Game Thread

Game 13: Let’s make a deal

dylan mcilrath
Photo: Noah K. Murray / USA Today Sports

The Rangers are back home tonight after dismantling the Bruins. Tonight it’s the Winnipeg Jets, who the Rangers seem to be talking to regularly concerning Jacob Trouba. Trouba wants out of Winnipeg, and the Rangers appear to be more than happy to take him off Winnipeg’s hands. However the asking price is too high at the moment. Perhaps tonight is a night where the Rangers showcase some players to sweeten the pot?

Winnipeg is sitting at a mediocre 5-6-1, but would likely be better if they had any kind of consistent goaltending. Connor Hellebuyck is sitting at a .913 SV%, best on the team. That’s not good at all. On paper, the Jets are pretty top heavy, with some serious talent in the top-six and top pair. However the talent level dips after that, making them another prime matchup for the Rangers and their speed.

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 (presumed)

Patrick Laine-Mark Schiefele-Nikolaj Ehlers
Kyle Connor-Nicolas Petan-Blake Wheeler
Marko Dano-Adam Lowry-Brandon Tanev
Alex Burmistrov-Andrew Copp-Chris Thorburn

Josh Morrissey-Dustin Byfuglien
Toby Enstrom-Paul Postma
Julian Melchiori-Ben Chiarot

PP1: Wheeler-Schiefele-Laine-Lowry-Byfuglien
PP2: Ehlers-Petan-Dano-Enstrom-Morrissey

Michael Hutchinson gets the start.

Rangers Lines (presumed):

Jimmy VeseyDerek StepanRick Nash
Chris KreiderMika ZibanejadMats Zuccarello
Michael GrabnerKevin HayesJ.T. Miller
Pavel BuchnevichBrandon PirriJesper Fast

Ryan McDonaghDan Girardi
Marc StaalNick Holden
Brady SkjeiKevin Klein

PP1: DJ ZBad-Miller-Pirri-Zucc-McDonagh
PP2: Nash-Stepan-Vesey-Hayes-Girardi

Henrik Lundqvist gets the start.

Injuries/Scratches: Josh Jooris (shoulder), Adam Clendening (healthy), Oscar Lindberg (healthy)

Crazy Prediction: Kevin Klein finally gets on the board.

Game time is 7pm. No gifs tonight. Be sure to follow our snapchat (blueseatblogs) too!

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  • Please stop with the ‘rumor mongering’……leave well enough alone!!!!!. if it aint broke dont fix it!!!!!!
    Why disrupt this team, we finally have the parts to compete for a cup, why take a chance to screw it up!!!!!!!
    This is our best team since 1979.. before the Beck trade ….we would regularly hold elite teams like the bruins, islanders and flyers and canadians to less than 2 or 3 shots a period…….never had to play defense….got us to a cup final, [which we won game one then shero sat fotiu and we lost 4 straight!!!] Sorry, I digress….
    POINT is after the trade we did not get back to the finals even with beck!!!!
    STAY the course , this team has too much talent not to win it all!!!!!
    Best defense is a good offense…….

    • First of all, the narrative that Nick Fotiu would have made any difference whatsoever vs the highly skilled Canadiens, one of the greatest dynasties ever, is beyond ridiculous. We lost that series because a) JD hurt his knee in Game 1 and, b) Montreal was loaded with future HOFers and was substantially better than we were.

      I like this current team a lot. How far we go depends on how much and how quickly our best players develop. We aren’t going to beat the Pens, Caps or Bolts in a seven game series unless a) they are physically compromised, b) our best players emerge as elite players and c) the Rangers add to the mix, probably on defense, prior to the deadline.

      You’re never as good as you look when you’re going good, or as bad as you look when you are going bad. I agree I probably wouldn’t deal now, but if Gorton determines this is a legit Cup contender, he WILL deal. No doubt.

      • we wont beat the Pens, Caps or bolts in a 7 game series really why the hell not we smoked the bolts already and we are as fast if not faster then the pens and the Canadians cmon man what team are you watching

    • But I do agree with you about the Beck trade. The Rangers were desperate to get more physical. They lost Fotiu in the expansion draft. So they gutted the chemistry of the team just to get Beck. Beck was a very good player but they definitely overpaid to get him. I was covering the team at the time. It was a terrible trade that was not accepted very well in the room.

      So yes, you are correct to put out that cautionary tale. But that was the wrong deal. I just maintain that if the Rangers want to win the Cup, they likely will need to upgrade in some way.

    • And wait a minute……best team since 1979? Better than ’94? I don’t think so! ’14? ’15? Not even sure about that.

      • Eddie, 1979 teams held top opponents to very very low number of shots on goal for periods at a time……we swept kings, beat flyers in 5 and future great islander dynasty in 6…..
        And had we had Nilsson [ potvin sucks injury ] we would have beat the canadians……
        I rate them slighty better than 94 team who came close to losing to devis and canuks….
        Monreal was GIVEN the series by the referees/league who really screwed the Bruins with bad calls……and then gave them extra rest before finals, which was the one and only time in history the league did this……./
        Islanders and later edmonton were better teams than canadians…in my opinion

        • Agree we really missed Ulfie in that series. But without a healthy JD we were toast. He stood on his head to beat the Isles.

          And as much as I loved that ’79 team, the ’94 team would have made very short work of them. Way more talent.

          Great memories though.

          • Hey Eddie, good to see you back on the board. Speaking of 79′, that was the last time the Rangers scored 5 goals in 5 consecutive games (until last night). This team is surgical right now! Miller made that shot look easy but what a goal! Zucc’s wasn’t too shabby either. Buchnevich gave a glimpse of what he’s capable of and this team is in the middle of a stretch where their confidence is as high as I’ve seen under AV. A lot to like about this group at the moment.

    • I see both of your points and I am strongly on the side of keeping away from Trouba. I am of the opinion that Winnipeg would rather watch this kid sit after Dec. 1 than come off their asking price.

      On another note: anyone want to talk about the guys who are here now and playing in the midst of one of the most impressive offensive performances we’ve seen in years? I know it’s a crazy idea but if anyone is interested in chatting about the positive side of this team (are there are a lot of positives thus far), let me know.

  • Also, big news for all the “Adam Ants” out there….your boy Clendening gets his shot tonight. Girardi sits. Sounds like that will be the case for now in back to back games for the time being. They don’t want to overplay Girardi as they did last season.

      • Eddie, you’re replying to yourself! I know you’ve been away from here for a while, but come on man, PACE YOURSELF! (;

          • You know, you really can’t take too much from the start: we’ve seen this before. All of AV’s teams seem to hit their stride right around XMAS, so I think we have to temper our emotions until then. Still, its really nice to see the speed game back. I think I’ve seen more successful stretch passes in the last week than I did most of last year. The fourth line has been a revelation. Grabner is giving them what Hagelin used to. They’ve been a good watch–so far. If it stays like this, and they can shore up the backline by the deadline without giving up the store, then who knows. Right now, they’re as good as anybody. Its good to see you back!

          • Just had a few days here to recharge the batteries before Tuesday!

            Your analysis, as always, is spot on. Totally agree. Encouraging signs for sure but you are wise to suggest we all wait until we have our holiday egg nog before we jump to any conclusions.

            See you all again soon!

          • Good post Joe. I slightly disagree with the point that we’ve seen this before only because our previous hot starts have usually been a result of the play of Lundqvist as opposed to our offensive output and power play. The fact that this team is getting contributions from essentially everyone and lines 1-4 (no matter who is slotted where) are an offensive threat each time they step on the ice is something we haven’t seen in quite a while.

            I totally agree with the good point you made in regards to the stretch passes. When these guys receive 50-60 ft. passes on the tape in stride with their speed and use the boards like a fourth forward, it’s beautiful to watch……. hockey at it’s best. Their spacing, flow and puck movement with the man advantage is something we haven’t seen in years and years. You’re right, Grabner is giving them what Hagelin did (and then some) for 2.3M less. Everything is working in Rangerland right now and it’s a style of hockey that is incredibly entertaining to watch.

    • And you said this is the same coach as last year!! The coach played a battered Girardi no matter what last year!! Now he’s sitting him to rest him. Just another example of a big change in his coaching from last year to this year!!

      Love you bro, lol. 🙂

      And BTW, Clendening played just fine. It was the McD-Holden pairing that had problems all night and got pinned in numerous times in their own end. But what evs, lol.

  • The news that they will sit Dan tonight is an example of some forward thinking, G has been playing pretty well, and not overtaxing him by sitting him in a back to back is great.

    Also, Raanta had a pretty damn good game last night. That again proves to me that they should give the kid some work and give Hank some rest..I’d be happy if they play Raanta in close to 30 games, keeping both him and Hank sharp.

    • Yes sir! Smart move and a good indication AV is very much aware that while Girardi has been good, he is not the workhorse he once was (which is fine).

  • I don’t have too many confidence in NYR trades. I’ve said many times before that NYR needs to have a 1st round draft choice back as compensation for trading away Cam Talbot who is a starting goalie in NHL, but Glen Sather gave him away to the Oilers as a parting gift. Great gob, Glen.

    • Larry-

      That is factually inaccurate. There was no market for Cam and no one was giving up a first for him. They had no choice to but to take the Oilers deal because they were tight vs the cap.

      • Eddie, I kind of agree with you…but NYR didn’t need to wait till the last minute to trade him…and I still have a sour taste in my mouth after seeing Cam won the world cup as the starting goalie for team Canda.

      • Talbot was a classic case of when to pull the trigger and I suppose in isolation I can say I understand. A guy playing in Alabama with low interest from others but kicking ass-a fluke? Spoiled by an offer or is he the real deal? What drives you crazy is that they keep these guys in the dark while the player jumps through hoops. Jockeying for position with their agent? More often than not it’s the arrogance of ownership-or not wanting to show your cards because you (Rangers) are cutting deals with other players and it’s best to hang them all out to dry. Solution of sorts- raise the damn cap and unload the non producing teams whose player salaries are half of what the better teams have.

    • Actually the Sather has a pretty good history of trades, overall, it was FA signings tthat he usually bombed.

      • There are more than a few teams want him, I think one of them is going to overpay for Trouba…

        …and just because Trouba is demanding a trade publicly, it doesn’t necessarily mean he’s gonig to be traded. see Jonathan Drouin.

  • Can’t wait to see Trouba look as insivible as Shattenkirk looked as the Rangers walk all over the Jets. No deal.

  • With Hamonic out now for 6 weeks, don’t be surprised if the Isles make a play for Trouba. His absence is really gonna be hard to replace for that long a time. And they really aren’t playing that great anyway—might be a way for them to stay in it.

  • I know I am contradicting myself a little bit, but I need to confess that I have confidence in the new GM Jeff Gorton.

  • I don’t know who would go in a trade or what Winnipeg would take but I do think if we have a shot at a guy like Trouba we should go for it. It’s hard to say who would go but I do think we’re gonna need someone who can really step in and be a top pair D man. It all looks great now but it’s 11 games.

  • Can’t believe the Jets didn’t claim McIlrath. Look at their third pair. Yikes, but they have 7 regulars out.

  • Can’t believe AV(HOF) ices a fourth line like that. Wasting Buch. On that Peg goal Fast makes his usual futile stick check & Pirri looks useless checking Laine. The more I watch Pirri, the more I realize why teams cut him. He has no all around game. Should be able to beat this team with seven regulars injured.

    • Yep…sure looks like they’re wasting him. Two goals in two games. 🙂

      Seriously, long range I agree with you. But with the numbers game being what it is with this team right now, and the fact that this is not your father’s 4th line so to speak, I see no real downside for the kid right now playing on a 4th line this skilled.

      • It’s not enough that the Rangers are playing at an insane level right now, some hate AV so much that they have to complain about something, anything, everything.

  • My biggest take away thus far on the Ranger’s play–Papa John’s is going to want to renegotiate their deal!

  • Hit Fast’s skate but your crazy prediction was looking good.

    My crazy prediction rangers win but score fewer than 5 goals also looks in peril

  • Buch is one hell of a hockey player. Scored that goal single handed. Wish he was back with Z & Kreids.

  • Buchnevich is such a awesome player. He’s the total package. Handles the puck extremely well reads the ice and quickly moves the puck just as well. Beat Rask last night who never saw the puck whiz by him. Tonight pure high level skill on that goal. First puck from skate to stick than dipped in but than out and around the D. He holds on to the puck with such patience before burying it. Let’s not fool ourselves we stll need a young skilled two way Dman.

  • No worries boys and girls, the Miller/Skjei package has played its way off the table, so it is almost guaranteed that the Rangers are no longer in play for Trouba. And if they are then it’s on the Rangers’ terms, not the Jets.

  • The only way they should get Trouba is if they can move Girardi and Fast for him that way Lindberg can be back in lineup as fourth line center.

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