it was a mess …. OT was worse then the game … What in the hell was that ?
    How long will JT be around for arguing with Hank … Lmao

  19. Richter1994 says:

    I didn’t see the game but another stinker and another 2 pts.

    • Hockey Sittoo says:

      Lucky you! It was a disaster from start to finish except for Hank and Vesey. But 2 points is 2 points, so yay team….

      • Richter1994 says:

        But Hank doesn’t earn his money. And Vesey is crap.

        How many more games before Henrik cracks?

  20. Mancunian Candidate says:

    Hank is playing at an extremely high level right now. This Ranger D hemorrhages shots, allows opponents all kinds of great looks & positioning in the D-zone, won’t hit people or clear the net, etc. Arguably this is Hank’s best 25-game stretch in the regular season in about 2 years; so here’s a question for people who defend AV—would he have 600+ wins with his system if he didn’t have Luongo & Lundqvist as his goalies in Vancouver and NY? I say not a chance—Vigneault has reaped the benefit of having 2 hall of fame caliber netminders. He played Luongo into the ground in Vancouver after unnecessarily messing with his mind, and looks to be grinding Hank into dust this season by overplaying him. I’m so sick and tired of Vigneault’s approach—being outshot like this on a nightly basis against good & bad teams makes the Rangers a solid bet for a 1st rd exit this year.

    • Walt says:

      wow, how true your post is, couldn’t have said it any better!

    • Dear Abby says:

      Sick & Tired:

      It sounds like your relationship needs work. Either AV needs to change, or you do. Perhaps some relationship therapy is in order. My other suggestion is to try to release some of the resentment and anger that you so clearly feel. It’s hard when you have invested so much in a relationship that now seems to be going sour. Still, all that anger is not good for the soul. Good luck and God bless!


    • King Sieveqvist ! King Sieveqvist ! says:

      There is another goalie …. Who has played pretty well. We play back to back and then 5 day break after Christmas break and then the all star break coming up . With the way this team plays its 1 and done or they spend a ton for a piece or two to make a better run which in turn makes another cycle. Clear house and start over !

  21. pas44 says:

    Well Said!

  22. Swarty says:

    Bring back The Duke….

  23. Peter says:

    Man, it takes the Rangers to make the Coyotes look good. 39 shots?

    That said, it was good to see Raanta healthy and playing well. Like that young man a great deal and wish him well.