Game 78: Hello, old friend

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. Ryan McDonagh is now with the Lightning, and not with the Rangers. That will hurt. This will be the story. Although there is some humor in him being reunited with Girardi.

McDonagh was the former captain and the rock on the blue line. But times, they are a changing. JT Miller went with him, and the two of them combined for just under 15 years of service with the Rangers.

Update: Totally forgot it is Dan Girardi’s return as well. Recency bias I guess. Should be an emotional night.

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

JT Miller-Steven Stamkos-Nikita Kucherov
Yanni Gourde-Brayden Point-Tyler Johnson
Ondrej Palat-Anthony Cirelli-Alex Killorn
Chris Kunitz-Cedric Paquette-Cory Conacher

Victor Hedman-Anton Stralman
Ryan McDonagh-Dan Girardi
Braydon Coburn-Mikhail Sergachev

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

Andrei Vasilevsky gets the start.

Rangers Lines 

Chris KreiderMika ZibanejadJesper Fast
Kevin HayesFilip Chytil-Mats Zuccarello
Jimmy Vesey-Lias Andersson-Ryan Spooner
Cody McLeod-Vlad Namestnikov-Pavel Buchnevich

Brady SkjeiJohn Gilmour
Marc StaalNeal Pionk
Rob O’Gara-Ryan Sproul

PP1: Kreider-Namestnikov-Zibanejad-Buchnevich-Pionk
PP2: Vesey-Spooner-Zuccarello-Hayes-Gilmour

Henrik Lundqvist gets the start.

Scratches/Injuries: Kevin Shattenkirk (knee), Steven Kampfer (hand), Peter Holland (healthy), Tony DeAngelo (ankle)

Crazy Prediction: I don’t have one for tonight. I’m still adjusting to officially meaningless hockey.

Game time is 8pm. Be sure to follow on our Snapchat for in-game shenanigans.

38 thoughts on “Game 78: Hello, old friend

  • Mar 30, 2018 at 5:45 pm

    JT plays with Stamkos and Kucherov. The kid is going to fulfill his potential and put up great numbers on that line.

    My daughter is 16 and is in New York for the game with my brother. Because we are down south she hasn’t been to a hockey game in years. She will have a blast 🙂

  • Mar 30, 2018 at 5:59 pm

    Cody McLeod, endless tanking… 😀

  • Mar 30, 2018 at 6:04 pm

    Game time is 7:00.

    • Mar 30, 2018 at 7:21 pm

      Dave meant to say the game will be over by 8:00

  • Mar 30, 2018 at 9:30 pm

    ”’F troop back to normal”’…….AV benching Chytil? Or did he get lost on the bench???
    Miller continuing to light it up for Tampa…….
    Prediction , Miller will continue to do this for the next 10 years!!!!
    and…..I am going to wear out my keyboard , specifically the keys which spell, I told you so, I told you so, I told you so…….Horrific Trade!!!!!!!!!!!
    Prediction……a year from now Yzerman will trade for Vesey and continue to use the ny rangers as his personal farm system……..

    • Mar 30, 2018 at 9:40 pm

      You also told us so about Grabner, who’s got a paltry 2 goals in 16 games with New Jersey. Let’s say your touting of Grabner cancels out your touting the Miller trade as a mistake, just so you don’t feel compelled to post about it every day?

      • Mar 30, 2018 at 10:39 pm

        You are correct MC…….I wanted to keep Grabner also and resign him to a reasonable multi year……He scored 25 goals for us two years in a row……HE WAS A KEEPER !!!!!!!
        Since we’re keeping score I also wanted the team to resign Anton Strallman and Eric Stall [ 40 Goals!!!!! ] and Carl Hagelin……
        And hopefully we keep Vesey and Hayes long term!!!!!!
        The Miller trade wasnt a mistake it was a disaster!!!!!!!!! See- rick middleton, mike ridley……..

        • Mar 31, 2018 at 12:53 am

          You do realize we got value back for Miller, right? You act like we traded Miller for a bag of pucks and 1 left skate size 6.

  • Mar 30, 2018 at 10:10 pm

    Why DD ? Isles loose too

    • Mar 31, 2018 at 9:00 am

      DD fan in the house

  • Mar 30, 2018 at 11:06 pm

    Nice tribute to JT, Mac, and G before the game. Nice to see JT and G light the lamp.. Thank God I didn’t miss it flipping back and forth from the Yankee game

  • Mar 30, 2018 at 11:14 pm

    Traded Vlad whatisyournamekov to the Rangers and got back JT Miller, what a lopsided trade for the Bolts.

    • Mar 31, 2018 at 12:54 am

      … and of course there wasn’t anything else involved in that trade, it was just Miller for some Russian guy. WTF is wrong with some of you people?

      • Mar 31, 2018 at 9:59 am

        If you pay attention, the Bolts would most likely do the McD trade without swapping JT and Whatisyournamekov, WTF is wrong with you?

        • Mar 31, 2018 at 11:59 am

          You just pulled that from out of your a__hole to try and justify a stupid comment, didn’t you?! Don’t answer, it’s a rhetorical question.

  • Mar 30, 2018 at 11:16 pm

    Now we know why Bolts traded Vlad whatisyournamekov, the guy plays softer than Buchnevich.

    • Mar 30, 2018 at 11:24 pm

      I am hoping WhathisNamekov is trade bait in the off season. Never understood why JT was moved…unless it means the plan is to keep AV around for the start of next season. Then keeping Vlad makes sense as he meets the Mr. Softy requirement to play for Alaina.

      • Mar 30, 2018 at 11:42 pm

        Reports said it was a difficult contract negotiation between the Rangers and the Miller side.

        • Mar 31, 2018 at 10:03 am

          The Miller side was likely requesting a Restraining order on AV as part on the deal.

  • Mar 30, 2018 at 11:19 pm

    R. Sproul, the Rangers Dman, does not know how to play defense. This guy is terrible as a Dman. Hopefully Sproul is not going to be on the Rangers’ roster next season.

    • Mar 31, 2018 at 7:23 am

      We have Shaturpants to fill his spot ??

  • Mar 30, 2018 at 11:45 pm

    Please, NO MORE AV.

  • Mar 31, 2018 at 4:50 am

    It’s nice to see Miller getting 1st line time and putting up points.

    It validates two points.

    1. J.T. was underutilized by the current coaching staff.
    2. The current coaching staff really sucks.

    • Mar 31, 2018 at 7:24 am

      He was AV’s whipping boy

      • Mar 31, 2018 at 9:51 am

        Tortorella wasn’t crazy about him either. Let’s see how his career plays out. I think new system, excellent line mates, and a maturation factor helps him presently. Time will tell if he will sustain this.

    • Mar 31, 2018 at 12:02 pm

      It isn’t JUST that he’s playing on a 1st line — he’s playing with Stamkos and Kucherov, two of the better players in the League. Put him on a more “average” 1st line and his gas mileage may vary.

  • Mar 31, 2018 at 8:49 am

    Amidst the usual in-game negativity and BS commentary, nobody managed to mention Chytil’s first goal—congrats to the kid—or Buchnevich trying to crush Kucherov, then fighting Stamkos. Nice to see all of the above happen. I think Buchnevich needs to work on his hip check accuracy a little bit.

    • Mar 31, 2018 at 10:18 am

      Since being traded to the Bolts JT has 9 goals in 15 games. WhatHisNamekov has 2 goals. Not BS it’s fact. It was a poor trade from the get go and all the JT bashers on this site were dead wrong in their criticism of Miller. He was AVs whipping boy and the best thing that has happened in his hockey career was getting moved out of New York. AV needs to go next.

      • Mar 31, 2018 at 2:46 pm

        Spot on with your take on Miller , Bloomer…….
        Better off for JT, he is no longer unappreciated in a dysfunctional organization………
        As far as the rangers another in a long line of ”’stupid”’
        Strallman, eric stall, 2 #1’s for st louis, mcdonagh, grabner………and what do we have to show for all these moves???????????

    • Mar 31, 2018 at 10:45 am

      The Rangers lost the game 7-3. The fans are suppose to forget about the scoreboard and get all jacked up because the new guy scored a goal. Seriously Mancunian you must work in the Ranger organization.

      • Mar 31, 2018 at 12:04 pm

        Well if you’re in on the rebuild, you can be forgiving about the scoreboard and focus on the positive.

        • Mar 31, 2018 at 12:47 pm

          Sounds like someone has gulped down the blue koolaid. Professional sports is all about the scoreboard. If I wanted to watch fun hockey I will walk to the local ice rink and watch peewee hockey.

          • Mar 31, 2018 at 2:16 pm

            You do understand that they are rebuilding, that they traded away their best defenseman, two Top 6 forwards and Grabner, whose play for the Rangers speaks for itself. You expect that they would hum along and win the majority of their games? Absurd.

            This has nothing to do with koolaid (a term you’ve been throwing around a bit too liberally lately, so much so that it diminishes the import of what you’re saying). This has to do with properly assessing the reality of the situation and adjusting one’s expectations.

            • Mar 31, 2018 at 2:50 pm

              The rangers didnt need a rebuild. They needed a coach that actually played a system. Once touch fast break hockey is how it is done in QMJHL.

              • Mar 31, 2018 at 5:35 pm

                The Rangers need both actually. I would say trading Miller instead of say Zucc was a mistake, then again no one here was privy to the trade talks — maybe Howden and the extra draft pick were Miller’s price, I don’t know. Maybe there are issues in the dressing room with Miller that neither of us know of … Maybe Howden will make you forget Miller eventually, again I don’t know …

                What I do know is that we really needed to change the dynamic in the room because despite AVs unwillingness to be flexible, these guys USE TO find a way to win most of the time regardless of his coaching.

      • Mar 31, 2018 at 12:17 pm

        Nah, Bloomer, I’m just sick of the endlessly corny nicknames and relentlessly negative in-game remarks. Seriously, look at this thread—it’s the same unfunny, bitter crap game after game. And it might as well be copied and pasted for every game thread.

  • Mar 31, 2018 at 11:04 am

    I feel like Chicago, Edmonton and the Islanders are scoreboard watching…to tank and pick ahead of the Rangers

    • Mar 31, 2018 at 1:53 pm

      Yes sir .. Isles were up most of that game

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