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.
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.
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.
Their SV% is also steadily rising after a lot of mediocre play.
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.
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.
Tobias Enstrom-Tyler Myers
Mark Stuart-Jacob Trouba
Adam Pardy-Dustin Byfuglien
PK: Slater, Frolik, Stempniak, Lowry, Ladd, Stafford, Schiefele, Wheeler, Stuart, Trouba, Pardy, Enstrom, Myers
Ondrej Pavelec 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
Henrik Lundqvist is in net.
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.