There were no changes to the defensive pairings.
Although the New York Rangers’ lines are in a state of flux due to injuries, we have seen enough games thus far to get a fair barometer on how Alain Vigneault will deploy his lines throughout the season. Earlier this month, prior to the start of the season, I took a guess at how AV would deploy his lines. The only thing that we knew for sure at that point was that the fourth line would get buried with defensive zone starts. That part at least remains true.
Before we get into it, we should note that J.T. Miller, Jesper Fast, Chris Mueller, and Ryan Malone haven’t really played enough for the zone start percentages to be a true barometer of where AV has been starting them. However, the latter three have spent most of their time on the fourth line, with Miller getting most of his time on the third line (one game on the fourth line). The numbers for these players may be skewed a bit.
The Hartford Wolf Pack made two roster moves today, recalling goalie MacKenzie Skapski from the ECHL’s Greenville Road Warrios, and assigning
defenseman forward Chris McCarthy to the ECHL. Skapski, a first year pro out of the WHL, played one game with Greenville, posting a .906 SV% and 3.17 GAA. McCarthy , also a first year pro out of UVM, did not play in any of the first four games for the Pack.
Update: Hartford has released forward Richard Nejezchleb from his PTO. He will rejoin the Brandon Wheat Kings of the WHL for his over-age season.
The New York Rangers rallied for three unanswered goals to beat the New Jersey Devils in overtime, making it three straight wins for the Blueshirts. Trailing 3-1 in the third period, all on powerplay goals, the Rangers scored twice in the third and once in overtime to collect the two points against a Metropolitan Division rival. Henrik Lundqvist wasn’t at the top of his game, allowing the three powerplay goals, but the Rangers picked him up when he needed it.
Chris Mueller, who has been impressive, and Chris Kreider notched a goal and an assist each. Rick Nash scored the tying goal, and Kevin Klein became the first Rangers defenseman to score this season, collecting the overtime winner after a nice feed by Kreider. Oh, and the Rangers scored twice on the powerplay. How about that?
On to the goals:
Mat Bodie notched the game winner for the Hartford Wolf Pack with 18 seconds remaining in the third, propelling the Pack to a 5-4 win over Worcester. Conor Allen, Ryan Bourque, Oscar Lindberg, and Danny Kristo –so basically 95% of the big prospect names– also scored for the Pack, who remain undefeated in regulation.
Below are the lines from the rest of the kids in action. Note that WHL games are late, and don’t finish when these post. The line for Keegan Iverson is through a point in the game.
- Wolf Pack (W 5-4):
- Jesper Fast: 0 G, 0 A, 0 PIM, -1
- J.T. Miller: 0 G, 1 A, 2 PIM, -1
- Mat Bodie: 1 G, 0 A, 0 PIM, +1
- Conor Allen: 1 G, 0 A, 0 PIM, Even
- Sam Noreau: 0 G, 0 A, 2 PIM, Even
- Dylan McIlrath: 0 G, 0 A, 0 PIM, -1
- Ryan Bourque: 1 G, 0 A, 4 PIM, -1
- Marek Hrivik: 0 G, 0 A, 0 PIM, -1
- Oscar Lindberg: 1 G, 0 A, 0 PIM, +1
- Danny Kristo: 1 G, 2 A, 0 PIM, +2
- Ryan Haggerty: 0 G, 2 A, 0 PIM, +1
- Pavel Buchnevich (Severstal, W 2-1): 0 G, 0 A, 0 PIM, Even
- Keegan Iverson (Portland Winterhawks Up 2-1 in 2nd): 1 G, 0 A, 0 PIM, Even
After a three game losing streak, the Rangers have won two in a row, with one coming against a powerhouse team in the San Jose Sharks. Tonight, the suddenly-able-to-score New Jersey Devils are hosting our New York Rangers. The Devs have scored 17 goals in their first five games this year, but have allowed 16 goals. Cory Schneider is a rock in net, but the defense in front of him is suspect at best. Exploiting the defense will be the key to success tonight.
Pete DeBoer has the Devils playing a 1-2-2 forecheck which they’ll use aggressively in the offensive zone or passively in the neutral zone as a trap depending on game situation. In the defensive zone, Deboer employs a hybrid overload/zone defensive system depending on whether the puck is along the boards or at mid-ice. On special teams, the Devils employ an umbrella/1-3-1 power play. On the penalty kill, the Devs rotate between a box and a diamond depending on puck location and the setup of the opposition.
Anthony Duclair was a healthy scratch as the Rangers beat the Sharks 4-0 yesterday. When the initial news broke, there was some serious outrage over scratching Duke, some of it was rational and warranted, most was irrational. The Duke has three assists on the season, but has yet to put one in the net. That is partially due to lack of shots on goal –he has just six SOG– but it also has to do with his ability to put himself in a position to get shots on net.
Duclair has two games where he’s registered a shot on goal: The back-to-back 6-3 shellings by the New York Islanders and Toronto Maple Leafs. His two assists: Against Columbus in that 5-2 disaster. He’s not being given the room he had in the preseason, which is expected since he’s now playing against the cream of the crop. Spending some time up top watching a game or two can help a 19-year-old kid identify the subtle differences (speed) of the game. He hasn’t played his way out of the lineup, not by a long shot.
After last night’s game, both Dan Girardi and Kevin Klein were both in need of stitches. Girardi took a shot off the ankle that needed to be stitched up, and Klein took a puck to the chin. Klein returned to the ice today for practice, while Girardi did not. Girardi is day-to-day, and there’s a chance he could miss tomorrow’s game against the New Jersey Devils. However, Girardi is made from robot parts, so I expect him to play.
The San Jose Sharks, one of the leagues better teams, came to The Garden yesterday on the heels of back-to-back and three-in-four nights. Regardless of the fatigue factor (all teams have stretches like that), the Rangers put on a dominating performance, blanking the Sharks 4-0 and taking advantage of some critical defensive mistakes. Alex Stalock, who had been solid in net for San Jose, had rebound control all game and got burned on a pair of them.
Kevin Hayes notched his first NHL goal, Carl Hagelin and Martin St. Louis notched their first goals of the year, and Rick Nash continued on his hot start to provide the offense for the Rangers. Henrik Lundqvist made 33 saves as he appears to have regained his form after a slow start. After three losses in a row, the Rangers have won two straight to put them back to .500.
On to the goals:
Almost every prospect was in action over the weekend. The Hartford Wolf Pack went 1-0-1 to stay unbeaten in regulation to start the season. The Pack beat Portland 2-1 and lost in overtime to Hersey 1-0. The Pack have allowed five goals over three games to start the season, but have scored just six. The defense appears to be improved from last year, and the offense should come around. See below for the full stat lines from the weekend.
In the NCAA ranks, Steven Fogarty racked up five points in two games, including a four point performance as he captained Notre Dame to a combined 10-4 pair of victories.
- Hartford Wolf Pack (W 2-1, OTL 1-0):
- Jesper Fast: 0 G, 0 A, 0 PIM, Even
- J.T. Miller: 1 G, 0 A, 0 PIM, Even
- Mat Bodie: 0 G, 0 A, 0 PIM, Even
- Conor Allen: 0 G, 0 A, 2 PIM, Even
- Sam Noreau: 0 G, 0 A, 5 PIM, Even
- Dylan McIlrath: 0 G, 0 A, 13 PIM, Even
- Ryan Bourque: 0 G, 0 A, 4 PIM, Even
- Marek Hrivik: 0 G, 0 A, 0 PIM, Even
- Oscar Lindberg: 0 G, 1 A, 0 PIM, -1
- Danny Kristo: 0 G, 0 A, 0 PIM, Even
- Ryan Haggerty: 1 G, 0 A, 2 PIM, Even