Game Thread

Game 34: Taming Toronto’s forwards

The Rangers are back in action after their third extended break this month, facing off against the Leafs in Toronto. The Leafs have William Nylander back, have added John Tavares, and are just downright dangerous up front. They lost James van Riemsdyk and still managed to get better. It’s kind of unfair.

As for the Rangers, the true test will be trying to tame those forwards. The Blueshirts’ forwards can score –albeit not as often as Toronto’s– so it will be on limiting Toronto’s chances to the outside. That means not giving up the blue line so quickly and easily and not allowing slot line passes. So basically not doing anything they have been doing the past month or so.

Disclaimer: Lines are assumed. This was written Friday afternoon, as I am celebrating the holidays with my family today and wouldn’t have had time to write something today.

Leafs Lines

Connor Brown-John Tavares-Mitch Marner
Andreas Johnsson-Auston Matthews-Kasperi Kapanen
Patrick Marleau-Nazem Kadri-William Nylander
Par Lindholm-Frederik Gauthier-Tyler Ennis

Mike Reilly-Ron Hainsey
Jake Gardiner-Nikita Zaitsev
Travis Dermott-Martin Marincin

PP1: Matthews-Kadri-Marner-Tavares-Reilly
PP2: Ennis-Johnsson-Marleau-Nylander-Gardiner

Frederik Andersen gets the start.

Rangers Lines

Filip Chytil –Mika ZibanejadMats Zuccarello
Chris KreiderKevin Hayes-Pavel Buchnevich
Jimmy VeseyBrett Howden–Vlad Namestnikov
Boo NievesLias AnderssonRyan Strome

Brady SkjeiTony DeAngelo
Marc StaalNeal Pionk
Brendan SmithAdam McQuaid

PP1: Zibanejad-Hayes-Kreider-Zuccarello-Pionk
PP2: Howden-Chytil-Vesey-Buchnevich-DeAngelo

Henrik Lundqvist gets the start.

Scratches/Injuries: Kevin Shattenkirk (shoulder), Cody McLeod (hand), Jesper Fast (upper body), Fredrik Claesson (healthy)

Crazy Prediction: The Leafs score less than 4 goals.

Game time is 7pm.

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    • Georgi was good. Toronto is a tough team to contain for 3 periods. Smart move to go with Georg Tonight and Hank tomorrow imo.

      • We should see a little more of him. I like is foot movement and backside recoveries. Couple of bad bounces came his way but that’s hockey!

  • Watching the game last night, the team looked pretty good for the first two periods. After killing that 4 minute penalty, I thought we may get lucky, but then came the third period. The flood gate opened, but I was proud that they didn’t roll over, and play dead. They fought back, tried to make a game of it, but the bottom line, cream always rises to the top, and that Leafs team is full of cream.

    • They haven’t played much the past 3 weeks. Maybe they have too much legs? 3 weeks ago the bye week,last week 3 days off,this week 3 days off. Soon it’s gonna get busy! Toronto is missing a goalie. We need Tampa to win it anyways ?

  • Great effort by the Rangers against a formidable opponent. Just think what the Leafs will be when Nylander finds his game. Marner is magnificent. Reilly? Wow.

    Georgi played a phenomenal game. Kept his poise and did not buckle. Love this kid.

    Hayes, another great game, scoring on an all world elite move by Chytil. Play of the year for the Rangers so far. Just fantastic skill displayed. More is coming from Filip. Top line player.

    Skjei, ugh, I feel bad for the kid. He looks like he’s going to snap his stick in half, just by gripping it. Hopefully his game comes back.

    Pionk had a very strong game, even without the goal.

    Rangers kept coming back. Great game for them, end of story.

    • The Leafs were bad for a number of years, and drafted well. They are young, and will be a force for years to come. That organization has shown patience, and are now be rewarded for it.

      Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays to all. I’ll be on the road today, and won’t have access to this blog page. Travel safe for all who will be traveling, and please try to enjoy your holidays. LGR

      • Merry Christmas Walt, to you, Maria, and the family.

        Toronto still needs a D man, so I really think that Nylander is going to be the trade chip, maybe for a guy like Parayko, who is locked in for a few more years. That would be a good trade for both sides. Or for Trouba. A lesser name D man who could help the Leafs is Muzzin from LA.

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