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Category: Preseason

McIlrath, Hrivik, Lindberg, Haggerty cut

Per Andrew Gross, Dylan McIlrath, Marek Hrivik, Ryan Haggerty, and Oscar Lindberg did not survive training camp, and have been assigned to the Hartford Wolf Pack. All of them had strong camps, but it became a numbers game after a while. All four will get big minutes in Hartford instead of sitting in the press box with the Rangers. It’s also very nice to have injury reserves ready for duty.

There will be more cuts coming as well, but Jesper Fast, Kevin Hayes, Anthony Duclair, and Chris Mueller have all made the roster.

Update 11:25: Here are the lines from practice, courtesy of Gross:

Carl Hagelin-Derick Brassard-Mats Zuccarello
Chris Kreider-Martin St. Louis-Rick Nash
Anthony Duclair-J.T. Miller-Lee Stempniak
Tanner Glass-Dominic Moore-Jesper Fast

Update 12:20pm: Chris Mueller has been placed on waivers. Looks like he didn’t make the team after all.

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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Ryan Malone’s redemption continues in shootout win

Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Boy that was a fun game to watch, wasn’t it?

Ryan Malone is impressing a lot of people, myself included. We all know he was a solid 20 goal scorer, but after 11 goals over the past two seasons, he looked to be cooked. It’s still early, as Malone is still playing against some guys that will be in the AHL, but his two games have been, if anything, solid games. Let’s keep this part short, and get to the bullet points:

  • Let’s start with the kids that have made the team: J.T. Miller and Jesper Fast. These two have done nothing but impress.
  • Anthony Duclair, if not for the odd contract situation, would also be on that list. This kid has been unreal. He won’t continue his 30% shooting rate, but he does so many other things the right way. If it was just offense and a 30% shooting rate, I’d say send him back. But the kid, aside from lapses here and there, is a smart, skilled player. He forces turnovers with his speed, and while he is sometimes out of position in the defensive zone, you take those growing pains.
  • That said, Duclair really reminds me of Chris Kreider in 2012. We were all enamored by Kreider during that run, but he was shooting at an unsustainable clip (20%) and that was covering up his defensive flaws. Duclair seems to be a step ahead in that regard.

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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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Rangers lineup for tomorrow: St. Louis at center

Martin St. Louis will get a shot at center tomorrow against the Blackhawks, and Anthony Duclair will again be in the lineup. The lineup comprises a good mix of veterans and kids. Exact lines aren’t known at the moment, but here are the players dressing:

Forwards: J.T. Miller, Lee Stempniak, Tanner Glass, Derick Brassard, Chris Kreider, Ryan Malone, Martin St. Louis, Mats Zuccarello, Kevin Hayes, Rick Nash, Anthony Duclair, Jesper Fast

Defense: Mike Kostka, Dan Girardi, Marc Staal, Dan Boyle, Ryan McDonagh, Matt Hunwick

Goalies: Henrik Lundqvist (full game), Cam Talbot

Matt Lombardi, if he can skate tomorrow, will be in the lineup on Saturday. He and Malone have a lot of ground to make up due to their injuries.

Kristo, Bourque among those cut

The Rangers announced nine cuts today, including forwards Danny Kristo and Ryan Bourque:

Forwards: Chris Bourque, Ryan Bourque, Danny Kristo, Nick Tarnasky

Defensemen: Conor Allen, Mat Bodie, Tommy Hughes, Petr Zamorky

Goalies: Jason Missiaen

There are 34 players in camp now:

Forwards (20): Derick Brassard, Anthony Duclair, Jesper Fast, Tanner Glass, Carl Hagelin, Ryan Haggerty, Kevin Hayes, Marek Hrivik, Chris Kreider, Oscar Lindberg, Matthew Lombardi, Ryan Malone, J.T. Miller, Dominic Moore, Chris Mueller, Rick Nash, Martin St. Louis, Lee Stempniak, Derek Stepan, Mats Zuccarello

Defensemen (10): Dan Boyle, Dan Girardi, Matt Hunwick, Steven Kampfer, Kevin Klein, Michael Kostka, Ryan McDonagh, Dylan McIlrath, John Moore, Marc Staal

Goaltenders (3): Henrik Lundqvist, Cedrick Desjardins, Cam Talbot

It’s worth nothing that both Bourques, and Tarnasky need to pass through waivers first. Cedrick Desjardins, who was not cut yet due to injury, will need to pass through waivers as well.

Ranger-Pack gives Flyers a run for their money in loss

Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

It’s amazing how the roles were reversed this game. On Monday the Flyers dressed an AHL squad and looked outmatched by the Rangers. Last night, the Rangers dressed an AHL squad but didn’t look outmatched. That’s a testament to the strong undrafted UFA signings and solid development of the kids. They had a bad second period, but were always in the game. I only got home to catch the second half of the game, but such is life.

  • Danny Kristo had a solid game, but it makes you wonder if it’s enough to unseat some of the other kids. Even if you assume the Rangers send Anthony Duclair back to the Q, there’s still Jesper Fast, Oscar Lindberg, Kevin Hayes, and Lee Stempniak to beat for a third line role. It’ll be tough for him.
  • The battle for the 7D spot has pretty much been resolved at this point. Dylan McIlrath won’t be sitting in the press box, he will get big minutes with the Wolf Pack. Steven Kampfer and Michael Kostka have been ‘eh’ as well. That leaves Conor Allen and Matt Hunwick. Allen will probably get big minutes with McIlrath in the AHL, leaving Hunwick. He’s been better than Kampfer and Kostka, that’s for sure.
  • I still think that Hayes needs some seasoning in the AHL. I see no harm in going the first month with Derick Brassard-J.T. Miller-Dominic Moore-Lindberg down the middle until Derek Stepan returns.

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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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Rangers lineup for tonight

The Rangers have announced their lineup for tonight, with five players suiting up for back-to-backs:

Forwards: Ryan Bourque, Anthony Duclair, Carl Hagelin, Ryan Haggerty, Kevin Hayes, Marek Hrivik, Danny Kristo, Oscar Lindberg, Dominic Moore, Chris Mueller, Lee Stempniak, Nick Tarnasky

Defensemen: Conor Allen, Mat Bodie, Matt Hunwick, Kevin Klein, Mike Kostka, John Moore

Goalies: Cam Talbot, Jason Missiaen

Tonight is the preseason debut of Mat Bodie, meaning Tommy Hughes and Petr Zamorsky are the only players yet to appear in a preseason game. AV mentioned that there would be cuts today and tomorrow to get the roster down to 30. Stay tuned for those later on.

Kids dominate skeleton crew Flyers

Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The kids were at it again, taking it to a Flyers team that didn’t dress many starters. The Flyers are also in the middle of three games in three nights and four games in five nights, so there’s a fatigue and –since this is the preseason– lack of skill factor here as well. But it was still fun to watch Anthony Duclair’s snipe for the first goal, or Ryan Haggerty burn past Andrew MacDonald for the second goal. I actually watched the full game, first time this preseason, so hey, that’s cool too.

  • Duclair is forcing management to keep him around, and that’s a very good thing. The Rangers will need to trade someone if he sticks around, but that shouldn’t be a big deal. The nine game rule doesn’t apply to Duclair, since his contract doesn’t slide anyway.
  • Kevin Hayes is still a bit raw, but man the kid is big and skilled. He forced a ton of turnovers last night. I think he will benefit from a little time int he AHL, just to get adjusted to the new speed of the game, but he looks like the coup that everyone thought.
  • Haggerty had a strong game as well, but I think Duclair has passed him this preseason. Then again, there aren’t many who Duclair hasn’t passed.

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