Archive for Game Thread

Mar
21

Game 73: Sweep the Devils

Posted by: | Comments (12)
rangers devils

AP Photo/Bill Kostroun

We are in the home stretch. The final ten games of the season. Tonight the Rangers are in Newark to take on the Devils in a game that will surely boast mostly Rangers fans in the stands. This is also the last time these two teams face off this season, and the Rangers have a chance to sweep the season series.

The Devils are more of the same no offense team they’ve been for a while now. There are two or three offensive weapons on this team, but one of them is one of the best wingers in the game. The difference now is their defense is pretty terrible too. It’s a miracle that Cory Schneider hasn’t mutinied yet.

Read More→

Categories : Game Thread
Comments (12)
Mar
18

Game 72: Big challenge in Minnesota

Posted by: | Comments (77)
rangers wild

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

 

The Rangers are on a second of a back-to-back, facing a Minnesota Wild team that is one of the favorites to come out of the wide open Western Conference. In the West, it’s Minnesota, Chicago, San Jose, and then everyone else. However Minny has cooled off considerably over the last month, playing .500 hockey.

The Wild boast depth and skill up and down the lineup and solid goaltending to boot. There aren’t many holes in their lineup, and it’s a reason why they are with the elites in the West. If you’re looking for a true test of how the Rangers will fare in the playoffs, this is it.

Read More→

Categories : Game Thread
Comments (77)
Mar
17

Game 71: Getting back to proper process

Posted by: | Comments (25)

jt miller jussi jokinen

After three days off, the Rangers begin their second of four straight sets of back-to-back games. Tonight it’s at MSG against the Florida Panthers, who the Rangers beat handily early last week. The Cats are well out of the playoff picture at this point, but that doesn’t mean they are a push over. After all, the game is at MSG, which has been a house of horrors this year for the Rangers.

For the Blueshirts, the focus needs to be on proper process. It’s tough when the team is just starting to get healthy and still missing two or three starters. Regardless, the Rangers have been getting relatively sloppy, especially when it comes to zone exits/entries. Controlling the puck out of your own zone and into the opposition’s zone should be top priority. It’s critical for the playoffs.

Read More→

Categories : Game Thread
Comments (25)
Mar
13

Game 70: Blizzard prep

Posted by: | Comments (25)
kevin hayes

AP Photo/Seth Wenig

The Rangers return home tonight to face the Lightning as the rest of us prepare for a March blizzard. Personally, I would have preferred those 60 degree days we had in February to be now, and the blizzard to have happened then. What a pain.

 

The last time the Rangers faced the Bolts was last week, and Antti Raanta stood on his head in a game the Rangers did not deserve to win. Hopefully with a healthier lineup, better process follows. At this point in the season, it’s about playing the right way. Proper process breeds playoff wins.

Read More→

Categories : Game Thread
Comments (25)
michael grabner

AP Photo/Paul Sancya

The Rangers are in Detroit tonight as they continue their string of games against non-playoff teams. Detroit isn’t really good, and will certainly miss the playoffs for the first time in 25 years. That’s one amazing run, but the Wings are a team in transition. They sold at the deadline, with the Rangers being a benefactor in landing Brendan Smith. This will also be the Rangers’ final trip to Joe Louis Arena. I always wanted to see a game at The Joe. Never got the opportunity to.

This game represents a chance for the Rangers to get back on track, however they will need to do so with a growing injury list. Henrik Lundqvist is out for 2-3 weeks, joining the walking wounded of five injured starters. Such is life. Better now than in April though. Either way, the Rangers shouldn’t have any issues with Detroit. But I’ve been wrong before.

Read More→

Categories : Game Thread
Comments (21)
Mar
09

Game 68: Build on the Florida win

Posted by: | Comments (36)

AP Photo/Gerry Broome

The Rangers are in Carolina tonight looking to extend their winning streak to three in a row. They will be even more shorthanded though, as they are without Rick Nash and Henrik Lundqvist. Luckily Carolina has awful goaltending and trouble scoring. This is the third in a row against weak teams as well. So this win streak was easily predictable. Naturally, hello trap game.

If the Rangers are aiming to mirror a performance, they’d be best aiming to mirror the performance on Tuesday against Florida. Antti Raanta stood on his head on Monday to get the win over Tampa Bay in a game that was riddled with bad process. At this time of the year, with a playoff spot solidified, getting consistent and stable process means more than points. Play the right way, and wins in the playoffs will come.

Read More→

Categories : Game Thread
Comments (36)
Mar
07

Game 67: Play better?

Posted by: | Comments (76)

jt miller jussi jokinen

The Rangers won last night despite being outplayed, but a win is a win. Tonight they continue their trip through Florida with a date in Sunrise against the Panthers. The Panthers have been riddled by injuries all year, but are finally healthy now and in the thick of it for the final playoff spot.

The big thing for the Rangers will be to consistently apply offensive pressure. In the NHL, the best defense is a good offense, and a good offense controls the puck and applies pressure regularly. That begins with a forecheck and continues with a good cycle and getting numerous quality chances. It’s something they haven’t done consistently this month.

Read More→

Categories : Game Thread
Comments (76)
Mar
06

Game 66: Rebounding in Tampa

Posted by: | Comments (30)
kevin hayes

AP Photo/Seth Wenig

The struggling Rangers are in Tampa tonight looking to rebound against an injured and under achieving Bolts team. The Rangers are sporting a new look, with Steven Kampfer and Tanner Glass up to bring some “toughness” to the lineup. They will play in favor of Matt Puempel and Adam Clendening.

As for the Bolts, they are without Ryan Callahan and Steven Stamkos. They also traded Valtteri Filppula, Brian Boyle and Ben Bishop at the deadline. They¬†are still a dangerous team though, so don’t take the standings lightly. That said, they are not what they were the past two years due to injuries. This should be a game where the Rangers get back on track, and Glass/Kampfer get all the credit.

Read More→

Categories : Game Thread
Comments (30)

mats zuccarello

The Rangers are at home tonight to take on Montreal in what is a likely playoff –potentially first round– matchup. The Habs added Jordie Benn and Dwight King at the trade deadline, rounding out the bottom of the lineup. They still lack scoring talent, which is going to be their Achilles Heel.

As for the Rangers, Brendan Smith is still getting acquainted to the lineup and the system. It’s not a quick lesson either. He will have ups and downs for a little bit. The good news is that the Rangers have 15 games this month for him to learn the system. I’m not overly concerned.

As for the game itself, process is more important than results. If the Rangers can use their skill advantage, which is significant, then they should be able to dominate the chances. Dominate scoring chances, and it bodes well for a seven game series.

Read More→

Categories : Game Thread
Comments (72)

Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

The Rangers are in Boston tonight to take on the Bruins, another potential playoff matchup. Brendan Smith will make his Rangers debut as well, paired with Ryan McDonagh on the top pair. The game is on NBCSN, so expect Pierre to lose his mind over the Wisconsin connection between McDonagh, Smith, and Derek Stepan.

The Bruins are better than their record. They’ve had some goaltending issues this year, and their scoring luck is also down. Part of the scoring issue is a lack of skill outside their top line, though, even if both are starting to come around. That said they are still a good team that will likely make the playoffs. With Tuukka Rask in net, anything is possible.

Read More→

Categories : Game Thread
Comments (65)