After last night’s win in Anaheim —which I predicted on the podcast— the Rangers are now in LA for the second of their tough three game stretch out west. The Kings are with the cream of the West, and one of the few teams that just beat you down physically. They are the exception to the rule, but that’s only because their big guys can also skate, score, play defense, and contribute in multiple aspects of the game. This is a solid team poised for another deep run.
As for the Rangers, they won in Anaheim, but even the Ducks announced called out the Rangers defense for being inept at moving the puck. That’s not a good thing, and cements the thought process that the forwards and goaltending will need to carry the Rangers. It is what it is at this point. But Kevin Klein is (at least somewhat) taking more minutes from Dan Girardi, so that’s a positive. Let’s see how they do against their second Cup contender in a row.
Admin note: No gifs for this game, and no goal breakdown either. These late games are absolute killers. A 7pm game recap usually gets done by 11pm. When you add three and a half hours to it, that’s 2:30am. Sorry folks, none of us are able to stay up that late.
Admin note 2: I wrote this post at 10am, before the lines were released. If they are different, my apologies.
Daryl Sutter has the Kings playing a system similar to that of John Tortorella’s Rangers. They generally run an aggressive overload 2-1-2 forecheck (forecheckers attack the same side of the ice) and they play a 2-1-2 zone defense off the wall (two guys take the hit zone, one takes the support zone, two have the slot). Once the puck moves up high, depending on the matchup, they’ll attack the blue line or collapse their forwards. They play a hybrid penalty kill, and a 1-3-1/modified umbrella on the powerplay.
Rob Scuderi-Drew Doughty
Jake Muzzin-Alec Martinez
Brayden McNabb-Luke Schenn
PK: Toffoli, Carter, Lewis, King, Kopitar, Brown, McNabb, Muzzin, Doughty, Martinez, Schenn
Jonathan Quick gets the start.
PK: Stepan, Moore, Nash, Fast, Glass, McDonagh, Staal, Klein, Girardi
Henrik Lundqvist gets the start.
Crazy Prediction: The Rangers dismantle the Ducks.