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Around the Farm: CHL prospects return to action

Several Rangers prospects returned to action tonight following Wednesday’s cuts. Brandon Halverson was the stand out, stopping 37 shots in Soo’s 7-3 win. Ryan Mantha, Adam Tambellini, and Keegan Iverson also returned to action. With prospects returning to action, I’ll do my best to keep the ATF’s coming on a nightly basis.

  •  OHL
    • Ryan Mantha (Niagra Ice Dogs, L 3-1): 0 G, 0 A, 5 PIM, -2
    • Brandon Halverson (Soo Greyhounds, W 7-3): 40 shots, 37 saves
  • WHL
    • Adam Tambellini (Calgary Hitmen, trailing 3-2 at time of posting): 1 G, 1 A, 2 PIM, Even
    • Keegan Iverson – game ended too late
  • KHL

Preseason Game 2: Rangers at Chicago

Photo Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Rangers are in Chicago tonight for their second preseason game of the season. They dropped Monday’s contest against the Devils in the final minute, then the rookies lost a scrimmage against the Devils rookies on Wednesday before the first round of cuts. Tonight will be a different lineup, with Anthony Duclair playing on a line with potential first liners (to open the season) Derick Brassard and Rick Nash.

The Rangers play a moderate 1-2-2 forecheck and a strong-side overload in the DZ (man-on-man when the puck is below the goal line). With a lead, AV will back the 1-2-2 forecheck up to the neutral zone, forcing turnovers while keeping five bodies back for defense. As for special teams, the Rangers run a 1-3-1/umbrella hybrid powerplay and a hybrid (diamond/wedge+1) penalty kill).

Joel Quenneville is one of the best coaches in the game. His Hawks play an aggressive 2-1-2 forecheck, keeping the back forward and defensemen ready to jump on turnovers. In the defensive zone, the Hawks play a standard zone defense looking to defend you in layers based on puck location. On special teams, they run a 1-3-1 power play, and a wedge+1 penalty kill.

Rangers lineup:

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Rangers lineup for tonight

The Rangers have announced their lineup for tonight, and the biggest item of notice is that Anthony Duclair is going to get time with Derick Brassard and Rick Nash. Ryan Haggerty, Marek Hrivik and Oscar Lindberg are also making their preseason debuts.

Chris Bourque-J.T. Miller-Mats Zuccarello
Nick Tarnasky-Dominic Moore-Ryan Haggerty
Marek Hrivik-Oscar Lindberg-Lee Stempniak
Anthony Duclair-Derick Brassard-Rick Nash

Ryan McDonagh-Dylan McIlrath
John MOore-Dan Girardi
Conor Allen-Kevin Klein

Henrik Lundqvist/Cedrick Desjardins

As rosters get trimmed, the kids vying for a roster spot are going to have to step up their game. We saw strong performances from the kids on Monday, so the kids playing tonight will need to at least match that performance.

Rangers cut 20 from training camp roster

The Rangers have announced their first round of cuts, sending 12 players to Hartford, 6 to their respective Juniors teams, and releasing 2 from their tryouts:

AHL: Troy Donnay, Michael Kantor, Nickolas Latta, Paxton Leroux, Chris McCarthy, Richard Nejezchleb, Logan Nelson, Josh Nicholls, Sam Noreau, Mackenzie Skapski, Michael St. Croix, Andrew Yogan

Juniors: Ryan Graves, Brandon Halverson, Keegan Iverson, Ryan Mantha, Adam Tambellini, and Daniel Walcott.

Released: Nathan Burns, Dallas Valentine

The Rangers have 43 players remaining in camp:

Forwards (25): Chris Bourque, Ryan Bourque, Derick Brassard, Anthony Duclair, Jesper Fast, Tanner Glass, Carl Hagelin, Ryan Haggerty, Kevin Hayes, Marek Hrivik, Chris Kreider, Danny Kristo, Oscar Lindberg, Matthew Lombardi, Ryan Malone, J.T. Miller, Dominic Moore, Chris Mueller, Rick Nash, Ryan Potulny, Martin St. Louis, Lee Stempniak, Derek Stepan, Nick Tarnasky, Mats Zuccarello

Defensemen (14): Conor Allen, Mat Bodie, Dan Boyle, Dan Girardi, Tommy Hughes, Matt Hunwick, Steven Kampfer, Kevin Klein, Michael Kostka, Ryan McDonagh, Dylan McIlrath, John Moore, Marc Staal, Petr Zamorsky

Goaltenders (4): Cedrick Desjardins, Henrik Lundqvist, Jason Missiaen, Cam Talbot

Derek Stepan fractures left fibula, timetable unknown

Update 1pm: Stepan has a fractured left fibula, and a timetable for his return is unknown.

Original Post: Derek Stepan was helped off the ice during conditioning drills today, clutching his left leg in pain. This is unrelated to Stepan missing a day due to a bruised foot, and it is a giant red flag when a player goes down without contact. According to Larry Brooks, he simply fell to the ice.

Obviously this is a cause for concern. More to come.

World Cup of Hockey to return?

Per Puck Daddy, citing a translated article from, Donald Fehr (head of the NHLPA) let slip that the World Cup of Hockey will return in 2016, between September 15 and October 1. Canada, USA, Finland, Sweden, Russia, and the Czech Republic will take part in the tournament, along with two additional countries (Slovakia and Switzerland were mentioned by PD).

The World Cup of Hockey was inaugurated in 1996, with Team USA, captained by Brian Leetch and backstopped by Mike Richter, winning gold. Canada won gold in 2004, the second and last time the tournament was played.

Kids impress in preseason loss to Devils

AP Photo/John Minchillo

AP Photo/John Minchillo

Well, the Rangers and Devils put on a show last night in a rare exciting preseason game. The Rangers lost on a pretty bad goal by Adam Henrique in the final minute, but wins and losses don’t really matter as much in the early going. I only got home in time for the third period, so my reaction points are only from that period. If there was something I missed, definitely let me know.

  • J.T. Miller really impressed me. He looked a lot more poised with the puck, he didn’t look lost without the puck, and he overall played like a kid who is looking to make this club. It will be interesting to see how he does it later in the preseason as more cuts are made.
  • Ryan Malone also played very well. It was nice to see him in front of the net on the powerplay, looking for rebounds, deflections, and screens. It’s something that only Chris Kreider really does on a regular basis. Malone is another guy who I’d like to see continue the strong play against teams as cuts are made.
  • Danny Kristo had his moments, and that feed to Matt Hunwick was a thing of beauty. Kristo is someone who Alain Vigneault singled out as “putting it all together.” His skill is NHL ready, but it was the three zone game that held him back.
  • Speaking of Hunwick, he made a great read on that play (where Kristo fed him, and he hit the post). I didn’t notice him much before or after, but I guess that’s a good thing.

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Preseason Game 1: Devils at Rangers

AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

Three months of hockey-less living has been rough, but the Rangers return to the ice tonight against the New Jersey Devils. There are a lot of roster spots open for the taking, and a lot of the guys competing for those spots are in action tonight. Tonight marks the debuts of the highly anticipated Kevin Hayes, Dan Boyle, and Tanner Glass.

In case you need a refresher (click here for all systems posts), Alain Vigneault has his guys playing a moderate 1-2-2 forecheck and a strong-side overload in the DZ (man-on-man when the puck is below the goal line). With a lead, AV will back the 1-2-2 forecheck up to the neutral zone, forcing turnovers while keeping five bodies back for defense. As for special teams, the Rangers run a 1-3-1/umbrella hybrid powerplay and a hybrid (diamond/wedge+1) penalty kill).

As for the Devils, 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 playOn the penalty kill, the Devs rotate between a box and a diamond depending on puck location and the setup of the opposition.

Rangers lineup:

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Preseason games begin with spots to be earned

Why is no one talking about Fast? (Photo: Blueshirts United)

The Rangers kick off their preseason schedule tonight against the Devils, and seven of the forwards in the lineup tonight are slated to be competing for roster spots. There are, by my count, four open roster spots (3C, 3RW, 4LW, 4RW) in addition to the 13F and 7D spots. In total, that’s six roster spots up for grabs for forwards.

Alain Vigneault is on record saying most of the kids headed to Juniors will be cut on Wednesday –with a select few (Duclair) sticking around, of course– so the natural feeling is that Groups A and B will comprise the NHL roster and most of the guys competing for the open spots.

Let’s look at the front-runners for each spot:

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Rangers lineup for tonight

Update 11:25am: These were the lines during the morning skate, as Kevin Hayes appears to be replacing the injured Derek Stepan. Also, it looks like Cam Talbot will be playing, not MacKenzie Skapski or Jason Missiaen.

Carl Hagelin, J.T. Miller, Ryan Bourque
Tanner Glass, Chris Mueller, Jesper Fast
Ryan Malone, Matthew Lombardi, Martin St. Louis
Chris Kreider, Kevin Hayes, Danny Kristo

Marc Staal and Dan Boyle
Michael Kostka and John Moore
Steven Kampfer, Matt Hunwick

Henrik Lundqvist/Cam Talbot

Original Post: After yesterday’s scrimmage, the Rangers announced that Group A from training camp will be suiting up tonight for the preseason opener against the Devils.

Forwards: Ryan Bourque, Jesper Fast, Tanner Glass, Carl Hagelin, Chris Kreider, Danny Kristo, Matthew Lombardi, Ryan Malone, J.T. Miller, Chris Mueller, Martin St. Louis, Derek Stepan.

Defensemen: Dan Boyle, Steven Kampfer, Michael Kostka, Ryan Mantha, John Moore, Samuel Noreau, Marc Staal.

Goalies: Henrik Lundqvist, Mackenzie Skapski, Jason Missiaen.