Game 69: Nice

March 10, 2018, by

rangers panthers

The Rangers have been demolished by two very good teams the past two games, and now run into white-hot Florida. Florida’s lineup, at least on paper, has no business sniffing a playoff spot, but here they sit, three points out with three games in hand. They’ve been riding Roberto Luongo, who is having a Vezina caliber season at age 931, give or take.

As for the Blueshirts, the rebuild is going to be tough. The last two games are what we should expect, not the previous three out west. Florida might not be as good as they are currently playing, but it’s all about timing. They are white-hot and the Blueshirts still don’t play defense. Should be interesting.

Panthers Systems 

Bob Boughner is the new guy in Florida. I know nothing of his systems.

Panthers Lines

Evgenii Dadonov-Alex Barkov-Nick Bjugstad
Jonathan Huberdeau-Vincent Trochek-Frank Vatrano
Jamie McGinn-Jared McCann-Maxim Mamin (what a name that is)
Micheal Haley-Derek MacKenzie-Colton Sceviour

Keith Yandle-Aaron Ekblad
Michael Matheson-Mark Pysyk
Mackenzie Weegar-Alex Petrovic

PP1: Huberdeau-Trochek-Barkov-Dadonov-Yandle
PP2: McGinn-McCann-Mamin-Ekblad-Matheson

James Reimer gets the start.

Rangers Lines 

Chris KreiderMika ZibanejadPavel Buchnevich
Jimmy Vesey-Vladislav Namestnikov-Mats Zuccarello
Ryan SpoonerKevin HayesJesper Fast
Paul CareyPeter Holland-Cody McLeod

Brady SkjeiJohn Gilmour
Marc StaalNeal Pionk
Rob O’Gara-Tony DeAngelo

PP1: Kreider-Zuccarello-Zibanejad-Buchnevich-Skjei
PP2: Vesey-Holland-Namestnikov-Hayes-Gilmour

Henrik Lundqvist gets the start.

Scratches/Injuries: Kevin Shattenkirk (knee), Ondrej Pavelec (knee), Steven Kampfer (hand), David Desharnaid (healthy)

Crazy Prediction: N

Game time is 7pm. Be sure to follow on our Snapchat for in-game shenanigans.

"Game 69: Nice", 5 out of 5 based on 1 ratings.
Categories : Game Thread


  1. Lace says:

    Kreider set to return tonight.

  2. Lace says:

    Imagine we could convince Staal to accept a trade or waive his NMC altogether. Maybe even send him out west to Minny with his brother Eric. Not far from his home town. Nice to dream I guess. Gorton being the Cap navigator that he is, I wonder if he considers another buyout bad business??

  3. Stevem says:

    While it would be nice if DD was a healthy scratch.. he is supposedly pissing rocks.. AV said he’s got kidney stones.. not fun at all

  4. King Sieveqvist ! King Sieveqvist ! says:

    I was hoping Georgie got the start !

  5. Larry says:

    Luongo is 38 and playing great right now, that is why not to push Hank in these meaningless games with eyes toward rebuilding and getting higher draft picks.

    BUT, with one trick pony AV and his team don’t play no defense or don’t know how to play defense, even half-concussed Kreider needs to suit up for AV’s pipe dream of making playoffs.

  6. Larry says:

    Luongo is 38 and playing great right now, that is why not to push Hank in these meaningless games with eyes toward rebuilding and getting higher draft picks.

    BUT, with one trick pony AV and his team don’t play no defense or don’t know how to play defense, even half-concussed Kreider needs to suit up for AV’s pipe dream of making playoffs.

    • Lace says:

      LARRY—That right there to me is why AV is the WRONG guy to stand behind the Rangers bench the next 3-5 years. Hopefully we can compete next season but my point is that AV is looking for a championship. We are too but our situation has changed thru the last 5 seasons.
      We need a coach that wants to build a foundation so the Rangers can hoist the Cup in the next 3-5 years. With a little luck, maybe even more than once. That requires patience and I don’t think AV has it. His systems are fine. I personally happen to like them and they worked in the past. It’s AV’s overall philosophy (quality over quantity) I don’t like. The Rangers went to the SCF the last time the Rangers played simple and were over 50% CF% as a team.
      They played strong in the neutral zone, got pucks to the net and attacked the puck in the Dzone. They don’t do those things anymore.

  7. Evan says:

    I had multiple commentators make fun of me for saying losing Yandle was horrible.

    It’s amazing seeing Yandle play 25 min a game, on pace for 55 points and just constantly crushing it for a team that is going to the playoffs. Same people who said Eric staal was a dud. The only dude is AV

    There are many fans who say he doesn’t play defense and they clearly don’t know hockey.

    I love the rangers but it’s truly remarkable the amount of talent we squandered cause of a horrible coach. AV ran Yandle and stralman out of town. There are your Stanley cups but most rangers fans are too blind to see and blame hank

    • Lace says:

      You can’t say that AV ran those players out of town. The coach can’t negotiate the contracts too. That is the GM’s job and the Rangers only got Yandle for a 1 year window to win a cup. Sather thought he was the puck moving defenseman we needed to win. Who knows if he wasn’t hurt (along with the rest of the NYR defense) what would have happened in that ECF. The whole defense was banged up. Only Dan Boyle was relatively healthy out of the normal top 6 defenseman.
      Strahlman was a mistake. I think Sather eventually realized that but in hindsight that is easy to say. It was the right move at the time. We didn’t have the money to pay him at that time. I don’t think either had to do with AV.

      • evanx says:

        Yes of course I can say AV ran them out of town.

        A good coach would have realized stralman was a top pairing d man with mcd. He destroyed stralman’s value, vouched for girardi and also asked for glass the next summer. If AV plays stralman top pair with mcd against LA that series goes minimum 7 games.

        A good coach would not have played Yandle PP2 half the season and use him exclusively on the second and third pairings the entire season. Yandle only played 18 minutes per game in our ECF final run when we lost to TB. If yandle is used on top pair with mcd that is yet another series we win.

        A good coach would not have used Eric Staal as a third line winger. AV single handedly made the entire league thing Staal is done by playing him out of position. Minnesota should thank AV every day for getting staal at 3.5 million per season for 3 years.

        These are just 3 of the most egregious coaching blunders of AVs tenure and there are many more i dont feel like getting into.

        You can keep passing the buck to the GM all you want, but AV clearly has his hands in the decision making process and who he thinks are good players.

  8. Bloomer says:

    Lots of breakaways for the Cats. They Rangers gap control and positioning is brutal. The Rangers new blueliners have a lot to learn.

    • Hockey Sittoo says:

      They played pretty well for the first 30 minutes. Kind of collapsed that last 10. Hank had to be really sharp 3 or 4 times…

      • King Sieveqvist ! King Sieveqvist ! says:

        Hayes all day on the second goal … The OGara kid has some heart at least but he was the only one all over the ice trying on that goal

    • Leatherneck says:

      I think it’s a system problem

      • King Sieveqvist ! King Sieveqvist ! says:

        I was gonna say the same thing Leather …. The damn kids don’t look bad..They look confused.Got tired of seeing Staal like 66 minutes of the game , lol …. All the Hank lovers can’t figure out why he can’t play the puck, it’s hard to play the puck when ur glove doesn’t close to grab it and feel it same when he tries to make a glove save.Its a lacrosse cradle.He flubbed at least 3 or maybe more plays behind the net tonite.Made some great saves and we can’t finish worth a damn. Shoulda had 6-7 goals but we don’t need POINTS !!

      • Lace says:

        The systems were the same from when we went to the SCF. The personnel fit a little better then and AV used a simple possession based philosophy.
        I think Gorton kind of gambled on the readiness of Andersson when this season began. I read He went on the word of one retiring scout. It didn’t work out and the Rangers weaknesses showed more due to lack of center depth. Particularly the back end. Then Shatty went down and things fell apart.
        This was bound to happen. I applaud Gorton for his admission of defeat now. Rather than putting band aids on it before the inevitable rebuild/retool happens anyway.

        • Reenavipul says:

          The systems are no longer the same.

          Don’t really see overloads, D skate the puck out more than stretch pass exits. The team does zone entries as a unit, cycle way more often. This is closer to what Torts ran than what AV has. More evidence that AV is a ex-coach playing out the string while hockey ops see what they really have for interviewing new staff.

  9. Bloomer says:

    I said it be before…Hayes has a lethal shot only wish he use it more.

  10. King Sieveqvist ! King Sieveqvist ! says:

    Barkov with the filthiest hands in the shootouts bar none

  11. Richter1994 says:

    Quietly, Kevin Hayes is becoming a beast. Now the trick is for him to bring it 75% of the time, not 35% of the time. He has the tools.

    No matter how little talent you have on a sports team, you can still compete, like the Rangers did last night. The Browns have had horrible records but if you watched their games you saw how much effort the players gave on the field. They lost a lot of close games with basically no QB for the last, God knows how many years.

    The Rangers last night competed and gave a surging team all they could handle. Well done.

    • Emile the Cat says:

      If Hayes’ heart matched his hockey IQ he could easily be a competent 1C. But IMO he has minimal leadership skills and avoids confrontation at all costs. A big bodied figure skater… so sad.

      • Richter1994 says:

        There’s a reason why his nickname among the fans is “Spicoli” other than his looks.

        The kid has a tremendous skillset, he just needs to put it all together. He has the offensive skills and he’s finally shooting more and getting results BTW. And now learning the defensive side (I will give credit to AV for that, GASP!!), so he’s becoming an “all phase” type of player.

        He is soft, no question. He needs to use his physical features to position himself better and not get knocked off the puck, I agree on that.

    • King Sieveqvist ! King Sieveqvist ! says:

      He needs to work on his skating,too lazy.If ur feet aren’t moving get off the ice.AV actually had the lines rolling for the first 15 mins of the game then it kinda slowed some.McCloud came close to getting a major beat down.

      • Richter1994 says:

        That’s the 35% to 75% that I am talking about, exactly.

        I feel bad for guys like McLeod. They try really, really hard but what they do is no longer needed and they risk injury to start meaningless fights. Sad.

      • Reenavipul says:

        Hayes’ skating hasn’t been an issue for 2 seasons.

    • Dan says:

      I’m loving Hayes game right now … the trade deadline has come and gone, core players have been moved out since the draft, and he has stepped up. He’s been the most noticeable player on the ice (offensively) the last two weeks. I’m really hoping it continues as this season comes to an end.

      If he sticks around with a new contract and isn’t moved (which I think he should), he’s getting an A on his jersey next year. He’ll be one of the few remaining players who were here when we’ve been successful, and made noise in the playoffs. I think he takes on more of a leadership role.

      He is by no means elite, but he is a very good 2C and I agree Richter, he has gotten much better defensively the last few years, especially on the PK. Can do all the things a coach requires … just wished he produced more in the playoffs.

      • Richter1994 says:

        100% agreed Dan. Kevin is starting to break out offensively. It’s so maddening to see him and other Rangers pass up quality scoring chances by not shooting.

        Did you see Zuc last night? He was in the middle of the ice, in the slot, wide open shot towards Luongo, and passed to a teammate that was covered by 2 FL players. Even Sam Rosen fumbled his call because he expected Zuc to shoot. And that’s why Zuc will be traded.

        • James1090 says:

          That’s what makes Zuc so frustrating. He always looks fr the pass in every situation.

          I don’t know about you, but I think the Rangers need to get some defenseman. I can’t see DeAngelo, Pionk, Gilmour and O’Gara all being part next season. I think its most likely DeAngelo and one of the others will on the team next season.

          • Richter1994 says:

            The Rangers get a top 4 D man this offseason, almost a no brainer. Is it Carlson? Karlsson? OEL? Trouba?

            With all due respect to some on this site, the idea that the Rangers will turn over the team to 20 year olds is not happening.

        • Dan says:

          Yup, I know the exact play you’re talking about. This team has been passing over quality shots for what feels like for YEARS now.

          It’s a shame with Zucc. He’s been here longer than Hayes and had been part of the winning culture which is why I would love to have him around (given his personality on the ice) as part of the new leadership group that will emerge next season. But I just can’t fathom that JG will keep him here for just one year when he can get something for him.

          • Richter1994 says:

            I sit in Section 215 where the Rangers shoot twice. I wish I had a nickel every time a Ranger passed up a quality scoring chance within 15 feet of the opposing goalie. Just very, very frustrating.

            You have nice players who do not want the biscuit. They are not goal scorers. At least Nash shoots. That’s a problem.

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