Game Thread

Game 76: Rebound in Winnipeg

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.

What have they done lately?

The Jets are another team that is fighting for their playoff lives. They sit two points ahead of the Kings for the final wild card spot, but haven’t taken advantage of LA’s .500 record over the last ten games. The Jets are just 6-4-0 in their last ten, and didn’t even get to overtime in those four losses.

The Jets have better overall possession numbers than the Rangers, but they’ve also been hitting a huge slide of late. That coincides with the Evander Kane injury/trade, so that really shouldn’t be too surprising. That said, they are still a dangerous team.

rangers jets 2015
Winnipeg is the darker blue.

Despite their possession struggles, which are likely contributing a bit to their mediocre play, the Jets have seen a steady rise in SPSV%/PDO over the last 2-3 weeks.

rangers jets 2015
Winnipeg is the darker blue.

That SPSV%/PDO spike is partly due to a rise in SH%, which is certainly helping them win games and stay ahead of the Kings.

rangers jets 2015
Winnipeg is the darker blue.

Their SV% is also steadily rising after a lot of mediocre play.

rangers jets 2015
Winnipeg is the darker blue.

I honestly don’t know what to make of the Jets. They are a decent possession team with rising SH% and SV%, but neither of those numbers are spectacular, especially the goaltending numbers. But at this point in the season, it doesn’t matter. Winnipeg is fighting for their playoff lives, and they will come out hard. This is another test for the Rangers.

Jets Systems

The Jets play a 1-2-2 forecheck which can be used aggressively or conservatively depending on game situation (e.g., puck location, matchup, time left on the clock, score, etc.). In the defensive zone, the Jets play a zone defense, with five skaters getting sticks and bodies in lanes.

On special teams, the Jets play an umbrella PP and will look to crash the net after a shot. On the PK, the Jets play a rotating box and look to defend homeplate. For more on the systems, click here.

Jets Lines

Andrew Ladd-Bryan Little-Michael Frolik
Drew Stafford-Mark Schiefele-Blake Wheeler
Mathieu Perrault-Adam Lowry-Lee Stempniak
Jiri Tlusty-Jim Slater-Chris Thorburn

Tobias Enstrom-Tyler Myers
Mark Stuart-Jacob Trouba
Adam Pardy-Dustin Byfuglien

PP1: Wheeler-Schiefele-Stafford-Ladd-Byfuglien
PP2: Frolik-Perreault-Tlusty-Trouba-Myers

PK: Slater, Frolik, Stempniak, Lowry, Ladd, Stafford, Schiefele, Wheeler, Stuart, Trouba, Pardy, Enstrom, Myers

Ondrej Pavelec gets the start.

Rangers Lines

Chris KreiderDerek StepanRick Nash
Mats ZuccarelloDerick BrassardJ.T. Miller
Carl HagelinKevin HayesJesper Fast
Tanner GlassDominic MooreJames Sheppard

Marc StaalRyan McDonagh
Keith YandleDan Girardi
Matt Hunwick-Dan Boyle

PP1: Stepan, Brassard, Kreider, Nash, Yandle
PP2: Miller, Hayes, Zuccarello, Boyle, McDonagh

PK: Stepan, Nash, Girardi, Staal, Moore, Fast, Hunwick, Boyle, Hagelin, Yandle, McDonagh

Henrik Lundqvist is in net.

Scratches/Injuries: Kevin Klein (arm), Martin St. Louis (knee)

Crazy Prediction: Miller has a multi-point night

Be sure to check out our ticket link if you’re looking for tickets to the game. Game time is 8pm on MSG.

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  • “Their entire game is speed and defensive zone play.”

    I would add playing as a UNIT in the defensive zone, offensive zone and neutral ice. When they are at their best they are swarming and supporting each other… and as you note, doing it at high speed.

  • Last game with the Jets, Nash’s head was a target for Byfuglien’s stick.
    Maybe Glass will step up this game.

    And one can only hope Krieder plays to his size instead of the weak game he has morphed into.

  • I can’t stand Winnipeg and Buttfuglien in particular. I’m really hoping the Rangers put a whipping on them like they did to Ottawa.

  • I went to the rest room last night so i must have missed the fight that TG had with big Buff . Surely he made Buff pay for what he did to JTM and Zucc that is the reason he is in the line up right .Oh no i forgot he did score the other night and now we might even see him up on the first line and the first PP unit . Every player on the team has a role to play , what exactly is his role as AV says all the time he brings toughness to the line up. Well MSL is back next game lets see who sits .

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