Game Thread

Game 56: Chasing 400

henrik lundqvist

The story of tonight’s game isn’t going to be the potential for five wins in a row. It’s not going to be about keeping pace in a Metro Division that has four of the top five teams (in terms of points in the standings) in the NHL. It’s going to be about Henrik Lundqvist, who sits at 399 career wins, and is facing a Colorado Avalanche team that is worst in the NHL. The stage is set for career win #400.

Of course, that means this could be a trap game for the Rangers. Winning four in a row, now facing the league’s worst team at home. We’ve seen this before. But perhaps the chance to get Hank to 400 and the need to keep pace with the other three teams in their division will keep them from falling into the trap. What we do know, is we are watching a generational talent in Lundqvist, who is finally starting to find his game. And perhaps, just at the right time.

Avs Systems

Jared Bednar is the new guy in Denver. I honestly have no idea what style he has the Avs playing, nor did I catch the last time these two teams faced off. For what it’s worth, preseason reports had him running an aggressive, push the pace style. I’d expect the Avs to try to push the play quickly up the ice, using their forward speed to try to catch the slow Rangers defense flat footed. It’s worked before against the Rangers, but it remains to be seen if a team with little depth, like the Avs, can exploit those same weaknesses.

Avs Lines

Gabriel Landeskog-Nathan MacKinnon-Mikko Rantanen
Mikhail Grigorenko-Matt Duchene-Matt Nieto
Blake Comeau-John Mitchell-Jarome Iginla
Andreas Martinsen-Carl Soderberg-Joe Colborne

Francois Beauchemin-Nikita Zadorov
Mark Barberio-Cody Goloubef
Fedor Tyutin-Patrick Wiercioch

PP1: Landeskog-MacKinnon-Rantanen-Zadorov-Barnerio
PP2: Iginla-Duchene-Grigorenko-Nieto-Beauchemin

Calvin Pickard gets the start.

Rangers Lines 

Chris KreiderMika ZibanejadMats Zuccarello
Jimmy VeseyDerek StepanRick Nash
Michael GrabnerKevin HayesJT Miller
Pavel BuchnevichOscar LindbergJesper Fast

Ryan McDonaghNick Holden
Marc StaalAdam Clendening
Brady SkjeiKevin Klein

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

Henrik Lundqvist gets the start.

Injuries/Scratches:  Brandon Pirri (healthy), Matt Puempel (healthy), Dan Girardi (ankle)

Crazy Prediction: MSG isn’t empty due to the snow.

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

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  1. This could be the classic trap game, piss poor team, playing in your home barn, Hank going for #400. Let’s just go out there and play a solid game, and get this under Hanks belt for him!!

    1. It would be a classic trap game if this team was better. But they aren’t very good. Romp.

      1. Pretty sure it was against this team that we lost the 5×5 battle against. In full disclosure it very well might have been Arizona. Fairly confident it was against Colorado because 4 of our 6 goals were power play goals.

        So this very much could be an ugly game for us. I’ll miss the first period at least as I’m out walking the puppy.

  2. Teams will nothing to lose can sonetimes be hard to beat. My prediction is the rangers win in a high scoring fashion.

  3. Avalanche whooped the Canadiens 4-0 on Tuesday. As AV says there are no easy wins in the NHL.

    Let’s round out the 4 game home stand with a win while going 4-0 .

  4. Amazing what comes of coming out to challenge the shooter does. Good for Lundqvist to make that subtle but necessary change. 3 games in a row he has started doing that

  5. And 2 bad goals…just as I started to praise him….bwaaahhh….awful second goal….just awful

    1. Joe and Sam seemed to think Hank was complaining about Iginla’s stick chopping down on his pads, which obviously occurred after the puck went through Hank’s legs.

      But I don’t think that is what Hank was complaining about. One angle on the replay shows Hank had his stick blade covering the 5-hole, and then suddenly it jerks away just before the puck goes through his legs. Stepan is blocking the view, but I think Iginla’s shoulder snagged the top of Hank’s stick, pulling the blade away from covering the 5-hole.

      1. I watched the replay several times and you can’t see any contact with this stick because it happens just way too fast. Hank does skate over to the ref right after the goal and hold up his stick though.

    2. U have to be careful how u say things around here … Lol … That was totally the D’s fault and he’s all alone

    1. Step and nash have always been a good combo. I like Vessey on that line. He had some chances tonight.

    2. Stepan’s pass to Nash on Nash’s goal was the play of the game. The guy is a very good NHL center and the lack of credit he gets from some of us is bizarre in my opinion. Sure, he might be a number two if we had a Messier or an elite center, but we don’t.

      Nash with Stepan and Vesey. Hayes Miller and Grabner, and Zucc with Zibanejad and Kreider, with Oscar centering Buchnevich and Fast are four excellent lines. I notice that AV has been keeping his lines together more now. Good stuff!

  6. Avalanche put up a nice fight, but ultimately the better team won behind some great goaltending by Lundqvist.

    400 wins as a Ranger. I’ve seen almost every one. Here’s to many more!

  7. Fastest to 400. Even allowing for grade inflation due to shootout wins, that really says something.

  8. Only the 3rd goalie in history to win 400 with one team.

    Only goalie to win at least 20 in his first 12 years. Would have been 30 if not for that idiot Bettman.

    And it’s amazing that a lot of those wins are on Hank as opposed to the guys in front of him.

    So when fans say that he’s never won a Cup then I ask who exactly has been in front of him over the 12 years that are on the level of Crosby or Ovechkin or even Tyler Seguin? Answer: None.

    1. I think you are overlooking Jagr, who wasn’t in his prime but still put up great numbers

      1. Actually I didn’t, I waited to see what people’s answers were.

        So that’s one.

        1. But again he’s done it all on his own … Except win the Cup

  9. Congratulations to Hank for #400, wonderful accomplishment, and I tip my hat to the man.

    I was worried about the game being one of those trap jobs, but the team pulled it thru. Now we go on the road, let’s hope we can carry this momentum forward.

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