Game Thread

Game 27: Torts returns to MSG

John Tortorella

The Canucks come to town for the first of two regular season meetings with the Rangers (the next game is on April Fools’ Day in Van). What is sure to be a media circus today with a lot of distracting questions and baiting for jabs, hopefully the Rangers can see past the odd narrative and just go about their business to get two points.

They play 11 of their next 12 games at MSG so it will be crucial for our boys to use this month to get back to the top of the Eastern Conference, which is where they were expected to be. The Canucks play an aggressive 2-1-2 forecheck and aim to keep the opposition pinned in their own end zone. They haven’t had much puck luck of late, but from a possession standpoint, they’ve been absolutely dominating.

They are currently ranked #1 in the league in Fenwick For (shots and missed shots on goal) and 6th in FF%. NYR is ranked 10th and 13th respectively. This will be another good test for the Blueshirts. In the defensive zone, the Canucks play a low zone collapse and try to defend you in layers depending on puck location. On special teams, they play an umbrella/1-3-1 power play and rotate between a box and diamond penalty kill.

From a formation standpoint, Torts is employing similar schemes with the Canucks that he used with the Rangers. However, the biggest difference between Torts’ Nucks and Torts’ Rangers is what players do when they have the puck. In NY, Torts focused a lot on ‘manufacturing’ offense, with funnel plays, triangles, stretching the zone hi-low, and getting in front of point shots for tips and deflections. In Vancouver, there’s much more creativity and plays aren’t limited to North/South hockey. There’s a better balance of East/West and smash mouth.

Rangers Lineup:

Chris Kreider-Derek Stepan-Mats Zuccarello

Carl Hagelin-Brad Richards-Rick Nash

Benoit Pouliot-Derick Brassard-Ryan Callahan

Derek Dorsett-Brian Boyle-Dominic Moore

Ryan McDonagh-Dan Girardi

Marc Staal-Anton Stralman

MDZ-Justin Falk

Cam Talbot gets the start.

Scratches: Taylor Pyatt (healthy), John Moore (healthy) Game time is 2p today on MSG. Don’t forget to check out our Rangers Tickets link for deals to attend games.

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  • The game is set for 2pm but this team is playing uninspired hockey right now. Staal was bad in Boston and is having a bad year. They need to shake it up somewhere.

  • Maybe this will help the Rangers S%. Unreal! I’m an optimist but I thought we’d lose today to a disceplined Canucks team under Torts since we played Yesterday. Vancouver looked like the team that played yesterday. I thought Nash should play with Stepan. The 2 played well together last year.

  • Never been to a more satisfying game live in my life. The canucks looked like the rangers of the past 5 years. The canucks had a great start early in the season in spite of torts. Now they are playing a “torts system” and they looked embarrassing.

    Best part of all, was the fact Kreider score a hat trick. His hat trick is the best example of what an awful coach torts was. Constantly benching him. Playing him with 4th liners. Demoting him to the AHL. Good riddens torts.

    • Wish this really was about Torts, sadly just more inconsistency. Play like this every day, and everyone will forget Torts. Fenwick the silliest stat you guys use…dump it! Rangers #1….lol lol

    • Aside from lundqvist, torts wad the biggest reason we were the second best team in the league two years ago and went to the ecf. He is not a bad coach. Stepan, Hagelin, McD all excelled under torts. Hagelin is not yet making the impact this yr that he was last yr. Miller looked better last year than he does this year. Mdz also looks worse under the new coaching regime. There are other factors than just the coach that impact young talent. Stop looking at it in a vacuum.

    • That’s foolish bro. It’s your opinion but Torts made a team out of the Rangers. In The time Torts was here, the Rangers built character and returned to respectability. Torts May or may not have taken the team as far as he could but many Rangers owe him for who they are today.
      The Canucks had a good start because of Torts. No team is in better shape than a Torts team. They have a better record than we do. Also have a ton of skill on that team so Torts uses players different in BC than he did in NY. Torts also modified his Dzone coverage last year behind Rangers bench, using an overload along the boards so his players weren’t blocking so many perimeter shots. Mark my words The Canucks will be in the playoffs and be a contender until the end.

  • mark my words, canucks will be nothing of what you just said. They had days rest and got embarrassed today.

  • Rangers finally have all players in the correct place in the lineup.

    1. MDZ played on his correct side.
    2. Callahan needs to be on the 3rd line. In any system except the defense and forechecking system of Torts, Callahan’s hustle is best trait. He is not really a great scorer and passer. So he should not play with skill players. However in the rolling lines system of AV, Callahan’s hustle will be very valuable on the 3rd line.
    3. Rangers need to let Talbot play a few in a row. If he can play at the level he has soon consistently, sadly the Rangers need to trade Henrik. Clearly, the king has lost his edge. I am not saying that he cannot find it, but no reason to have the highest paid player on your team as a goalie if he has no edge. Look at the Bruins, they smartly went from Thomas to Rask. In the cap days, signing a goalie to a long term deal when he is not performing at his peak is suicidal.

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