Game Thread

Game 68: Hello, old friends

rangers canucks
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Tonight’s game is going to hurt. Sure, Tampa Bay is really good and should lay a hurting on the Rangers. I think that part we all expect. Tonight is different. While he won’t play tonight, it is a reminder that Ryan McDonagh is now with the Lightning, and not with the Rangers. That will hurt.

JT Miller went alongside McDonagh in that trade. Did you know that he spent parts of SIX seasons with the Blueshirts? I didn’t until I started writing this post. That’s only two fewer than McDonagh. Amazing, how fast time flies. I hope to see them, along with the other former Rangers, lifting the Cup.

Bolts Systems

Jon Cooper has the Lightning playing a pretty similar system as the Rangers. They run an overload 1-2-2 forecheck, but will mix in a 2-1-2 as well. They do this quite often against the Rangers actually. In the defensive zone, they mix zone and overload coverage depending on puck location. On special teams, they run a 1-3-1 power play and rotate between a diamond and box penalty kill depending on opposition setup.

Bolts Lines

Alex Killorn-Steven Stamkos-Nikita Kucherov
Yanni Gourde-Brayden Point-JT Miller
Cory Conacher-Tyler Johnson-Adam Erne
Chris Kunitz-Anthony Cirelli-Ryan Callahan

Victor Hedman-Dan Girardi
Mikhail Sergachev-Anton Stralman
Braydon Coburn-Andrej Sustr

PP1: Kucherov-Stamkos-Killorn-Kunitz-Hedman
PP2: Point-Miller-Gourde-Johnson-Sergachev

Andrei Vasilevsky gets the start.

Rangers Lines 

Chris KreiderDavid DesharnaisPavel Buchnevich
Jimmy Vesey-Vladislav Namestnikov-Mats Zuccarello
Ryan SpoonerKevin HayesJesper Fast
Paul CareyPeter Holland-Cody McLeod

Brady SkjeiJohn Gilmour
Marc StaalNeal Pionk
Rob O’Gara-Tony DeAngelo

PP1: Kreider-Zuccarello-Desharnais-Buchnevich-Skjei
PP2: Vesey-Holland-Namestnikov-Hayes-Gilmour

Henrik Lundqvist gets the start.

Scratches/Injuries: Kevin Shattenkirk (knee), Ondrej Pavelec (knee), Steven Kampfer (hand), Mika Zibanejad (flu)

Crazy Prediction: Miller and Namestnikov both score.

Game time is 7pm. Be sure to follow on our Snapchat for in-game shenanigans.

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  • I hate to say this, but this one can get ugly very early.

    Hope I’m wrong. Hope the Rangers come out playing with pride, and put up a solid fight, keeping this close.

      • Actually, what a first 10 minutes. Seems like Tampa should have had 25 shots during that time.

        Man, are they good. I am feeling very confident we will get a #1 in 2019 from them.

  • I know that some of you had were in the house for the Ranger 1994 Cup run, and man I envy every one of you on that one. I was with you – only it was in Binghamton in front of a TV.

    Thus watching the Bolts win the 2004 Cup was my spectator sport highlight.

    My worst spectator experience though, was having to endure the Ranger’s/Lightning Cup semi-final in 2015. I was sitting there surrounded by all my season ticket buds rooting for the Ranger’s very quietly and not so demonstratively. Believe me – It sucked.

    However, I did break out a hybrid Marty St. Louis jersey – #26 Lightning on the front and one side and #26 Rangers on the back and other side. It was a conversation piece for sure.

    Anyway – I’ve never gone to a Ranger game anywhere and not rooted for them to win.

    I am however, well into “embracing the tank”, so tonight is definitely going to be weird. And of course I would love to see another Cup run up close and personal and…get the Lighting #1 pick.

    So off I go – sporting that MSL hybrid jersey and just hoping for an interesting game.

    Lets go…..?????

  • McDonough still not playing, but he is said to be coming along. It would seem that his protracted injury had to have at least some impact on his trade value at the deadline. Even though he will be missed, I believe that the Rangers had to make a deal for him either at the deadline or during the off season. I don’t think that they wanted to meet his likely asking price on a new contract. So, they probably believed that they would have lost him when he became a UFA.

    I also liked JT Miller, who at only 24 has the tools to be a very good player for a long time if he puts it all together. It is possible that they did not think that they could sign him too and that is why they included him in the deal. His inclusion was the part that has vexed me.

    Lots of ex-Rangers hoping to catch Lightening in a bottle in Tampa.

  • TB wants to treat this game like a Bugs Bunny cartoon, where they shoot one puck and the puck splits into 10 little pucks, scoring 10 goals on one shot.

    Meaning there’s not enough goals they can score to satisfy them.

    Did Henrik beg out of this one? (Kidding, he would never).

  • Well I feel confident. Desharnais is centering the 1st line! How can we lose?! Mika must have caught some sort of extreme flu tank bug.

    I don’t understand why the lines don’t have Name between Buch and Kreider, Hayes between Zucc and Spooner … Desharnais between Fast and Vesey. If the answer is because Mika Z will be back and playing between Kreids and Buch, I say that’s a bad answer. No time like the present to test out how these guys play with each other.

  • Why is DD playing as the first line center? Is this a desperate try to win with veterans? Again?
    AV couldn’t find anyone else to try? Vlad and Spooner are both centers, and he couldn’t try them on first line, to see how things shake out?
    I don’t get this, does he still not understand the mandate of get younger, faster, more skilled?

    • Dave didn’t know the lineup so he copied the previous game in which Zib was out with the flu and DD was playing in his place on the top line. Zib is playing tonight between Kreider and Buch.

  • Anthony Cirelli was selected by the Bolts in the 3rd round #72 overall. The Rangers selected at #41 Ryan Gropp and then #62 Robin Kovacs.

    • Was watching Kovacs in a between period interview this afternoon, he’s looks like he’s putting on the weight by doing 12oz curls.

      Hartford had to have been beyond toxic last season.

  • AV watched “How To Get Away With Murder” too many times, that’s why he has no problems to leave Hank in the game.

  • In his imagine AV built the New York Rangers. Puck possession fast breaking skaters who play it soft. Heavy hitters need not apply. Nice guys who are more then happy to give you the puck. Where winning doesn’t matter as long as you are polite to the coaching staff.

    • Ladies and gentlemen, the definition of blind AV hate: blaming the current coach for the team sucking following a declaration by management that the team is entering a rebuild and a trade of McDonagh, Grabner, Nash, and Holden.

  • Main concern right now is Kreids only playing 2+ minutes and being taken out for precautionary reasons. Hopefully it is nothing serious with what he just came back from

  • Kreider was held out because of a hit to the head.. which I totally missed. He passed all tests so that’s a good sign. But they can’t mess with this so hold him out as long as you have to. Maybe give Beleskey a shot and see what he has. Can’t be worse than Holland

      • Ok, got me there. I just checked his stats on hockeydb between Providence and Hartford.. Steve Vickers was in Tampa tonight.. think he can help? Lol

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