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John Moore suspended five games

Rangers defenseman John Moore has been suspended five games for his hit on Erik Haula on Monday night. Moore delivered a direct hit to the head of Haula, and is a repeat offender. Moore will be eligible to return on 11/11 against Pittsburgh.

Lineup changes: New defense pairings with Moore out

Per Brett Cyrgalis, the coaching staff shook up the defensive pairings a bit with John Moore headed towards a suspension. The forward lines were changed up as well, likely due to the success we saw from the Mats Zuccarello-Derick Brassard-Rick Nash trio:

Zuccarello-Brassard-Nash
Chris Kreider-Martin St. Louis-Anthony Duclair
Carl Hagelin-Dominic Moore-Lee Stempniak
Tanner Glass-Kevin Hayes-Chris Mueller

Ryan McDonagh-Marc Staal
Kevin Klein-Dan Girardi
Matt Hunwick-Mike Kostka

Ryan Malone took a maintenance day.

That fourth line is likely to change, probably moving Mueller to center, Malone to RW, and Hayes as a scratch. Either way, that fourth line is “meh” at best. The bottom four looks, well, it looks like it will get exploited a few times. I think that’s a mild way of putting it.

Injury Update: Stepan to be off LTIR next week

Per Steve Zipay, coach Alain Vigneault noted that injured center Derek Stepan, who fractured his fibula in training camp, has seen no setbacks and will be all good to come off LTIR next week. Stepan is first eligible to come off LTIR on 11/3, and it appears he will be good to go at some point that week. I wouldn’t expect him to be good for the 11/3 game against St. Louis, but maybe Wednesday against Detroit at home or Saturday in Toronto.

MSG exploring Media/Sports and real estate split

MSG

MSG

Newsday is reporting that MSG Inc (spun off from Cablevision in 2010) is exploring the idea of splitting the company into two companies: MSG Sports and Entertainment and MSG Real Estate. Both companies would be publicly traded, much like the way MSG Inc. and Cablevision are publicly traded today. The goal of this split would be to unlock value in the New York Rangers and New York Knicks, while keeping the concert industry afloat.

Currently, MSG Inc includes the professional sports teams: Knicks, Rangers, New York Liberty, and the Hartford Wolf Pack; MSG Media, which includes the regional sports networks, and the real-estate concert venues (Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall, the Beacon Theatre, the Chicago Theatre and the Forum in Inglewood, California).

The proposed split would merge MSG Media and MSG sports, while spinning off the real estate.

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With a John Moore suspension looming, what are the options?

john moore

Moore.

John Moore is almost guaranteed a suspension. An in-person hearing with the Department of Player Safety doesn’t guarantee a suspension, but it gives them the option of suspending a player more than five games. Since Moore is a repeat offender, receiving two games for a hit on Dale Weise in last year’s playoffs, it’s a guarantee he misses at least three games, likely five or more.

At the moment, Matt Hunwick is playing somewhat steady filling in for the injured Dan Boyle. Mike Kostka played one game, had a few epic turnovers, but one game isn’t indicative of an entire career. Conor Allen is in Hartford, and he’s the guy most fans think is ready for a shot. Dylan McIlrath was the last one cut from camp, and the first round pick has shown significant progress and promise.

So what can the Rangers do?

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Missiaen, Noreau sent to ECHL

Defenseman Sam Noreau (2011 5th) and goaltender Jason Missiaen were sent to the ECHL’s Greenville Road Warriors over the past two days, with Noreau sent down yesterday and Missiaen sent down today. Missiaen’s demotion means that MacKenzie Skapski (2013 6th) will stay with the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack, likely as the backup to Cedrick Desjardins.

In four AHL games, Noreau did not register a point and had 13 PIMs. Missiaen also played four games with the Pack, registering a .881 SV%.

Trying something new: BSB Daily Fantasy Hockey

If you’ve been following myself and Kevin on Twitter, then you’ve noticed that we spend a lot of time talking about daily fantasy hockey. Personally, I find it to be more fun than the season long stuff because I can change my roster a lot, but I have a short attention span. Anyway, we’ve been playing daily leagues against each other and three other BSB regulars, including everyone’s favorite Tommy Tabasco.

Anywho, we’ve enjoyed it, and there I just wanted to gauge interest from everyone else. I created a cheap league ($2 entry, nothing crazy) and made it for eight people. There are 5-6 of us that join regularly, so this is just a guinea pig to see if you all have interest in something like this. You can sign up for Fanduel (coincidentally it’s the site we all use) by clicking here. The league link is here.

If the league fills up before you sign up, please please please let me know in the comments, so that future leagues will increase in size.

Updated: John Moore to have in-person hearing

Per Pat Leonard, John Moore will have an in-person hearing Per Bob McKenzie, Moore will have a phone hearing with the Department of Player Safety, following his hit on Eric Haula last night. Moore is considered a repeat offender, as he laid a late hit on Dale Weise in the Easter Conference Finals last year. An in-person hearing carries a minimum suspension of five games. A phone hearing means the suspension will b e five games or less.

Chris Kreider will not receive any supplemental discipline, per McKenzie.

Update: McKenzie is noting that Moore’s hearing may be in-person after all.

Update 2: The NHL has confirmed this is an in-person hearing.

Wild third period boosts Rangers to victory

Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

What a game that was. The New York Rangers trailed 3-0 to the Minnesota Wild heading into the third period. A comeback against the best defensive team in hockey (through six games) seemed unlikely, especially with Chris Kreider and John Moore lost to ejections. But then the lead was 3-2. After a breakdown gave the Wild a two goal lead again, the game became 4-3, then tied, then the Rangers took the lead. The Wild allowed six goals in their first six games, and that number almost doubled after the third period last night.

Derick Brassard and Mats Zuccarello led the way with a goal and two helpers. Rick Nash and Kevin Klein added a goal and an assist, and Matt Hunwick added a pair of assists. Henrik Lundqvist wasn’t spectacular, but he made key saves when they needed it to stay in the game. After a disastrous five period span in Montreal and The Garden, the third period erased a good portion of that.

On to the goals.

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Game 9: Rebound against the Wild

I felt like finding the most dated picture I could.

Well this is awkward.  (Jim McIsaac/Getty Images North America).

The Minnesota Wild are in town tonight to take on our New York Rangers. These aren’t the Wild you’re used to though, this club has allowed just nine goals (22.2 shots against/game) this season. Darcy Kuemper already has three shutouts (and an unsustainable .967 SV%), and the team plays incredible defense. The good news: Even the Rangers score more than them (16 goals so far). I’m expecting this to be a low scoring affair, so this game will wind up being 7-6 or something.

Under Mike Yeo, the Wild run a 1-2-2 forecheck which they use aggressively or conservatively depending on game situation. In the defensive zone they play a zone D pretty much exclusively. The Wild prefer to attack the blue line with speed so the Rangers are going to have to be good defending the rush tonight and not leaving Hank on an island. On special teams, the Wild run an umbrella power play and a diamond force penalty kill.

Rangers lineup (unconfirmed):

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