Archive for Game Thread

The New York Rangers are at the Rock tonight with a chance to clinch the President’s Trophy against the New Jersey Devils. The magic number for the Rangers is down to two (and one to clinch the Eastern Conference). A win tonight does it, and a win tonight gives the Rangers the ability to rest a few of their guys in the last two games of the season.

The Devils likely won’t roll over like they did this past weekend, when the Rangers demolished them 6-1. I highly doubt Cory Schneider will have that poor of a game again, and lest we forget that Henrik Lundqvist is one of the reasons why the Devils didn’t take an early lead. I expect this game to be closer, but I also expect the Rangers to go out with a full head of steam knowing they can clinch.

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Apr
06

Game 79: Slow down Columbus

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Quick note: GIFs for this game won’t be coming as they happen, as I won’t be getting home until 9pm. They will be up on newyorkrangersgifs.com starting around 9:30 or so.

After a thorough demolishing of the Devils, the New York Rangers will play host to the Columbus Blue Jackets tonight as our Blueshirts look to take another step towards the President’s Trophy. Columbus may be out of the playoff race, but they are far from a pushover. They actually have a pretty solid team, but were decimated by injuries and it cost them this season.

Tonight is when the Steve McDonald Extra Effort Award will be handed out, and many expect Cam Talbot to be the runaway winner. Talbot was marvelous in his stint as the starter while Henrik Lundqvist was out, with a 20-9-4 record, a .94262 SV%, and a 2.21 GAA. He carried the Rangers in March when the offense dried up, and is one of the primary reasons why the Rangers are four points away from locking up the President’s Trophy.

After the award is handed out, the Rangers will have to move forward with the game at hand, and Columbus is pretty hot right now.

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Note: Due to the holidays, there won’t be a goal breakdown following this game. At the time of writing this post, I believe all BSB writers were committed to other plans. While there won’t be a goal breakdown following the game, I will still get GIFs up at newyorkrangersgifs.com tomorrow night, after I get home.

The New York Rangers clinched the Metropolitan Division title with their win over the Minnesota Wild on Thursday. Their next step is winning the President’s Trophy and securing home ice throughout the playoffs. That begins tonight in New Jersey against the Devils. The Devils may be out of the playoffs, but they have Cory Schneider in net, who is always capable of stealing a game. The Rangers have won both games thus far in the series though.

A win tonight knocks the magic number for the President’s Trophy to four. Over their next five games, the Rangers need to go just 3-2 to secure home ice. While that would be nice, it would be even better to see the Rangers start generating some more sustained puck pressure in the offensive zone, working on their cycle and getting long shifts to wear down the opposition. It’s not their style, as they are a team that gets their shots off the rush, but they will need a secondary attack.

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Apr
02

Game 77: Tame the Wild

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The New York Rangers take on the Minnesota Wild –winners of their last five in a row– tonight, looking to build on their most recent win in Winnipeg the other night. The Rangers have played a few sloppy games in a row since clinching, which I guess is human nature. There has been some cause for concern, as possession numbers have been way down all month and roster decisions are still questionable.

On the bright side, the recent slide has conveniently corresponded with the Martin St. Louis injury, and he returns tonight from a sprained knee. Hopefully that provides a boost to the lineup. Alain Vigneault didn’t mess with his top-six, putting St. Louis on the third line with Carl Hagelin and Kevin Hayes.

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Mar
31

Game 76: Rebound in Winnipeg

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The New York Rangers are in Winnipeg tonight to take on the Jets, looking to rebound from two pretty poor performances over the weekend. The Rangers were very sloppy with the puck in those games, and their turnovers and poor defensive zone play led directly to both losses to potential first round opponents.

The Blueshirts need to get back to what suits them best: Using speed through the neutral zone to gain the zone for rush shots, and using their speed on the forecheck to create turnovers. Their entire game is speed and defensive zone play. Since the Jets are a bit more conservative, the Rangers may get that open ice they need to make plays.

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Sorry for the tardiness of this post. Between the wedding yesterday and the birthday activities planned by my girlfriend all weekend, I haven’t really had time to sit and write a game thread.

The Caps are in town today to take on the Rangers, fresh off a sloppy effort in Boston yesterday. The Caps are –probably– securely in the playoffs, and are jockeying for positioning at this point. Braden Holtby has been very good this year, and is a key reason why the Caps are in the position they are at the moment. In fact, they could overtake the Isles for a top-three spot in the division if the Isles keep slipping.

The Caps are playing .500 hockey of late, which has been good enough to keep the Bruins and Senators at bay, at least for now. Any effort that doesn’t mirror yesterday’s from the Rangers will be nice though.

This is likely Cam Talbot’s final start as the fill-in for Henrik Lundqvist, and could be one of the last times we see him in net. He will get a few starts down the stretch, but getting Lundqvist back in game shape is priority number one.

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Mar
28

Game 74: The Return of the King

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Sorry for the late game thread today, I forgot it was a 1pm game. I have a wedding today (not mine), so this is going to be a short game thread. The Rangers clinched a playoff spot with their domination over the Senators the other day, and now will look to pad their lead for home ice advantage while potentially keeping the Bruins out of the playoffs. This will be a dangerous and desperate Bruins team today, fighting for their playoff lives.

The difference between these Bruins and the Bruins of the past is that they don’t have the speed to match up against the evolving NHL teams. The Rangers are too fast, and the Bruins don’t have the depth to match it anymore. Tuukka Rask is always capable of stealing a game, and the Bruins can get nasty, but they will need to catch the Rangers first.

Henrik Lundqvist returns today. So yea, there’s that too.

Use this to discuss the game, or whatever else you want.

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Mar
26

Game 73: Taming the red hot Senators

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The New York Rangers are in Ottawa tonight to take on The Hamburglar and the Ottawa Senators. The Senators have ridden goalie Andrew Hammond, The Hamburglar, all the way to the second wild card in the Eastern Conference. Hammond is 14-0-1 with a .946 SV% (!!) as the Sens leapfrogged half of the Eastern Conference, including the Boston Bruins, to a playoff spot.

Not to be outdone, Cam Talbot has been anchoring this Rangers team while Henrik Lundqvist is out. He’s got 19 wins and a .927 SV% and has almost-handedly given the Rangers a shot at the President’s Trophy. This is billed as the battle of the backups, but this could be a first round preview. The Rangers have a legit shot at being the #1 seed in the conference, and Ottawa can finish anywhere from #1 wild card to out of the playoffs.

This will be the second of a string of games for the Rangers that sees them playing teams fighting for their playoff lives. While the Rangers are securely in the playoffs, with a chance to clinch tonight, their opponents won’t be. Can they match that desperation?

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The Los Angeles Kings are in town tonight to take on our New York Rangers in what is being billed as a rematch from last year’s Stanley Cup Finals. In short, it’s not, but the Rangers can deal a critical blow to the defending champs hopes this season. The Kings are four points out of the wild card (Winnipeg), but just two back of Calgary for the third spot in the Pacific. LA doesn’t own the tiebreaker, but have a game in hand on the Flames. A regulation win deals a big blow to their hopes.

The Rangers, meanwhile, are fresh off a complete dismantling of the Ducks on Sunday night. With their offense awakened, they will look to continue their scoring ways against a relatively average Jonathan Quick (.916 SV%). Quick has a habit of relying too much on his athleticism, depending on the sprawling save when centering himself is more efficient. If the Rangers can get him moving, he may fall into that trap again.

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After last night’s thrilling escape act in Carolina, the New York Rangers are back home tonight to take on the Anaheim Ducks in a game that might decide who wins the President’s Trophy. The Rangers are two points back of the Ducks with three games in hand, but the Ducks have a bit of a cakewalk of a division at the moment. Both teams are headed to the playoffs –likely as division winners– and both teams might secure home ice throughout their respective conference rounds as well.

The Ducks are an anomaly of a team. I don’t know the stat off hand, but I believe they have just one regulation loss in one-goal games, and maybe ten over the past three seasons. That’s absurd, and there’s no possible way to explain their success in close games. There’s an element of luck to this, but other than that, there’s no logical explanation.

Anaheim made a few moves at the deadline to solidify their blue line and forward depth, adding Simon Despres, James Wisniewski, Tomas Fleischmann, and Jiri Sekac in an active deadline day. Those moves have certainly made the Ducks harder to play against, and their goaltending duo of Frederik Andersen and John Gibson have been serviceable.

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