Note: Due to the holidays, there won’t be a goal breakdown following this game. At the time of writing this post, I believe all BSB writers were committed to other plans. While there won’t be a goal breakdown following the game, I will still get GIFs up at newyorkrangersgifs.com tomorrow night, after I get home.
The New York Rangers clinched the Metropolitan Division title with their win over the Minnesota Wild on Thursday. Their next step is winning the President’s Trophy and securing home ice throughout the playoffs. That begins tonight in New Jersey against the Devils. The Devils may be out of the playoffs, but they have Cory Schneider in net, who is always capable of stealing a game. The Rangers have won both games thus far in the series though.
A win tonight knocks the magic number for the President’s Trophy to four. Over their next five games, the Rangers need to go just 3-2 to secure home ice. While that would be nice, it would be even better to see the Rangers start generating some more sustained puck pressure in the offensive zone, working on their cycle and getting long shifts to wear down the opposition. It’s not their style, as they are a team that gets their shots off the rush, but they will need a secondary attack.
What have they done lately?
The Devils are a .500 hockey club. Well, they are NHL .500, but at 32-33-13, they are well below actual .500. They are 4-4-2 in their last ten, so there’s really nothing to see here. They are a bad possession team, that is really only at .500 because of Schneider.
Pete DeBoer, before he was canned, had the Devils playing a 1-2-2 forecheck which they would use aggressively in the offensive zone or passively in the neutral zone as a trap depending on game situation. In the defensive zone, Deboer employed a hybrid overload/zone defensive system depending on whether the puck is along the boards or at mid-ice. On special teams, the DeBoer used an umbrella/1-3-1 power play and a box/diamond penalty kill.
Adam Oates, while in Washington. ran an overload 1-2-2 forecheck and a fairly aggressive overload/low zone collapse in the defensive zone. On special teams, Oates ran a 1-3-1 powerplay and a hyprid PK.
Honestly, I haven’t watched the Devils this year.
Andy Greene-Adam Larsson
Jon Merrill-Damon Severson
Mark Fraser-Eric Gelinas
PK: Josefson, Zajac, Zubrus, Cammalleri, Elias, Henrique, Larsson, Greene, Fraser, Merrill
Cory Schneider 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: Sheppard makes an Undertaker type return and Tombstone’s Schneider.
Be sure to check out our ticket link if you’re looking for tickets to the game. Game time is 7pm on MSG.