Game Thread

Game 31: Continue rolling

jimmy vesey
Photo: Brad Penner-USA Today

The Rangers have won two in a row, their first two wins of the season without scoring three goals. Antti Raanta has been phenomenal while Henrik Lundqvist works out the kinks, and will get his third straight start tonight. As stated before, there is no goalie controversy in New York. Lundqvist is still the go-to guy, but Raanta will play as long as he is stellar.

As for the Devils, well they can’t score, even with a dangerous top-six forward group. They are in the bottom-third of the league in goals-for, and bottom-half in PP%. However they have a great goalie and solid defense. With the banged up forwards for the Rangers, it might be another low scoring affair. However I don’t think it will be as exciting as the Chicago game.

Devils Systems

John Hynes has his club running a 1-2-2 forecheck, a low zone collapse, an umbrealla powerplay and a hybrid penalty kill. These are standard systems across the board, and are not very aggressive in nature. The Devils will look to sit and force turnovers in the neutral zone on the forecheck, then collapse to block shots and defend the high priced real estate in the defensive zone. Considering the team, conservative is probably his best bet.

For more on these systems, check out our Hockey Systems page.

Devils Lines

Taylor Hall-Adam Henrique-P.A. Parenteau
Mike Cammalleri-Travis Zajac-Kyle Palmieri
Beau Bennett-Sergey Kalinin-Devante Smith-Pelley
Miles Wood-Vernon Fiddler-Nick Lappin

Andy Greene-Damon Severson
Jon Merrill-Ben Lovejoy
John Moore-Kyle Quincey

PP1: Henrique-Zajac-Hall-Palmieri-Severson
PP2: DSP-Bennett-Parenteau-Cammalleri-Merrill

Corey Schneider gets the start.

Rangers Lines:

Chris KreiderDerek StepanMats Zuccarello
Michael GrabnerKevin HayesJ.T. Miller
Jimmy Vesey-Brandon PirriJesper Fast
Nicklas JensenOscar Lindberg-Marek Hrivik

Ryan McDonaghDan Girardi
Marc StaalNick Holden
Brady SkjeiKevin Klein

PP1: Kreider-Stepan-Pirri-Zucc-McDonagh
PP2: Miller-Vesey-Hayes-Skjei-Klein

Antti Raanta gets the start.

Injuries/Scratches: Mika Zibanejad (broken leg),  Pavel Buchnevich (back spasms), Rick Nash (groin), Matt Puempel (concussion), Adam Clendening (healthy)

Crazy Prediction: Another shutout for Raanta, just so I can watch the reaction.

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  • The Devils have a solid defence, but the Rangers are stingier, having given up fewer goals against. New Jersey is a bit of a one trick pony on offense with Taylor Hall and Travis Zajac leading the way.
    For whatever reasons the Devils seem to have the Rangers number. New York will have to come out flying and get a good start to come away with 2 points.

  • Game listed for 7 PM.This will be a real test for the Rangers. I think that the Devils will use a heavy forecheck to try to pin the Rangers in and cause turnovers. Their blueliners are one of the best groups in the league.

  • So you have a game where this should be a layup for Hank to start, yet ride “hot hand”. Why are you coaching for your career in December?

    Great result, poor process.

    Things like this is why I wouldn’t mind if AV took a long walk off a short pier.

    • The process should be if Henk wants to start he needs to earn it. No more blaming the team when he has a bad outing and craps the bed.

    • I would not get that upset about it. Hank and the team were slumping a bit lately. Raanta has been playing well and Hank needs to work on some things. Perfect time to ride the hot hand and see what you have in Raanta. In the long run it will benefit both Hank and Antti. And, they got a nice streak going after a coupke of weeks of mediocre play. AV reiterated that Hank is the man, he just needs to work out the bugs.

    • Huh? You just spent the last few days explaining to us why Raanta is now the number one goalie and Hank no longer should be. So AV plays him for a third straight game and suddenly that’s bad coaching? Makes perfect sense.

      As I said before, this is pretty much exactly like what happened three years ago. Hank was slumping and Talbot was hot. Hank took some games off so that he could work with Benny. The goalie whisperer got Hank back on track, and the Rangers got on Hank’s back and rode that horse to the SCF. As soon as Benny says Hank is ready to get back in, I suspect AV puts him back in.

      Now of course, if Raanta never allows a goal again, then even I would have to say we’d be better off keeping him in there! :).

      Hank is only 34. He will bounce back and be elite again. The great ones don’t fade as fast as you think. Hasek, Thomas and Brodeur had some of their greatest seasons in their mid to late 30s. One would be foolish to write the King off too quickly.

      I also think, with all the injuries, AV is going to go with the hot hand in order to compensate for the losses upfront. He wants to build a cushion in the standings. So to me, his decision here was fine.

      • To be polite, read my prior commentary. I never wrote what you allege. What I *have* previously written:

        *Hank is underperforming and Raanta outperforming underlying numbers, but Raanta would still be slightly better even after reversion.

        *It should be a straight rotation now with Hank having to improve to reclaim starter role.

        *Hank should’ve started against Devils.

        What I currently believe:

        A rotation where goalies can go consecutive starts makes it harder for other teams forwards a tough time to prepare how they attack the net, making it easier on our D from night to night and in the playoffs. This will make a difference in this compressed schedule.

        A rotation will help determine what style of D to play going forward as a real life A/B test.

  • Raanta,Raanta,Raanta keep playing him until he loses. Krieder,Miller,Vesey and Skjei the new Ranger core. Add Mika and Buchnevich the future. Zuccarello is always dangerous because he creates scoring opportunities shift after shift. You think Pirri is hearing footsteps. Because he had his best game in over a month. Hrivik,Fasth and Lindbergh played well again. Man the Devils PK just lets you do anything you want in the O Zone. No pressure on the puck.

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