Game Thread

Game 18: Hello, old friend

john tortorella

After sweeping the Western Canada road trip, the Rangers are in Columbus to take on the Blue Jackets. CBJ is halfway decent this year at 8-4-2, and a +14 goal differential, but they also have a 10-0 whooping of the Canadiens under their belt. Outside of that win, they aren’t all that impressive so far. They don’t have the speed to match the Rangers, so they will need to rely on clogging the neutral zone and the slot.

As for the Rangers, they haven’t played their best lately. They may have put up a touchdown on Vancouver, but they only took 18 shots and played a pretty poor first period. It’s not alarming yet, just something to take note of as the season goes on. They’ve played down to their opponents a few times now, and should be looking to stop that trend tonight.

Jackets Systems

John Tortorella is a notorious aggressive forechecking coach, deploying a 2-1-2 forecheck with most of his teams. In the defensive zone, he’s also notorious for clogging the slot in a low zone collapse, keeping shots to the outside. On special teams, he usually runs an umbrella powerplay, but there’s enough skill on the top-six in Columbus to run a 1-3-1 as well. On the kill, it’s a standard box/diamond hybrid.

For more on hockey systems, check here.

Jackets Lines

Brandon Saad-Alex Wennberg-Nick Foligno
Boone Jenner-Brandon Dubinsky-Cam Atkinson
Matt Calvert-William Karlsson-John Anderson
Scott Hartnell-Lucas Sedlak-Sam Gagner

Zach Werenski-David Savard
Ryan Murray–Jack Johnson
Scott Harrington-Markus Nutivaara

PP1: Saad-Dubinsky-Jenner-Hartnell-Werenski
PP2: Atkinson-Wennberg-Gagner-Foligno-Murray

Sergei Bobrovky gets the start.

Rangers Lines:

Chris KreiderMika ZibanejadMats Zuccarello
Michael GrabnerDerek StepanRick Nash
Jimmy VeseyKevin HayesJ.T. Miller
Oscar LindbergBrandon Pirri-Jesper Fast

Ryan McDonaghDan Girardi
Marc StaalBrady Skjei
Nick HoldenKevin 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), Pavel Buchnevich (upper body)

Crazy Prediction: Three PPGs.

Game time is 7pm. Gifs are on @blueseatblogs. Be sure to follow our snapchat (blueseatblogs) too!

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  • Bobrovsky has been a rock so far in this early season. Henk has found his mojo and it will be entertaining to watch the goalies battle it out. Columbus doesn’t have Ranger speed up front, but their defence can jump up in the play and arrive back in time. Good to see Krieder back in the lineup, his spark will be needed tonight against an improved CBJ team that has bought into Torts team concept system.

  • Lousy game. No flow throughout. Seems like they could barely make two passes in a row. Having said that, Lundqvist was the reason they lost, IMO. All 3 goals, although giveaways, were more than stoppable. Would have been nice to sweep the trip, but alas, it wasn’t meant to be. Also, would love to see a game in Columbus where Nash actually shows up—but I guess that train has left the station; a long time ago. Now they come home, and probably face DMAC. Should be fun.

  • Hank could have been better. The entire team could have been better.

    8-2 in their last 10. I’ll give them a pass for an off night as long as they come back strong against the Panthers.

  • Bad turnovers, bad ice, bad officiating, bad goaltending…….. The perfect storm. No Worries, I’ll take 3-1 road trip every time

  • Stink… kee…

    All around. Starting with Henrik.

    I get that Miller had 2 bad turnovers that turned into goals against, that really shouldn’t have been goals against, but was it necessary to bench your leading point getter down one goal towards the end of the game?

    BUT, taking 3 out of 4 on a long road trip in November, you take it and move on.

    Florida, Pens, and Pens this week will tell us where the Rangers really are this point in the season.

      • The coach is not technically “wrong” because Miller did have 2 bad turnovers but don’t you try and tie the game and put you best offensive players on the ice?

        I love having the extra man at the end of the game with a minute left and the Rangers are passing it around looking for the perfect shot that wasn’t there. Jackets didn’t have to do much but stand in the passing lanes.

    • I see your point but I have no problem with him sitting. I’d rather have the coach address it while it happens instead of it becoming a problem that spills over into the next game and then the next game and so on. Those turnovers are just bad choices. If you’re gonna send the puck up the middle of the ice, you have to be 100% sure it’s gonna make it out of your zone, especially with the rest of your guys anticipating the play is going the other way in transition.

      These things are gonna happen when you’re a home run hitting team. Those stretch passes aren’t always gonna make it to the tape but you have to make sure they at least clear the zone. I think J.T. is gonna be a little bit more responsible with the puck after sitting the final minutes. This is AV’s way and so far it has been highly effective. I’d much rather have a coach who tries to motivate in that fashion instead of publicly criticizing his players.

      • Don’t get me wrong, those 2 “plays” by Miller were egregiously bad. I mean that first goal, Miller broke a cardinal rule by making a pass in the middle of the ice from your own zone. I mean, that’s like not hitting the cutoff man in baseball. It’s a “rookie” mistake.

        But then again, you’re down a goal, with minutes left in the game, you want to try and tie the game? Or you want to teach a player a lesson for something that he probably already knows was wrong to begin with?

  • Long road trip, very successful. Hank looked tired. I thought AV should have started Raanta and saved Hank for the big games coming up. We probably would have won the game.

  • Hate to sound like a broken record, but here. I go: I think Raanta should have gotten the start. Why not rest Hank more, especially when he just played out west and you traveled back east at the end of a long trip. Hank, and Miller, were not very good last night.

    One play stands out on the positive side: Grabner once again forcing a turnover and blowing by everyone. Then finishing it off. I think many are under rating this guy, he has all the tools to do well in their system and to have a great season for the team.

    Despite the loss last night, overall, a successful trip.

    • Rangers play 3 in 4 nights starting tomorrow night. I would say Raanta against FL, then the King vs. Pens Monday and Wed.

      I had no problem with the King playing last night, he was just off, fighting the puck all night. It happens.

      • Can’t disagree too much, knowing Hank likes to play. But, I think using Raanta a little more will be to Hank’s benefit. Besides, Raanta has been playing quite well and we need him to be sharp too.

        • I agree Peter. The more Hank rests the fresher he will be when it counts. Raanta is a very good goalie, so seems like a no brainer to me

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