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Category: Game Thread

Game 2: Make it 2-0 to start the season against shorthanded Blue Jackets

Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

The Rangers are in Columbus tonight to take on the Blue Jackets, who are without a lot of players. Nathan Horton, Brandon Dubinsky, and Boone Jenner are all on IR for the Jackets, and Ryan Johansen didn’t participate in camp or preseason. This is a depleted Blue Jackets squad that, regardless, should make the playoffs. Now is the time to get points against them.

Under Todd Richards, the Blue Jackets run a 2-1-2 forecheck, but with less active defensemen and a lot of dump and chase. In the DZ, CBJ uses a low zone collapse, taking out shooting lanes and protecting the house. On special teams, they run a 1-3-1 power play, and a box penalty kill.

Rangers lineup:

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Game 1: Season opener in St. Louis

Photo: NJ Star Ledger

Photo: NJ Star Ledger

Hockey season is here after a short summer break, and the Rangers are in St. Louis to take on the Blues in what’s going to be a tough season opener. The Blues are very good, with a strong defense and much more balanced scoring since the acquisition of Paul Stastny. Goaltending is a question though, as Brian Elliott isn’t the best goalie in the world, and Jake Allen is unproven. Of course, the Rangers are starting the season without Derek Stepan and with a few questions of their own.

On the ice, Ken Hitchcock has the Blues running an aggressive 2-1-2 overload forecheck, but tend to switch to a 1-2-2 with a lead late in the period, though the way the Rangers are playing there’s probably no point on sitting back. They are fairly aggressive when it comes to defensive zone schemes, playing an overload style and collapsing down when the puck is down low. Their power play strategy is a 1-3-1, and their penalty kill formation is a hybrid.

Rangers lineup:

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Preseason Game 6: Rangers at Devils

Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Tonight is the preseason finale for the Rangers in New Jersey, as the Rangers take on the Devils. There are still a lot of tough roster decisions to be made, as the team will be trimmed to 22 players on Monday. Kevin Hayes, who was supposed to play tonight, is being replaced in the lineup by J.T. Miller. Hayes is out due to a tweaked shoulder.

In case you need a refresher (click here for all systems posts), Alain Vigneaulthas 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 Game 5: Blackhawks at Rangers

Photo: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Photo: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

The roster is beginning to take shape, and the competition for those final roster spots is heating up. It feels like there are ten players fighting for a handful of spots, and each performance in the preseason will determine who makes the club and who “dies and gets sent to the minors” (thanks good ole Jake Taylor of the Cleveland Indians).

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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Preseason Game 4: Rangers at Flyers

Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The Rangers are in Philadelphia on the back-end of this home-and-home with the Flyers.  Last night the Rangers tore through the Flyers, who dressed an AHL lineup for the most part. This time around the roles are reversed, as the Rangers are dressing the AHL squad. Should be interesting to see how the kids do without NHL talent flanking them.

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).

The Flyers play a 2-1-2 forecheck, and once they get a late lead, they switch to a more conservative 1-1-3 left wing lock. In their own zone, the Flyers play a mix of zone and man-on-man defense, depending on puck location.On special teams, the Flyers run a 1-3-1 and an umbrella power play and a diamond force penalty kill with the strong side forward looking to pressure the point.

Rangers Lineup:

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Preseason Game 3: Flyers at Rangers

So we meet again.

So we meet again.

The “out for blood” Flyers are in town tonight to take on the Rangers in their third preseason game. As with most preseason games, there is a new lineup tonight, with J.T. Miller getting a shot between Rick Nash and Martin St. Louis. Miller has had a strong preseason, and now it appears he is being given a shot as the short-term 1C stopgap until Derek Stepan returns to action. He’s certainly earned that shot.

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).

The Flyers play a 2-1-2 forecheck, and once they get a late lead, they switch to a more conservative 1-1-3 left wing lock. In their own zone, the Flyers play a mix of zone and man-on-man defense, depending on puck location.On special teams, the Flyers run a 1-3-1 and an umbrella power play and a diamond force penalty kill with the strong side forward looking to pressure the point.

Rangers Lineup:

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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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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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SCF Game 5: Send it back to New York

AP Photo/Bruce Bennett, Pool

AP Photo/Bruce Bennett, Pool

The Rangers managed to avoid the sweep on Wednesday night, taking Game Four and sending the series back to LA. Now the goal is to make the series come back to MSG. It’s not an easy task, but the Rangers have been in every single game so far (Game Three is a stretch, but they had their chances). It’s been a close series, so there’s no reason to believe the Rangers can’t take another game.

Daryl Sutter has the Kings playing a system similar to that of John Tortorella’s Rangers. They generally run an aggressive overload 2-1-2 forecheck (forecheckers attack the same side of the ice) and they play a 2-1-2 zone defense off the wall (two guys take the hit zone, one takes the support zone, two have the slot). Once the puck moves up high, depending on the matchup, they’ll attack the blue line or collapse their forwards.  They play a hybrid penalty kill, and a 1-3-1/modified umbrella on the powerplay.

Kevin did a complete preview and breakdown of this series here. Justin looked at Jonathan Quick and some deficiencies in his game here.

Rangers Lines:

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SCF Game 4: Please don’t get swept

Luck is not on their side (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Luck is not on their side (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

I find it rather humorous that we are in this situation, talking about a possible sweep. The Rangers blew a bunch of two-goal leads in the first two games, but both games went to overtime. They lost both, but a bounce here or there, and we are having a different conversation. That’s the way the puck bounces sometimes. But getting swept would end such a great run on a sour note. Please win tonight.

Daryl Sutter has the Kings playing a system similar to that of John Tortorella’s Rangers. They generally run an aggressive overload 2-1-2 forecheck (forecheckers attack the same side of the ice) and they play a 2-1-2 zone defense off the wall (two guys take the hit zone, one takes the support zone, two have the slot). Once the puck moves up high, depending on the matchup, they’ll attack the blue line or collapse their forwards.  They play a hybrid penalty kill, and a 1-3-1/modified umbrella on the powerplay.

Kevin did a complete preview and breakdown of this series here. Justin looked at Jonathan Quick and some deficiencies in his game here.

Rangers Lines:

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