Game Thread

Game 11: Keep it going against a bad Toronto team

mats zuccarello

After what seems like a month off, the Rangers are back in action tonight against the lowly Toronto Maple Leafs. The Rangers are 6-2-2 and sitting pretty with the leaders in the Eastern Conference. The Rangers have been relying heavily on stellar goaltending to start the season, as the defense has been suspect and inconsistent. They have been hemorrhaging shots left and right. Shot hemorrhaging should level out a bit as the goaltending comes back to Earth. Hopefully that means the favorable results continue.

The Leafs are….bad. Like, real bad. Auston Matthews bad. They can’t score. Can’t play defense. Can’t stop shots. Nothing. So naturally, this feels like a trap game, especially after a long layover.

What have they done lately?

The Leafs stink.

Leafs Systems

In Detroit, Mike Babcock had his boys playing a 2-1-2 forecheck, but mix in a LW lock depending on game situation. In their own zone, it was a straight up zone defense. On the PP, it was an umbrella and a 1-3-1 formation. On the penalty kill they changed up their strategy depending on the opposition’s setup.

In Toronto, Babcock hasn’t changed much, however his powerplay is a straight umbrella at the moment. They don’t have the skill to run a 1-3-1 yet, nor do they have a Henrik Zetterberg to serve as a roamer.

Leafs Lines

James van Riemsdyk-Nazem Kadri-Leo Komarov
Shawn Matthias-Peter Holland-P.A. Parenteau
Daniel Winnik-Tyler Bozak-Joffrey Lupul
Michael Grabner-Byron Froese-Rich Clune

Jake Gardiner-Dion Phaneuf
Matt Hunwick-Morgan Rielly
Martin Marincin-Roman Polak

PP1: Lupul-Kadri-Parenteau-JVR-Phaneuf
PP2: Bozak-Holland-Winnik-Gardiner-Rielly

PK: Winnik, Grabner, Froese, Matthias, Komarov, Hunwick, Rielly, Phaneuf, Polak

Jonathan Bernier gets the start.

Rangers Lines

Rick NashDerek StepanMats Zuccarello
Chris KreiderDerick BrassardJesper Fast
Oscar LindbergKevin HayesJ.T. Miller
Viktor StalbergDominic MooreJarret Stoll

Ryan McDonaghKevin Klein
Keith YandleDan Girardi
Marc StaalDan Boyle

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

PK: Stepan, Nash, Moore, Lindberg, Girardi, McDonagh, Staal, Klein

Henrik Lundqvist is in net.

Scratches/Injuries: Viktor Stalberg (upper body), Dylan McIlrath (healthy)

Crazy Prediction: Hank gets the shutout.

Be sure to check out our ticket link if you’re looking for tickets to the game. Game time is 7pm on MSG. All gifs will be on

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    • i thought it was a great game by zucc and assists that nash and brass got now they face a Washington caps team that will be hungry.

  • I don’t think we’re getting a shutout 🙁 The trend for the blue shirts is to play badly against weakest teams. They are more likely to shut out chicago than maple waffles.

  • Can the so-called Power Play get any worse. Put the freakin 4th line out there, they might do better. Sheesh.

  • Nice choice of a picture for this post.

    I’m sure people will have plenty to complain about with this game, but IMO “HO HUM another win”.

    • Zuc is just an amazing story. I shudder to think what could have been the outcome of his skull injury. To see him net a hatrick at this point in his recovery is remarkable.

      Zuc’s game is evolving…..he’s actually SHOOTING THE PUCK on a team often adverse to doing so. We need a few more guys to develop that mind set.

      When will Hayes and Kreider show up? Need more from Miller too. Nash played really well…his time will come. McDonagh and Staal are rounding into form.

      My hunch is Etem stays in the lineup Tuesday and Stalberg comes back in. But I have no idea who sits. Stoll?

      Beyond that, as Snake said, ho hum, two more points. Big test coming up Tuesday!

  • Ed said it all when he mentioned Hayes, Miller, and Kreider being AWOL…..

    I didn’t want to come down on these three, but 11 games into the season, and they are going thru the motions out there. I honestly believe that moving Miller onto Step’s line will work wonders for them all. They had such nice chemistry in the PO’s, why mess with a good thing????????

    Congrats to Zucc, first career hat tick, nice……….

    Still believe that Etem is better suited for 3rd line duty, but then again, I’m not the coach!!!!!!!!!

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