Game Thread

Game 29: Rebound and gain ground in the division

jesper fast
Ed Mulholland/USA Today Sports, via Reuters

The Rangers lost last night to the Caps, but beat Pittsburgh earlier in the week. Tonight they face off against the surprising Devils, in an attempt to end this three game run in the division with a winning record. It won’t be easy, since the Devils, picked by everyone to finish last, were just bumped from first last night. Who woulda thunk?

The Blueshirts got thoroughly thrashed against Washington, and now face a tough challenge of a back-to-back against a team with strong goaltending, a good top line, and now got stronger with the addition of Sami Vatanen. The Devils have depth issues, and that is where the Blueshirts are going to need to do their damage.

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-Nico Hischier-Jesper Bratt
Marcus Johanssen-Travis Zajac-Stefan Noesen
Miles Wood-Brian Boyle-Jimmy Hayes
Brian Gibbons-Blake Coleman-Drew Stafford

Andy Greene-Sami Vatanen
John Moore-Damon Severson
Will Butcher-Steven Santini

PP1: Hall-Boyle-Bratt-Hayes-Butcher
PP2: Johansen-Hischier-Stafford-Severson-Severson

Keith Kinkaid gets the start.

Rangers Lines

Chris KreiderDavid DesharnaisPavel Buchnevich
Jimmy VeseyKevin HayesRick Nash
Michael GrabnerJT MillerMats Zuccarello
Paul CareyBoo NievesJesper Fast

Ryan McDonaghNick Holden
Brady SkjeiKevin Shattenkirk
Marc StaalBrendan Smith

PP1: Kreider-Zuccarello-Desharnais-Buchnevich-Shattenkirk
PP2: Nash-Miller-Vesey-Hayes-McDonagh

Ondrej Pavelec gets the start.

Scratches/Injuries: Mika Zibanejad (concussion), Steven Kampfer (healthy)

Crazy Prediction: Vatanen gets traded to the Rangers mid-game.

Game time is 7pm. Be sure to follow on Twitter for gifs, and on our Snapchat for in-game.

Show More
    • It’s a reasonable idea, but that suggests to me they want to keep the chemistry going on the other lines and that Mika is due to be back soon. AV said he’s skated three out of the last four days and is progressing.

      Still, you make a reasonable point.

  • Desharnais sucks, he is small, slow, no shot, weak checking, very weak faceoff, this guy is a 50 years old Martin St. Louis with no shot.

    Desharnais should be released.

  • Rangers coaching stuff…you guys make Ranger coaching stuff sound like they won 3 cups in a row, but they’ve won nothing last time I checked and not any time soon.

    You are witnessing the death of this group of Rangers until the next rebuild.

    • Couldn’t agree more Larry….the problem is I don’t think Gorton or AV actually watch the games……..Can’t believe there is no one available any better, Letteri?, free agent? etc

        • 3E
          Must retract my previous days post on Miller and moving him back to wing due to lack of scoring……Aside from his goal production which is down, IMHO he is everything you want in a center…..strong on the puck, good stick handler, carries puck effectively into offensive zone, good on faceoffs, good and willing bodychecker, good defensively and great at passing the puck to linemates in and around the slot when they are open!!!!
          If he played with a true sniper…..he would have had 3 or 4 assists last night alone……..
          Agree on desharnais, ok as 13F, [as long as he never plays…..]

          • Miller is a good player, he’s just not an elite player. Therefore, he’s tradeable in the right deal.

  • Good news about Mika. Rangers continue to score by committee. Defence looks a lot better after last night’s debacle.

  • Kinkaid has been lights out….kept the game much closer than it should be

    4 th line has been great yet again

    • Kinkaid allowed 5 goals on 39 shots, for an .872 save percentage for the game. That’s lights-out to you? You really don’t know how this goaltending thing works, do you?

      • yeah but you missed the high danger percentage shots …. he made 3 incredible glove saves that were highlight reel saves , guessed you missed those along with the other cross ice saves

        • So high danger shots are only “real” when they apply to Kincaid, but somehow not to Hank. Lending even more credence to my theory that you are actually a Brodeur-loving Devils fan troll.

          • Our goalie faces one of the most, if not the most, per 60 minutes.

            This isn’t rocket science, lol.

        • Seriously? You & Leather are such hypocrites, you might as well be the same person. Which in a fair amount of likelihood you actually are anyway. I watched the whole game, what I saw was a goalie playing well for the Rangers and one who gave up 5 goals and lost for the Devils while rocking a sub-88% save percentage. Hockey ain’t horseshoes, Kinkaid isn’t playing for Union College, and there are no participation awards given out to losing goalies. Henrik Lundqvist whipped the Devils last night. If you had any shame at all, you and your pal/other username would be silent on the subject of goaltending from here on out.

          • See, when the 3rd grade response of “waaaa” is the best you can do, that pretty much proves MC’s point. You rip on Hank, criticize the Rangers for giving him the contract, and whenever any of us ask you to explain your rationale, you are incapable of doing so.

            So all you are doing is proving your are a Devils fan in disguise trolling the site. If you have a legit point about Hank, then make it. Explain why MC, Richter, Hockey Sitoo, me and probably 99.9% of all Rangers fans, sportswriters, hockey executives, etc, etc are wrong and you, Leather and Bloomer are right. Bloomer at least has given an explanation—he thinks the success has been more of a team effort than perhaps has been properly expressed. I get that, even though I don’t agree. Why you and Leather seem to literally hate the guy and take great glee when he has a bad game or even a bad stretch is hard to fathom. I have no idea what point you all are trying to make.

            Your usual juvenile response of “waaaa” won’t cut it—not if you are going to just keep tearing down one of the top 5-6 greatest players in franchise history. Explain youself and join the debate—if you are capable.

          • That oughta shut that fool up, E3–well said. Much respect to you & all the knowledgeable posters you gave credit to. Sieve & Leather should just give it up, their repartee is childish at best.

          • The guy is the best , never said hate … u keep insinuating this along with the other idiot.You also seem to think the other team is not supposed to get a shot on our beloved King ( that’s a whole nother story, King isn’t a good nickname, you win then yeah) …. You get a big contract you need to stop the puck , that’s ur job, quit shoulder shrugging and pointing fingers to others which is done like every goal … it kinda gets old … is he gonna have bad nights , yup … is he gonna have good nights, yup , does a lot of big saves come from his own doing , yup …. sittoo can attest I give him credit … you turn a blind eye and call out devils fan and troll and what not and then the other idiot chimes in . You say something and you think ur right regardless, like ur a King of something ,king of the debate board … lol …. when he plays bad its always the D’s fault or look at the high percentage shots and other excuses. Hes thrown away a few points to start the season, maybe gained a few back.So now I’m waiting to hear when he plays to many games and at the end of the season he must be tired.Oh and the name is here to stay 🙂

          • The guy is the best , never said hate … u keep insinuating this along with the other idiot.You also seem to think the other team is not supposed to get a shot on our beloved King ( that’s a whole nother story, King isn’t a good nickname, you win then yeah) …. You get a big contract you need to stop the puck , that’s ur job, quit shoulder shrugging and pointing fingers to others which is done like every goal … it kinda gets old … is he gonna have bad nights , yup … is he gonna have good nights, yup , does a lot of big saves come from his own doing , yup …. sittoo can attest I give him credit … you turn a blind eye and call out devils fan and troll and what not and then the other idiot chimes in . You say something and you think ur right regardless, like ur a King of something ,king of the debate board … lol …. when he plays bad its always the D’s fault or look at the high percentage shots and other excuses. Hes thrown away a few points to start the season, maybe gained a few back.So now I’m waiting to hear when he plays to many games and at the end of the season he must be tired.Oh and the name is here to stay

          • Sieve/Leather—Your whining is pathetic. Stand by your hate and don’t make excuses when you’re proven wrong.

          • Yeah…that’s a real coherent explanation for why you dump on the guy. The only conclusion to draw is that you are one of those jealous, bitter fans that for some reason resent that a star player got a big contract that he completely earned and deserved at the time, and in fact would have gotten even more on the open market. Again, I ask, what options did the Rangers have at the time that would have made them a better team? The answer. None.

            And the other conclusion I draw here is that for some reason, when a guy gets a big contract, you believe he’s supposed to be perfect. He’s not perfect. He’s a 35 year old future HOFer trying to keep a flawed team afloat with a medicore defense in front of him. He’s going to have his bad moments and bad days, like every other human being on the planet.

            Some “fans” like you just don’t get it. Just because a guy gets a big contract doesn’t mean he should be held to some ridiculous standard of never making a mistake.

            Not speaking for MC anyone else out here, but that’s my beef with you. You literally seem to revel in each and every mistake—and that’s disgraceful. What kind of “fan” does that?

          • I apologize oh King E3 of the ranger debate board …. Ur always right 😉 … Even ur butt plug thinks he’s right now …. Don’t slow down to fast !

          • I’m not always right. Hardly. I just enjoy a good debate and wonder why people think the way they do. I simply asked you to explain yourself and the reason for your position on a future Ranger HOF legend. You still haven’t given a coherent explanation beyond “he makes a lot of money….he should stop the puck”. Yeah, that’s quite an observation but tells me nothing. I’m just challenging you to explain youself so I can understand why you think as you do.

            But since your response is about “you think you are always right…blah blah blah”, I have to conclude once again you have no real position. You keep referencing his contract. You have offered no counter point as to what the Rangers should have done instead in 2013 when they signed him.

            You got nothing it seems—except you like to hate on guys. Suit yourself.

          • Sign em yeah … now you get strapped up against the cap world. Which they always give guys too much and will never just rebuild ,there was a time they were going thru the system and bringing guys through but that kinda stopped .
            Is he a good goalie , yup , teams figured him out though.You love picking other players apart , what kinda fan are you ? Again other teams will get shots , that’s the game.We will never now what we could have done with a few million laying around,its spent.He wasn’t going anywhere.

          • Go back to Jersey, Sieve/Leather—and take your idiocy, your pathetic insults, your inability to write coherently, and your weak “insights” with you. Your Brodeur jersey—doubtlessly piled high with fast-food crumbs and stained with various bodily fluids—awaits you.

    • The Rangers may not have any superstars forwards but they do have 4 very good lines. Bringing in Shattenkirk has helped their PP, but they still could use a stud shutdown defenceman. Good bounce back game if one is a Ranger fan.

  • So, Zucc has caught up to Fast in goals. If he gets as hot as Fast, and Faster (Grabner), they might have something going. When Mika gets back, these guys might score a lot of goals!

  • You just don’t know which team is showing up …. Dr Jeykell’s or Mr Hyde’s

  • Kudos to the coach (yes, I said that).

    He went with the hot hand and moved Fast up and it paid dividends. I still think that Fast is a great 4th liner and drives that line, but for last night his juggling worked like a charm.

    It worked out for the 4th line as well. Boo is playing well and showed me that he can play well without Fast. Maybe he is the 4th line C they need every game. Hopefully.

    And full props to Carey. He’s not talented but he gives 100000% to the team and his linemates. Again, not a long-term answer but for now it seemed to work out well.

    That was one of the better games the Rangers have played, sans the several egregious turnovers that they can’t seem to get over. Zuc, goal saving play, almost gives it right back. Nice to see Hank “smile” about it afterwards, because he saved it.

    But overall, very good game. It was “close” only because of Kinkaid who made 5 or 6 highlight reel saves. Man, Nash can’t buy a goal even though he has been playing great, for the most part.

    And then, of course, or goalie. Now tied for 2nd in NHL history for the most victories with one franchise. Congrats Henrik!!

      • You look at the “best” goalies in the league:

        Martin Jones – Has one of the best D corps in the league.
        Jonathan Quick – Has one of the best D corps in the league.
        Pekke Rinne – Has one the best D corps in the league.
        Bobvrosky – Has a much better D corps than the Rangers do.
        Vasilesky – Has a much better D corps than the Rangers do.
        Carey Price – Has the same issues as Henrik does.

        So the bottom line is that Henrik and Price are probably the best goalies in the league based on what they face every game vs. what the other goalies face every game.

          • Read Travis Yost who recently gave a breakdown of average top salaries for forwards, D men, and goalies.

            Guess where the goalies average is for the top goalies? $8M per, or approx 10% of the cap.

            So how is Henrik’s contract keeping the Rangers from the Cup, especially since he is by far and away the best player on the Rangers?

            Again, what is it that you’re going to do to make them better by having, let’s even say, $3M in additional cap space? The top goalies are all making around Henrik’s contract anyway, or will at some point if they are younger and on RFA contracts.

          • Hank was, is, and probably always will be, the Rangers best, most important player, a true “face of the franchise” who has made this team better than they have any right to be for more than a decade. The salary issue is just silly.

          • He’s a top 5 Ranger of all time and top 2 home grown (he and Leetch with Richter in 3rd). Gilbert was not drafted by the Rangers and neither was Giacomin.

            I know you already agree.

          • Well….technically, you are right about Gilbert and Giacomin, but in actuality I would say both were home grown. There simply was no draft back then, so no one pre-1962 I think would be homegrown by that criteria.

            Top guys that I saw, in no particular order—

            Ratelle, Gilbert, Giacomin, Leetch, Richter, Hank. Probably Leetch gets the top slot hands down and then after that, it’s an open debate.

          • Is Ratelle considered “home grown” as well? Let’s assume he is, then:

            1) Leetch
            2) Henrik
            3) Ratelle
            4) Gilbert
            5) Richter
            6) Giacomin

            Leetch obviously #1. King #2 for the direct impact he had on the franchise during his era. Ratelle over Gilbert because Gilbert’s success was directly linked to Ratelle. Richter over Giacomin because of the Cup win.

          • Yes, my recollection is that Ratelle, Gilbert and Giacomin were all pre-draft signings by the Rangers that did not play for any other organization prior to coming to becoming Ranger property.

            I like your list. 100% agree.

          • Actually, as to your list, after further review and to stray consistent with what I’ve said before, I would amend the order as follows—

            1. Leetch
            2. Ratelle
            3. Gilbert
            4. Giacomin
            5. Hank
            6. Richter

            Now again, other than Leetch, who checks all the boxes (great career, HOF, won a Cup), the other five are all real close. Obviously, Richter is the only one of the remaining five to win a Cup, but the overall scope of his career you can argue was just a step below the other guys. Richter was obviously brilliant in 1993-94, and especially so in the playoffs. But he was rarely considered the best goalie in the league over his career—some very good years, but also many ordinary ones. Never won the Vezina (some Beezer fans I know still rate rate JVB the better goalie), and obviously is not a HOFer (well, he is in the US HOF, but primarily due to his brilliance in the 1996 World Cup).

            Ratelle, Gilbert, Giacomin are all practically interchangeable. Three of the best players of their generation and remained as such for a decade or more. Three HOFers. But no Cups. When rating an individual player, I put a little less stock in winning it all, because that is a team event. I look at long term individual greatness. So for now, they are 2a, 2b and 2c. I think Ratelle was the most talented of the threesome and made the biggest impact more consistently. Gilbert a close second. Giacomin third because he often was replaced by Villemure.

            I rate Hank next because of all the things you mentioned, but in addition to no Cup, the biggest omission is out of his control—he is still playing and his story is not yet complete. Once he retires, and makes the HOF, he immediately jumps to number 2. And if he wins the Cup, he’s slam dunk number one, even over Leetch.

            But your list is hard to argue with.

          • I think that you are giving too much credit to the 70s players individually. That was a great team that should have won the Cup in 72 if not for the Ratelle injury.

            Plus, Villemure was just as dominant as Eddie during those years.

            I just feel like Hank is “doing it by himself” practically. He and Leetch were true game changers on an individual basis.

          • No question…I am biased towards the guys who were part of “That 70’s Show” Ranger teams that I adored growing up. Still, if I had a HOF or Ring of Honor vote, I would withhold judgment until someone’s career was over in order to have an apples to apples comparison. What if Hank ages overnight and is terrible in the final three years of his deal? Unlikely but possible. As I said, once he is done and gets his HOF induction, he immediately jumps to number two in my book. Win a Cup, then he’s hands down number one, even ahead of Leetch.

            There’s no right answer. Just makes for a fun debate.

          • And again, your analysis is flawed and completely idiotic. Because you NEVER explain what the Rangers should have done differently or what the Habs should have done differently, given the team they had and the options available to them both internally and externally.

            NO GM would have NOT paid Hank or Price, unless you had elite forward talent like the Pens or Hawks had. No one. ZERO.

    • Richter-

      This post shows categorically why you are one of the best posters out here. We all have our biases, certainly I do, and when a person like you who is not an AV fan writes what you wrote, that speaks volumes to me about your fairness and objectivity. Same for giving props to Carey.

      Five star write up my friend!

      • Thanks bro, that’s why enjoy our back and forth with you as well.

        I try to give credit where credit is due. I have to admit that I was annoyed with the switch from Fast to Hayes’ line at first because I thought “why break up the 4th line that’s playing so well.”

        But the switch of Fast and Vesey worked out very well for both lines. So kudos AV.

        Now, get Holden ff the top pair, lol.

        • This is why I am such a Fast fan. Yes, ideal world on an ideal team, he’s clearly a 4th line guy. But on a flawed and one might say more balanced team like the Rangers, with a less clear delineation between top lines and bottom lines, Fast is just so valuable because he can slot in just about anywhere and with anyone. Did you see Nash post-game? He’s was practically gushing over Fast being on his line that I thought he might say he and his wife were going to adopt Jesper!

          The very epitome of the Players’ Player. Those of you out here who still refuse to give Fast his due need to get religion on this—and fast. (Or Fast?). 🙂

          As for Holden….that’s two straight positive games (at least on the score sheet) for ADA. If this trend continues, maybe by January or February we will finally get the player we hoped we would get!

          • The only reason for my “Fast on the 4th line only” mantra is his lack of goal scoring. He had 6 last year. SIX!! So putting him in the top 9 up until now was a complete miscast.

            Maybe he’s learned how to shoot and score? But even so, get goals on the 4th line and make Boo a better player once Zib comes back.

            Vesey, to me, can benefit greatly from Nash and Hayes, and maybe be that 20 goal scorer, annually.

          • Fast sticks with the play. His goals are not highlight reel goals in the vast majority of cases, but rather many of them come as a result of being in the right place at the right time, IMO. That’s not just luck, either; not after seeing him do that for this long – he has a nose for it.

            Fast also does’t often try to get too cute with the puck making that extra deke, or go for the extra pass which can and does lead to mistakes at times – he’s the guy who probably makes the “SHOOT THE PUCK!” crowd happiest. When he’s close to or in the other team’s slot, and the puck ends up on his stick, no hesitation to rip a shot off most of the time.

            In much of Fast’s time in the past when he was on higher lines, more talented/skilled/higher-upside players (however you want to phrase it…more of a chance to create scoring potential on their own, basically) were bumped down to make room for Fast. That’s why I personally have taken issue with him being in the top six before on certain occasions – it was more about who was put on the fourth line instead than it was about Fast himself. I’m not huge on Vesey in terms of his true offensive prowess, and obviously something had to give and lines were going to change when Mika went down, so I don’t find his “demotion” with Fast moving up to be as vexing as some of the times in the past that Fast has moved up at the cost of other more offensively-minded/skilled players than Vesey is.

          • And you should stop being a moronic, dual user-named, pneumatic rockhead of a troll. But I expect you won’t, sadly, because you are what you are.

            Pretty sure you’ll still be cracking elementary school jokes in response, you’ve got nothing else.

          • By “get the player we hoped we would get” you mean trading that stinking pile of feces Holden for an actual hockey player who does more than stare at his ankles in front of the net as he serves as a deflection board for opposing shooters while both screening and preventing Hank from moving across the crease?

          • Man, the hate Holden gets is so off the wall it’s beyond amusing! Remiscent of the good old days with Girardi (who is now part of a Tampa team that is most everyone’s odds on favorite to win the Cup) and Rozsival (who won two with Chicago). We love to hate on at least one defenseman per year, run him out of town, and then watch that player shine elsewhere.

            Holden is a flawed player, no doubt. But he’s not nearly as bad as you make him out to be. And the better options at the moment are who now?

            The guy I was referring to was DeAngelo, who was supposed to be in this lineup by now. But he crapped the bed (as he has done with two other organizations thus far) and has struggled to even avoid being scratched in Hartford. Maybe, the tough love approach he is getting is finally getting through to this head case player. Maybe. And if so, then we may well have our Holden replacement. We shall see.

  • Guys, the over the top fighting over Henrik and his “worth” to the team is really starting to wear thin on me and (going out on a limb here) everyone who comes here to talk about the team. Leather and Sieveqvist dislike Hank. Fine. Most of the rest of us like and respect Hank. Nobody is changing anyone’s mind. So here’s a wild thought – maybe we just stop talking about it?

  • Back to top button