Game Thread

Game 77: Attempt to clinch #2

rick nash sharks
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The Rangers finish out their California trip tonight in San Jose, with another attempt to get that fancy little “x” next to their name in the standings. However if they are going to clinch, they will need to do it against the playoff-bound Sharks, who are one of the top teams in the West.

This is another stress-free game, which sounds about right because I rarely am able to keep my eyes open for these late games. The Rangers are in a unique spot where their games don’t matter anymore. It’s all about preparing for the playoffs right now. Even though the lineups may change regularly, proper process and effort on the ice should not. Those are the keys now.

Sharks Systems

Pete DeBoer is has the Sharks playing a 1-2-2 forecheck which they would use aggressively in the offensive zone or passively in the neutral zone as a trap depending on game situation. In the defensive zone, Deboer uses a hybrid overload/zone defensive system depending on whether the puck is along the boards or at mid-ice. On special teams, the DeBoer goes with an umbrella/1-3-1 power play and a  box/diamond penalty kill.

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

Sharks Lines

Jannik Hansen-Joe Thornton-Joe Pavelski
Patrick Marleau-Logan Couture-Joel Ward
Joonas Donskoi-Tomas Hertl-Mikkel Boedker
Timo Meier-Michael Haley-Marcus Sorensen

David Schlemko-Justin Braun
Paul Martin-Brent Burns
Brenden Dillon-Dylan Demelo

PP1: Thornton-Pavelski-Marleau-Couture-Burns
PP2: Ward-Boedker-Hertl-Demelo-Schlemko

Martin Jones gets the start.

Rangers Lines

Jimmy VeseyMika ZibanejadRick Nash
Chris KreiderDerek StepanMats Zuccarello
Michael GrabnerKevin HayesJesper Fast
Matt PuempelOscar LindbergJT Miller

Ryan McDonaghDan Girardi
Marc StaalBrady Skjei
Brendan Smith-Nick Holden

PP1: Zibanejad-Buchnevich-Vesey-Miller-McDonagh
PP2: Stepan-Hayes-Kreider-Zuccarello-Skjei

Henrik Lundqvist gets the start.

Injuries/Scratches: Kevin Klein (healthy),  Adam Clendening (healthy) Steven Kampfer (healthy), Pavel Buchnevich (healthy), Brandon Pirri (healthy), Tanner Glass (healthy)

Crazy Prediction: A game where no one complains on social media.

Game time is 10:30pm. Gifs are on @blueseatblogs. Be sure to follow our snapchat (blueseatblogs) too!

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  • Not sure what Holden has done to keep in the lineup. I though Kk was better. Jesper back with Hayes to showcase his scoring prowess. Leaky back in the lineup hopefully he will come back into form tonight and not get picked apart by Burns and Thornton.

      • When a guy declines as quickly as Klein did, you can bet that injury is part of the story. I don’t think he has been right all year, just like G last year, playing on one leg.

        • No power like that would suggest scatica caused by a bulging disc. Hard to practice medicine from a distance, especially when not a doctor. But it’s gotten worse over the season, so props on AV for having him sit maybe twice during that stretch.

  • Too late, going to bed, but Nick Holden was his usual useless self on that first goal. Another AV favorite who can’t play D to save his life.

    • Hank’s backside recovery was a little off there to …. along with everyone standing there watching, bink another goal … 2nd one was a sniper and the last one was another sniper

  • Nice save on that shorty by Leaky….ahhhh wishful thinking….again beat to the short side….why? because he was too deep

    • Being dominated, but hanging in there. AV is using a random number generator to assemble lines/pairs.


      • Godd name for HOF coach. Let’s see, so far we have Perry Como, King Leopold, Marv, Flash & now Stronzo. Love & affection for our leader.

    • Can Holden never see the ice again.. I’d rather take my chances with a crippled Kleiner… He is freaking abysmal

  • Valiquette (Mr. Rah Rah) just said the Rangers are Stanley Cup contenders….Boy does he kiss James Dolan butt or what ???

  • Allain just said ” for 39 minutes we did not show up”….At least he is not sugar coating things that’s a good thing….LETS GO RANGERS !

  • Well we are going to the dance, at least we earned the right to get invited. Props for us being in the mix. I too like most bloggers are concerned about the defensive make up on this roster, along with the lack of a physical presence not only on the D, but basically on the entire roster. They need to get the PK under control, as well as the PP ( Save for last nights game) . We also need Hank to be Hank. AV now can put it on cruise control, tinker, rest, juggle, motivate. LETS GO RANGERS!!!

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