Archive for Game Thread

mats zuccarello

The Rangers have a rare opportunity tonight. They can go up 2-0 on the Habs, taking both games on the road. All of the pressure is on the Habs.

That said, the rangers are going to need to repeat the performance from Game One. That is for everyone, up and down the lineup. Forechecking, defense, goaltending, forwards. Everyone.

We’ve spent the entire week breaking down this matchup, you can check all those posts here. But for all the analysis, all the breakdowns, it’s execution on the ice that matters most.

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derek stepan

Photo by David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire

The waiting is over. The 2017 playoffs have begun. The Rangers open in Montreal to take on a Canadiens team that has played significantly better under Claude Julien. We’ve spent the entire week breaking down this matchup, you can check all those posts here. But for all the analysis, all the breakdowns, it’s execution on the ice that matters most.

The Rangers are going to need to stay out of the box and do a much better job forechecking and maintaining sustained offense to have a chance in this series. Carey Price is probably the best in the game at the current moment. Henrik Lundqvist is going to have to be just as good, especially with the sizable advantage the Habs have on the blue line.

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Categories : Game Thread, Playoffs
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Mike Stobe/Getty Images

The regular season finally came to an end, with the Rangers defeating the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2. With both teams resting some of their top players, the game took on the feel of a preseason contest, though the Blueshirts definitely iced a better lineup and mostly dominated play.

Trying to assess the team or identify anything of significance from this game would be a fool’s errand, but there were some standout performances. Ryan McDonagh dispelled any notion that an injury might hamper his playoff push, as he notched a goal and an assist. Jimmy Vesey also stood out in his role on the left wing of Mika Zibanejad and Rick Nash, a line that figures to be kept in tact when the playoffs begin on Wednesday or Thursday night. Read More→

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AP Photo/Fred Vuich

The Rangers are playing host to the Penguins tonight in a game that means nothing to both clubs. Unlike last night, where the Senators were playing for home ice in the first round, the Penguins have been locked into their matchup for quite some time now. They will be using tonight to rest some players before the playoff push begins.

As for the Rangers, Antti Raanta gets the start, giving Henrik Lundqvist –who has been solid since his return– a night off. Outside of that, expect some more guys to be rested. We likely won’t know until game time what Alain Vigneault does with the roster. Enjoy one more night of stress free hockey.

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matt puempel nick holden rangers senators

AP Photo/Julie Jacobson

Earlier in the year, I had made a bet with Becky that the Senators would not make the playoffs. I put too much faith in the Lightning. Well, that sucked for me, didn’t it? I now irrationally hate the Senators. Stupid Senators making me buy scotch that isn’t for me.

Yea this game doesn’t matter. So I’m just having some fun with the preview. We are not going to be able to tell what kind of momentum the Rangers are going to have in this game. The biggest key is to watch Hank, and hope he is dialed in. He needs to be for the Rangers to have a shot in the playoffs.

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Photo: AP

The Rangers are playing host to the Flyers tonight in another meaningless game for the Blueshirts. The Flyers are officially out of the playoffs, which is always nice to see. That said, they’d probably love to keep the reeling Rangers from gaining momentum for a potential playoff run.

The Rangers are going to be without Ryan McDonagh again tonight. So there’s a good chance we cringe a lot with the defensive play. Boy, it’s amazing how big of a hole McDonagh leaves when he isn’t in the lineup. At least the Flyers are on the second of a back to back, so that plays into the Rangers’ favor.

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AP Photo/Fred Vuich

The Rangers return home tonight to take on an ailing Penguins club that is having a rough month. The Penguins are dealing with a ton of injuries. As noted by their lineup, they are basically dressing half of their AHL team to deal with their injuries. Seriously, that blue line is a train wreck right now.

I’m expecting this to be a high scoring affair. The forwards on the Rangers should be able to steam roll that Pittsburgh blue line tonight. Meanwhile, the Penguins still have Crosby and Kessel, so they are capable of scoring despite the AHL lineup around them. This is not going to be indicative of any potential playoff matchup, but is the perfect time for the Rangers to get back to proper process in their own end.

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Mar
28

Game 77: Attempt to clinch #2

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rick nash sharks

Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The Rangers finish out their California trip tonight in San Jose, with another attempt to get that fancy little “x” next to their name in the standings. However if they are going to clinch, they will need to do it against the playoff-bound Sharks, who are one of the top teams in the West.

This is another stress-free game, which sounds about right because I rarely am able to keep my eyes open for these late games. The Rangers are in a unique spot where their games don’t matter anymore. It’s all about preparing for the playoffs right now. Even though the lineups may change regularly, proper process and effort on the ice should not. Those are the keys now.

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Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

After last night’s win in Los Angeles, the Rangers can clinch a playoff spot tonight in Anaheim. However the Pacific Division leading Ducks are no pushover. They have a deep blue line and a pretty solid top nine. However their fourth line leaves a lot to be desired, and their top pair of Fowler/Vatanen is a wee bit overrated.

As for the Rangers, The King returns tonight. Antti Raanta was phenomenal in the starting role while Hank was out, but this is Hank’s team. Hank was playing very well before his injury, and it’s expected that he will be able to repeat that performance as he gears up for a playoff run. The Rangers will need him to catch fire for them to have a chance of playoff success.

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Mar
22

Game 74: Crush the Isles’ playoff hopes

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AP Photo/Kathy Willens

The Rangers played very well last night against the Devils, and will look to repeat the same process against the Isles. The beautiful part here is that the Rangers can deal a critical blow to the Isles’ playoff chances with a win in regulation tonight. The tough part is that the Isles are significantly better than the Devils.

With Jack Capuano out, the Isles have dressed a somewhat better lineup. Josh Ho-Sang has added much needed speed and skill to the top-six, and the Isles now have eight forwards capable of scoring any time they are on the ice. Their blue line is missing Johnny Boychuck, and that third pair can be exposed by the Kid Line if given the opportunity. Should be a back-and-forth game.

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