The New York Rangers are in Raleigh tonight to take on the Carolina Hurricanes in an attempt to rebound following their first regulation loss in the month of March. The Canes are not a good team this season, but they should be better than their record. This is a club that has been dealing with a number of injuries all season, but have also made a few seller deals at the deadline. Those deals generally weaken teams in the short term. Goaltending has been an issue all season as well.
As for the Rangers, Alain Vigneault shook up the lines following the regulation loss to Chicago on Wednesday. Kevin Hayes is back to center and Ryan McDonagh is moving to the right side as the Blueshirts deal with injuries to Martin St. Louis and Kevin Klein. Tinkering against the Canes before a showdown with Anaheim tomorrow is a good plan, but the Rangers are going to need a little bit of luck over the next few games while dealing with these injuries.
What have they done lately?
The Canes are 3-5-2 in their last ten games, but they are actually one of the better possession teams in the conference. They are hovering at around 55% USAT/FF rolling average at the moment, and are at 51.2% for the year. That’s fairly impressive for a team with just 61 points on the season.
Since the Canes are a solid possession team, you look at SPSV%/PDO as a reason for their lack of success, and that’s exactly what we get. The Canes have been well below 100 all year on their rolling average.
Save-percentage is the largest driver of SPSV%/PDO, and with the Canes struggles in net, you expect this number to be very low. The eye test and the stats match up on this, as the Canes have been getting subpar goaltending all season from their goalies.
The Canes have been around average for their shooting percentage, with very few peaks and valleys.
In the end, the Rangers are facing a team that is talented, but has been done in by poor goaltending. If the Rangers can exploit that, they will get with the win.
The Canes play a passive 1-2-2 on the forecheck and look to trap up the neutral zone. In their own end they run your standard low zone collapse. Not the most exciting of systems. On special teams, they run an umbrella powerplay, and a diamond/box hybrid PK. For more on the systems, click here.
Ron Hainsey-Justin Faulk
John-Michael Liles-Danny Biega
Ryan Murphy-Brett Bellemore
PP1: Terry-J. Staal-Skinner-Murphy-Hainsey
PP2: Lindholm-E. Staal-Nestrasil-Rask-Faulk
PK: McClement, Dwyer, Hainsey, Gerbe, Nash, Faulk, Bellemore, Terry
Anton Khubodin gets the start.
PP1: Stepan, Brassard, Kreider, Nash, Yandle
PP2: Miller, Hayes, Zuccarello, Boyle, McDonagh
PK: Stepan, Nash, Girardi, Staal, Moore, Fast, Hunwick, Boyle, Hagelin, Yandle, McDonagh,
Cam Talbot is in net.
Crazy Prediction: Glass scores a goal.
Be sure to check out our ticket link if you’re looking for tickets to the game. Game time is 7pm on MSG.