Rangers vs. Lightning … It’s Go Time!

Game 9

Rangers vs. Lightnings – 7:30 PM MSG

So I’ve got some leads on the poll and it will probably be in place for the next game but not tonight. This is clearly a half-assed venture. Feel free to list your three stars in the comments and I’ll do my best to aggregate them into a list.

Tonight’s probable lineup for the Rangers (5-3), via Steve Zipay (@stevezipay)

Jimmy Vesey-Derek Stepan-Rick Nash

Pavel Buchnevich-Mika Zibanejad-Mats Zuccarello

Michael Grabner-Kevin Hayes-J.T. Miller

Brandon Pirri-Oscar Lindberg- Jesper Fast

Ryan McDonagh-Dan Girardi

Marc Staal-Nick Holden

Brady Skjei-Kevin Klein

Antti Raanta gets his second start of the season.  His prior start was a 7-4 win against the Sharks.  It is Raanta’s first career appearance against the Lightnings.

Kreider will miss his fourth straight game, but barring a setback, will play on Tuesday against St. Louis.  When he returns, that’s when things will get interesting for the forwards.

Clendening remains Prucha’d, also for a fourth straight game. Given the PP’s efficacy without him in the lineup, it is hard to come up with a compelling reason for him to be in.

Even so, the defensive pairings have been shuffled, with the Staal/Klein pairing being split so that Staal is with Holden and Klein is with Skjei.  I thought Klein struggled against Carolina while Skjei had one of his better games of the season.

The only change among the forwards from Friday in Raleigh is a swap of Grabner and Fast on the third and fourth lines.

For the Lightning (5-3), both Nikita Kucherov and Ryan Callahan are injured, but one of them will play tonight, unless the Lightnings carry seven defensemen instead. Obviously, Kucherov is the far more dangerous player.  Ben Bishop will start in goal.  Historically, the Rangers have struggled against Bishop, who is 9-1 in 10 career regular season games played against the Rangers, with a .940 sv % and 1.60 GAA, including 2 shutouts.   However, Bishop has struggled early this season.

Once again, a personal note, thank you so much for joining me here. If I can make this blog even half as good as Carp’s, I’ll be pretty damn proud.

I will not be able to watch this game live, so we will have our first guest review.  I will, however, be including a short statement regarding recent occurrences with the blog.

Don’t forget to tell everyone you know and to follow me on Twitter @rangersreport2

179 thoughts on “Rangers vs. Lightning … It’s Go Time!”

  1. Good evening all! I am royally ticked off….game seems to be blacked out tonight in my neck of the woods. NOT FAIR!!!! What am I paying Center Ice for!? Byfuglien!


  2. Raanta has an ooportunity tonight. Bounce back game the way Calm did in his 1st season.

    Interesting lineup tweaks. McDonough deserves a better partner, but otherwise I approve.



  3. Holy crap! You never know what people have under their jerseys! How pucked up you have to be to have all of this tattooed on yourself?!


  4. Ugh John G. – great between the benches but horrid doing play by play.

    Anyone else listen that tool Tony Luftman on NHL channel and cringe to the 100th power. He and Pidto should be roommates….


  5. Picks just seem to find Bishop no matter what he does. Got get this lumbering goalie moving side to side or he’ll toss another shut out! I hate the lighting!


  6. Rachel – I’d say excellent period. Rangers have dominated periods one and two. The first had been the Achilles heal.

    Rangers 4
    Bolts 0

    GWG The Laos Lazer. Also scoring Jay Tea, Boo-Shev-itch, Gnash, and tomato Puree


  7. Rachel – my above should read this season rangers have dominated periods 2 and 3.

    Jessica – don’t be so quick to give up on gravy. His mustard is something special.


  8. Jessica – gravy’s mustard comes in a variety of colors and flavors. Try some on a Weiner. I know you’ll like it.


  9. Pre season I hoped for good outcome from Pirri and Grabner and so far it’s working. If only Hank could find his former miracle self, and Klein, one of my faves, get in pre-back shape, I’ll be almost happy.


  10. Gravy – burying your child is the worst feeling in the world. I cannot fathom the pain he’s in now.

    I called the Cambodian kid, Gnash, and Jay Tea as goal scorers.

    I see dead people.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I hate Tampa as much as I do the flyers, fishies, and devils.

    I’d love to see killorn try and fight miller, I’d love it.


  12. Nash > No Nash; Miller and Hayes twice as good as last year; Skjei with the pass of the night; Raanta, D solid; Vesey the steal of the year. Gorton has to be pretty pleased with himself.


  13. Tampa is the one of the dirtiest teams in the league, its full of a bunch of little punks. It should not shock anyone that it is the organization gudas developed and played in.


  14. How long before bishop skates over to the bench and has a Roy I’ve played my last game for this organization moment?


  15. I feel like that game we did to Tampa what they have done to us the last several years. We out depthed them and had the puck the most. I think I like it.


  16. Grabby up to 3rd was called by, ahem, me. Guy has wheels, smarts and some mitts.
    VC is really, really special.
    Auntie Rantaa had some very good saves in the first half of the game and made it look easy
    Butch is very crafty. Can’t wait for THE to come back.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Was at the game tonight. Wow, speed does work. Lot’s of odd man’s, first to the puck, etc. Grabner is a solid speed player. Nice to see him get some deserved glory. Raanta was cool, calm and efficient in net tonight. He made some large saves that made the difference. I hope our #1 goalie was watching.

    Good crowd tonight. The Bishop chants were great!!!!!


  18. Just finished watching and reading the comments.

    If Raanta can handle it, he should play roighly every third game.

    If Kreider comes back Tuesday, who comes out? I could see Fast and Pirri platooning.

    Wonder if the plan is for Skjei to get to play 3rd pair with Girardi, Holden and Klein, until they believe he can move to the 1st pair with McDonough sometime before the trade deadline. If Skjei can’t handle 1st pair, maybe Gorton makes a move.


  19. Ohh Baby, unless Skjei makes a quantum-leap in his game, I don’t see him going first-pair this season. Even out of necessity. I also don’t think they’d do that unless they start getting him used to the right-side as well.

    From what I see from his skills, when he develops, he’ll be a very nice second-pairing guy. He can move the puck but won’t even be confused with an offensive defenseman. He’ll play a solid defensive game and very good transition game.

    Top-pairing righty is still a HUGE organizational need. Though the alleged Norris-caliber guy we let go to Tampa a few seasons ago didn’t look so hot tonight.


  20. Dave- all good points about Skjei, (and Norris Stralman), and i dont disagree. But the cost to aquire a 1st pair right D, (even a rental like Shattenkirk), is going to be high.

    Skjei could be a better option than Girardi, Klein or Holden by spring. And yes, they would need to start to play Skjei on the right to prepare.

    I’m not necessarily advocating for this option. Just saying that it could be Gorton and AV’s plan to explore it.


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