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Game 21: Marty returns to Tampa Bay

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

One week ago, three former Rangers made their returns to MSG wearing Tampa Bay Lightning uniforms. Tonight, Martin St. Louis, the best player in Tampa Bay history, will make his return. It’s likely that the fans will boo him, and while you can understand why, it’s really undeserving. As for the game, the Rangers are going to look to avenge the utter embarrassment that the Lightning handed them last week with that 5-1 loss. Expect a different Rangers team tonight.

Jon Cooper has the Lightning playing a pretty similar system as the Rangers. They run an overload 1-2-2 forecheck, but will mix in a 2-1-2 as well. In the defensive zone, they mix zone and overload coverage depending on puck location. On special teams, they run a 1-3-1 power play and rotate between a diamond and box penalty kill depending on opposition setup.

Rangers lineup:

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BSB FanDuel: Thanksgiving Eve

Here is the info for today’s FanDuel league: Sign up here, the league link is here.

For those unfamiliar, you are given $55,000 to construct a team of 2 LW, 2 RW, 2 C, 2 D, and 1 G. The goal is to find some good bargains (my advice is to save money on defense and spend big on offense) and save money for some stars you know will put up points. High fantasy points per game (FPG) with low cost is a good way to go, but look for streaks as well.

Rotowire has a lineup optimizer, as does DangleFactory. They are good resources if this intrigues you, or you’re new to daily fantasy sports.

As always, if the league fills up before you can get in, let me know in the comments. I leave the league size at 10 people for now to ensure it fills up. If there is more interest, I will expand the size as this continues.

Marty’s return to Tampa Bay should be met with cheers, not boos

Photo by Scott Levy/NHLI via Getty Images

Photo by Scott Levy/NHLI via Getty Images

Martin St. Louis spent over 12 seasons with the Tampa Bay Lightning before his midseason trade last year brought him to Broadway. Tonight marks the first time he will set foot in the St. Pete Times Forum since that trade. In those 12+ seasons with Tampa Bay, Marty scored 365 goals, had 588 assists (953 points in 972 games), won two Art Ross trophies for most points (’04, ’13), won a Hart and a Lester B. Pearson (’03-’04), won three Lady Byngs (’10, ’11, ’13), was a six-time All Star (’03, ’04, ’07, ’08, ’09, ’11), and –most importantly– won a Stanley Cup in 2004. He should get a heroes welcome in Tampa.

But, the marriage ended poorly. New General Manager Steve Yzerman snubbed Marty for the 2014 Winter Olympics, initially not selecting him for Team Canada’s roster. Marty –who, for a long time, wanted to come to New York to be closer to his family in Connecticut– requested a trade. Not only that, he requested a trade to one team and one team only: The New York Rangers. That puts a GM in a very tight spot.

On March 5, 2014, Marty was dealt to the Rangers with a second round pick in 2015 for Ryan Callahan and a pair of first round picks (2014, 2015). It was the first time in history two captains were traded for each other at the deadline.

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BSB FanDuel: 11/25

Here is the info for today’s FanDuel league: Sign up here, the league link is here.

For those unfamiliar, you are given $55,000 to construct a team of 2 LW, 2 RW, 2 C, 2 D, and 1 G. The goal is to find some good bargains (my advice is to save money on defense and spend big on offense) and save money for some stars you know will put up points. High fantasy points per game (FPG) with low cost is a good way to go, but look for streaks as well.

Rotowire has a lineup optimizer, as does DangleFactory. They are good resources if this intrigues you, or you’re new to daily fantasy sports.

As always, if the league fills up before you can get in, let me know in the comments. I leave the league size at 10 people for now to ensure it fills up. If there is more interest, I will expand the size as this continues.

McDonagh practicing without non-contact jersey

Very promising news out of Tampa Bay. Captain Ryan McDonagh, out with a separated shoulder, is on the ice and practicing with the club, and he is without the yellow non-contact jersey. McDonagh has been out since November 2, and while a return tomorrow is probably unlikely, the fact that he is skating with the club means he is coming back soon.

The Rangers have not dressed a fully healthy team all season.

Potential trade target(s): Martin Marincin and Jeff Petry

Petry and Marincin (Photo: Windsor Star)

Petry and Marincin (Photo: Windsor Star)

The Edmonton Oilers are reportedly listening to offers for anyone on the roster. The Oilers are very heavy on the wing and defensive prospects, but thin at center and NHL defensemen, Theoretically, they are looking for an NHL ready center, and are willing to deal anyone on the roster.

Martin Marincin (22 years old) and Jeff Petry have been brought up a few times in trade rumblings a few times, but it was more speculation than anything substantial. The reasoning is that the Oilers are heavily invested in Justin Schultz, Andrew Ference, Nikita Nikitin, and Mark Fayne beyond this year. They have Darnell Nurse (OHL), Oscar Klefbom (AHL), and David Musil (AHL) knocking at the door as well. Guys like Petry (UFA, high salary) and Marincin (RFA, squeezed out by younger, better kids) could be used to address their needs.

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Henrik Tallinder signs PTO with Hartford

With the Tomas Kaberle experiment over with, the Hartford Wolf Pack have brought in defenseman Henrik Tallinder on a PTO, per Bob McKenzie. Kaberle skated with the Rangers before being sent to Hartford to play in some games, and it looks like the Rangers are skipping that first part with Tallinder. Tallinder played in the NHL last season, putting up 2-6-8 with the Sabres (keep in mind, it was Buffalo).

His possession numbers are up and down, so it’s hard to see where he’d be an improvement at the NHL level.

BSB FanDuel: 11/24

Here is the info for today’s FanDuel league: Sign up here, the league link is here.

For those unfamiliar, you are given $55,000 to construct a team of 2 LW, 2 RW, 2 C, 2 D, and 1 G. The goal is to find some good bargains (my advice is to save money on defense and spend big on offense) and save money for some stars you know will put up points. High fantasy points per game (FPG) with low cost is a good way to go, but look for streaks as well.

Rotowire has a lineup optimizer, as does DangleFactory. They are good resources if this intrigues you, or you’re new to daily fantasy sports.

As always, if the league fills up before you can get in, let me know in the comments. I leave the league size at 10 people for now to ensure it fills up. If there is more interest, I will expand the size as this continues.

Rangers blank Habs, make it six straight shutout periods

Photo by Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images

Photo by Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images

The New York Rangers followed up their strong performance and shutout of the Philadelphia Flyers with another well played shutout of the Montreal Canadiens. Unlike the game against Philly, this game was never in doubt. The defense was very solid again, with Henrik Lundqvist only needing to make 21 saves to preserve the shutout against a very hot Habs team.

Martin St. Louis was a wizard in this game, notching a goal and an assist. On the goal, MSL pick pocketed Alexei Emelin. For the assist, MSL gave a backhanded feed to Derek Stepan, one that we are still trying to figure out how he made that pass. Also kudos to Kevin Klein, who dropped the mitts with Brandon Prust after he ran Hank (although Prust did try to stop).

On to the goals:

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Game 20: Building on a strong win with Montreal in town

Photo: AP

Photo: AP

The Montreal Canadiens are in town tonight, as the New York Rangers are going to look to build on their solid shutout of the Philadelphia Flyers earlier in the week. The Rangers are well rested, with their Friday night game in Buffalo postponed due to biblical amounts of snow. The Habs are a solid team this year, building on their run to the Eastern Conference Finals last season, sitting atop the Atlantic Division with a 16-5-1 record. One of those wins came against the Rangers in October by a score of 3-1.

Under Michel Therrien, the Canadiens play a 1-2-2 forecheck, but do use a 2-1-2 style from time to time based on the score and puck location. Though this team prefers to want to play passive and clog up the neutral zone. Like the Rangers, Montreal’s defensive zone system is to overload when the puck is along the boards and man-on-man when the puck is down low.

What’s interesting is that Therrien has said in the past that they overload the boards because of their team size and speed (note: small and fast). On special teams, the Habs play your standard umbrella powerplayOn the penalty kill, they rotate between a diamond force and a box depending on puck location. They really look to pressure the opposition all over the ice when shorthanded.

Rangers lineup:

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