Game Thread

Game 51: Fresh start after a week off

The Rangers begin their post All Star Game run tonight against Columbus, one of the few teams with a better record than the Rangers right now. The Blue Jackets are second in the Metro, five points ahead of the Rangers with a game in hand. In the world of three point games and loser points, it’s unlikely the Rangers catch them.

The Rangers aren’t drawing Sergei Bobrovsky tonight, so that’s always a good thing. But the Blue Jackets are skilled up and down the lineup and on the blue line. There’s a reason why they went on their run. This is a tough team to face.

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

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

Zach Werenski-Seth Jones
Ryan Murray-Jack Johnson
Scott Harrington-Dalton Prout

PP2: Saad-Dubinsky-Jenner-Hartnell-Jones

Joonas Korpisalo gets the start.

Rangers Lines 

Rick NashMika ZibanejadPavel Buchnevich
Chris KreiderDerek StepanMats Zuccarello
Michael GrabnerJT MillerJimmy Vesey
Matt PuempelBrandon Pirri-Jesper Fast

Ryan McDonaghDan Girardi
Marc Staal-Nick Holden
Brady SkjeiKevin Klein

PP1: Zibanejad-Buchnevich-Nash-Miller-McDonagh
PP2: Stepan-Pirri-Kreider-Zuccarello-Holden

Henrik Lundqvist gets the start.

Injuries/Scratches: Kevin Hayes (lower body), Oscar Lindberg (healthy), Adam Clendening (healthy)

Crazy Prediction: Three assists from the defense.

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

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  • So Henleak lovers….what’s the defense for that goal he gave up? bad goal bad time…..again….can’t control the puck…

    • So….

      Raanta has given up 2 goals in 1/2 the time.

      Guess that destroys the “it’s Lundqvist” theory huh

    • Wait I’m coming around to your theory. Hank just let in another early goal to start the third…..

      Wait. What? That was Raanta? My bad.

      Where were you when Hank stole us LA, kept us in the Philly game, stole Detroit?

      • Waaaahhhhh John B….just ridiculous….Get rid of Lundqvist….he is now in Girardi territory bro with a way worse contract….This game changed on Columbus’s first shot on goal

        • The game changed on the first shot? The Rangers had plenty of chances in the first period after the goal.

          Hank 16 shots, 13 saves…. .812
          Raanta 10 shots, 7 saves… .700

          But hanks done?

          Stats show Girardi is in the top 10 worst defenseman. Stats show Hank is in in mid-range of goalies. Living in an alternate reality too?

          • same right back to you….what reality are you living in? Raanta had to take the loss….but if you are that delusional as to think the complexion of the game didn’t change when Jones scored the first goal of the game well…that just makes you a silly boy

          • What?

            The Rangers carried the better of play in the first period. Were you even watching the game? Stepan had 2 or 3 chances alone in that first period AFTER they scored the goal.

            The complexion of the game changed in the second period after the second 4×4 goal.

            But continue to “revise history” with your story line. And the defenses closing argument to blow away your theory…..

            The Rangers scored 4 goals in the 3rd period. If Raanta was the “superior” goalie to Lundqvist, he didn’t have to give up another 3 goals on less shots…..if Raanta truly was the “superior” goalie, the Rangers might have won. Of course we won’t know that. Because both Rangers goalies utterly suck behind this defense.

            But keep trying to revise history to validate your Hank-hate.

    • Well I guess that 4th and 5th goal defeats your theory.

      Hey, how’s that proof about Hank being a “minor league goalie” coming?

      Find anything yet?

      • 1st Raanta goal was a better hockey play as Skjei was playing pass, 2nd goal is all Klein turnover. Hank absolved of 1st on the screen. The other 2 were on Hank. Short side below the shoulder and a bad glove that left a fat rebound.

        The funny thing is, I thought they played a goodish game up until the halfway point despite the score.

  • Back to bad Lundqvist. Maybe he should’ve gone to Hartford for a weekend series instead of Hellberg.

  • I for one am confident.

    Down 5-0….
    Spending increasing time in our zone….

    We got them right where we want them!!!

  • So AV gets an extension because he knows how to prepare his players….right?
    But Hank has ourbacks..vacation with Zucc and he’s ready for summer already. Losing interest quickly.

  • Another stellar effort for the home crowd. Way to come out flying from the break. Wasted chance without Bob in goal for a the Jackets, too.

  • 2 weeks off out of 3: a sub .500 team where the coach got an extension.

    Is this what we should expect from Jimmy Folan now that he doesn’t have to “focus” on Cablevision anymore?

  • Absolving Henrik on the first goal is bs. He has done the same thing on opening shots from the point at least 4 other times this year. By the time he had given up up two more Mr. Softees, the team had given up. I know they are professionals, but don’t tell me a team doesn’t wilt after their leader can’t stop a beach ball.

  • Well that was a fine 60 minutes of hockey! I wonder if the Rangers will leave the dressing room finally for the 3rd?

  • So if the Rangers score 3 or more, you get 50% off at Papa Johns.

    If they give up 5 or more, do they charge double?

  • For a coach that doesn’t make in game adjustments….. he switches up the lines and they score 3 quick ones.

    Still a long way to go but this could get interesting!

    • As someone else pointed out about the Dallas game, the worst thing that can happen is the offense making this look like a good game.

      It will shift the focus away from how awful the defense is.

    • You mean he put Jimmy Vesey(Hit The Wall) back with Nash & Kreider back with Z, just like I said a few days ago. Duh. Way to go AV, finally got it rght? I left after 6-0 so I missed the AV epiphany.

  • For all intensive purposes this was a 6-0 game…….
    Was this a statement game by the ny rangers players regarding Coach AV’s 2 year extension???????????
    Or simply a all to common theme of this team not being prepared for the game?
    What adjustments were made after the 2 nd, the 3rd, the 4th , the 5th, the 6th goals????
    Too much talent for us to get beat again like this…….

    Sorry, I dont see this happening with Messier as our coach!!!!!!!!

    • Of course you don’t, because he will never be the coach of this team unless he loses his ego and goes down to the minors and actually puts in the time to become a coach. Typical reactionary Ranger fan—childish. Its the coach’s fault that they can’t put the puck in the ocean. Its the coach’s fault that the goalie looks so shell-shocked that he is over-reacting to every shot. Not being prepared for the game? Did you watch the first period? Take away the bad goal—and maybe actually put some of those chances home, and we’re talking about a very different outcome. But no—its the coach’s fault and his new contract. Oh Captain, My Captain, Please Save Us!!!! Pathetic!!!!

      • I don’t think its childish for a fan to expect a coach of their team to fire up his players. Without fans, hockey would be just a bunch of haysticks skating on a frozen pond somewhere in Northern Saskatchewan.

        I had the good fortunate to watch the Moose play at Northlands Coliseum back in the Oilers heyday. Do I think Messier would be a good coach-not really. Do I wish the Rangers played with the same grit and moxie he did-absolutely!

        • Please—this isn’t Hoosiers !!! With the advent of NT clauses in contracts, there’s just so much a coach can do to fire up his team. What—bench somebody?—-and who does he have to replace them with; more 3rd and 4th liners from Hartford? And don’t think the players don’t know this. In the end, the players are responsible to motivate themselves. As for Messier—can we for once, stop pining for the past? This is the team; for better or worse. Whenever things get tough, the cry goes out for Mess to coach and for Gravy to be his wingman, once again! Stop living in the past!

    • Veteran teams like the NYR came out of the gate a little slower after the break, it’s only one game and it’s not a big deal in the long season of the NHL.

      I just hope they get the wild card spot and play the Canadians in stead of all the crazy Metro Div teams.

      • Larry,

        You realize that season is over 60% done? I could buy into the whole “long season” only “one game” thing if it was November. Its three weeks or so to trade deadline.

        At this point in the season, a team that is playoff position should be fine tuning defensive adjustments to potential playoff opponents, possible new offensive deployments.

        We should not still be trying to figure out how to deploy our defenseman so that the goalie isn’t getting blasted with rubber every night

  • Joe,
    What exactly is it that you think makes AV a good coach???
    Is it because his teams constantly underachieve in the playoffs???
    Is it because he seems incapable of making any in game – between period adjustments???
    is it because his only response to poor play seems to be to bench the younger players while continuing to play his favorites/veterans who may not be playing well???
    Is it because he continues to rely on the girardis and stalls of the world at the expense of developing younger players???
    So why is he a good coach???

    • Excuse me. Where have I ever said he is a good coach? My only beef with this whole discussion of AV, is that you don’t face reality. He IS the coach. He has been given an extension to BE the coach for the foreseeable future. To constantly read on this site, very childish comments, IMO, about the guy serves no purpose. Yes hes never won the Cup. I get it. But only one guy gets to do that every year. Hes been close—you can’t deny that. But you and the rest don’t give him any credit for that. Just that he didn’t win it. The team has been more than competitive since hes got here,(with very flawed rosters), but you give him no credit for that. Just that he hasn’t won the last game of the Season. And I might add, hes been competitive with rosters that can’t compare, talent-wise with the last few Cup winners. There are so many more pertinent things to talk about facing this team—the defense, the goaltending, the lack of any real physicality to the roster—-that I get frustrated hearing that AV is the source of all these problems. And then, what is the naysayers answer—‘Bring in Messier!!!’ IMO, just my own, coaching is the least of this team’s problems. That’s all I’m saying.

        • A good coach who couldn’t win the last game of the season. I get it. I guess its his fault, too right? Tell me, did Buffalo ever approach the same rate of consistency since Levy left? Enough said!!!!

          • So what you’re saying is—because, according to you, a great many of his players retired at the time he left—-then its only logical that the teams fortunes would take a downturn, right? In other words, it would be more on the players(or roster), than on the coach to determine the fortunes of the team, right? A downgrade in talent would result in a downgrade in stature–regardless of who was coaching the team—-am I right? Get my point?

          • Joe

            Go on and support this guy, that’s OK, but the point I was trying to make is Marv, like AV didn’t have the goods enough to bring the team over the top. I believe it’s called leadership, which our passive coach lacks, in spite of his record. I’ll refer to him as Marv from now on, not offend you, or other AV supporters !!!!!!!!! He will go down in history as another coach that couldn’t get it done………

      • Joe, your comments on how others are childish are just that “childish.” Do you think that you are the only grown-up here?

  • I watched the recap, Kevin Klein was on the ice and maybe responsible for at least 4 out of 6 goals, It was a horror show for Klein. I don’t think Clendening can do worse.

  • E3 is gonna tell me I’m wrong again … We still need a goalie , can’t play rested ,can’t played tired … Their goalie battled and battled …so why was it again we didn’t let Hellberg play some ?? …. Can’t win a hockey game when u can’t stop the puck and when you only show up for 20 mins of a 60 minute … Oh wait I’m probably wrong again….. Who was it that wanted me to change my name …. Lmao

    • By your account, and others, then we need two goalies. Hank actually out performed Raanta last night.

      There is no goalie, not a super goalie of Dryden, Fhur, Hasek, Roy, Richter, and any others you want to throw in there, that can consistently stop shots they can’t see or change direction. None. They’ll get a few, law of averages.

      The bigger problem is the entire team leaving BOTH goalies hanging out to dry for 40 out of 60 minutes.

      The absolute worst thing that happened last night was not giving up 6 goals. The WORST thing to come out of last night was us scoring 4. Because that makes it appear to have been a good game. It wasn’t. The story, and already read the NY Post, has already shifted from BAD DEFENSE, to bad goaltending.

      • Again, another great post! If the players can’t motivate themselves, as stated by AV pretty much every time by his actions, and the Ranger leadership team can’t get these guys up for a game, who does it fall back on? Someone posted that this isn’t the Hoosiers, maybe that’s what’s needed. The contract extension is, was, and will continue to be a mistake from this day forward !!!!!!!!!!! I’m going to piss off some, but it falls on the coach that the team won’t respond, and come out with fire in their eyes………….

        • Players usually are self motivating, what they need is the direction of a LEADER. Ya, I’m with you Walt, I’ll go for Hoosiers too or the 2007 Giants.

      • This is unfair. You have a goalie coming out of an injury layoff, not expecting to play, coming into a game with the score 3-0 and the team needing to take chances to get back into it. This is just not a game to use to judge Raanta.

  • we didn’t get off to a good start it seemed they came out flat and played one period of hockey you don’t win that way

  • We were outworked.
    We played against a back up goalie with a sub 900 save %
    We had a miserable night by BOTH our goal tenders.
    We are a one dimensional hockey team.
    You can wish for ANY match-up you want, but as presently constructed, we go nowhere in the post season.

  • The difference was Their Goalie made those saves , the ones when the Jackets D broke down , the ones that bounced around off deflections and tips …. When we crashed the net which wasn’t much we scored … Power play kinda stinks cause of that very reason … Got to the net ( it’s a mite/pee wee play that you learn and carry with you ) and good things happen …. So why not bring Hellberg back up and play him a few games ? He stinks the ice up what difference would it make ? Just a little reminder while we keep throwing points down the road , all the bottoms teams are getting their act together and playing good hockey ( isles being one of em , flyers are turning it around as well )

      • Could be hungry to prove himself … It’s not the other is stopping anything …. Lol

    • Hold up a second.

      We can’t play Adam Clendening, “cause he’s a 7th defenseman and they don’t matter”

      But we can call up a true minor league goalie and play him cause ” what difference would it make?”

      The goalies aren’t what’s killing this team. The play in their own end of the ice and the inability to move 2 feet in anything under 5 minutes is what’s killing them.

      Put a brick wall back there over the entire net. Allow the opponent to hit it in the right spots consistently eventually its gonna break.

      Our defensive strategy/deployment is: The goalies will make the save, 100% of the time.

      When the goalies can’t achieve that unachievable standard, the only adjustment is….the goalie needs to make “timely saves”

      • The discussion is getting monotonous. Every bad game proves that I am right, no matter who I am. If the problem is Hank, it was his fault that we lost. If the problem is Girardi and Klein and the defense, we can blame them. The good games are a little different. They prove that Hank is once again the greatest and nobody talks about the defense.

        You mentioned earlier that Hank stole the Detroit game. He did no such thing. I watched the game and it was a game with little offense. The score was 0-0 at the end of regulation because neither goalie was really tested and neither let in any bad goals. Now, on a bad day, either goalie loses the game for his team and it may very well be that a true minor league goalie like Hellberg loses it anyway.

        Given a choice between Lundqvist and Girardi, most teams would choose Girardi at this point. Why? Because at this point Girardi is good enough to play right defense in the NHL. A reasonable argument can be made as to where he fits in – supporters might see him as a strong second pair guy who can play first pair in a pinch and others can reasonably see him as simply a serviceable third pair guy. But he can play for almost any team. OTOH, while Hank is good enough to play goal in the NHL, many teams have a guy in net that they prefer – and when push comes to shove, they’d opt for an upgrade at third pair dman over depth in goal.

        The point is that Lundqvist is neither a god nor a sieve and that Girardi is neither a first pair star nor a guy who can’t play.

        I wish I could make positive observations about Klein, but i don’t see it. Stat comparisons between Klein and Clendening are misleading as Klein has gotten tougher assignments, but the eye test agrees with the stats. AV should find out if Clendo can handle more responsible assignments.

        • If Henrik Lundqvist is as bad as he’s being made out to be, by you and others, then he had plenty of chances to lose the game in Detroit. It’s revisionist history and a moving goal post to say that Lundqvist only won in Detroit because there was no chances. The goal post has moved from “He needs to stop the puck” to “He needs to stop the puck when the other team has more chances”. What’s next?

          Then you went off the deep end with that third paragraph. In 5×5 hockey for defenseman over 510 minutes played:

          Dan Girardi is the THIRD WORST defenseman in the entire National Hockey League. Only Ben Lovejoy and Ristolinin (sp?) in Buffalo are worse. When all situations are included, Dan Girardi is the SEVENTH WORST defenseman in the National Hockey League.

          Henrik Lundqvist is middle of the pack for NHL goalies over 1,000 minutes played. He LEADS all goalies, despite playing sub-par this year, in High Danger Save %.

          No one claimed Hank is a “god”. I’ve admitted his play HAS dipped in some area’s but has remained constant in others.

          Girardi however, can not play anymore. There is NO stat out there that proves, Dan Girardi is an effective hockey player. None.

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