Rangers vs. Blues … It’s Go Time!

Game 10

Rangers vs. Blues – 7:00 PM MSG+

No poll tonight, but I promise I will look at it before Thursday’s game against the Oilers. 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 (6-3):

Jimmy Vesey-Derek Stepan-Rick Nash

Chris Kreider-Mika Zibanejad-Mats Zuccarello

Michael Grabner-Kevin Hayes-J.T. Miller

Pavel Buchnevich-Brandon Pirri- Jesper Fast

Ryan McDonagh-Dan Girardi

Marc Staal-Nick Holden

Brady Skjei-Kevin Klein

Henrik Lundqvist returns to the net after being spelled for a game by Antti Raanta.

Chris Kreider returns to the lineup after missing four games with neck spasms.  His return pushes Pavel Buchnevich down to the fourth line to play with Pirri and Fast.  It seems that for the time being, AV wants to roll with the Grabner-Hayes-Miller line that combined for four goals on Sunday night against Tampa, including a hat trick for Michael Grabner.  I can’t say that I blame him, but I would be quick to swap Buchnevich and Grabner if their current combinations struggle.

Coming out of the game to make room for Kreider is Oscar Lindberg,  who has looked a little bit behind in terms of preparation since returning from offseason hip surgery.  Clendening remains Prucha’d for a fifth straight game.

The shuffled defensive pairings from Sunday will remain intact.  Nick Holden leads the team in plus/minus, putting him on par with Marek Malik and Michal Rozsival in terms of contribution to the team compared to plus/minus.

For the Blues (5-3), they are mostly healthy, with only 6/7 defenseman Robert Bortuzzo out with an injury.  However, slumping sophomore Robby Fabbri will be moved down the lineup to play with Patrik Berglund and Nail Yakupov.  Jake Allen gets the start in goal. The last time these teams played, backup Carter Hutton stole the show and preserved a 3-2 win for the Blues despite being outshot 15-0 in the third period.

The Blues, as a team, are struggling to score goals. Their 2.44 goals per game puts them at 23rd in the league.  By contrast, the Rangers are first (!) with 3.89 (!) per game.  Both of these numbers are likely to move to the mean, but we can only hope it won’t be tonight.

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.

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

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285 thoughts on “Rangers vs. Blues … It’s Go Time!”

  1. I think it has a lot to do with Grabner, actually. If Grabner didn’t have such success moving up to the 3rd line, you’d see him drop back to 4th line and they’d find room for Buch on a higher line.

    But like you said: good problem to have.

    Not to take anything away from Pitt’s stars, but their bottom 6 was the difference last year. I’d say we now have a bottom 6 that can play at that level.

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  2. Whole heartedly agreed Dave. It’s a good thing. The fourth line hasn’t been an assembly of spare parts (or misfit toys as I called them). Instead it’s more of a percolator effect where there’s skill and production overflowing from lines 1-4. Granted AV doesn’t have his “defensive specialty” or traditional 4th line but modern day NHL is about 4 lines that can play and get rolled off the bench. He’s not even missing speed anywhere. So I’m with it until something changes

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  3. What little bit bothers me, is that combine weight of our 4th line is only slightly more than of Ryan Reaves.

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  4. Good evening all! Phew, busy day but skating in just in time (until iPad loses juice). Doodie, I’ve told you, your ass is full on my friend!

    Please tell me there haven’t been more incidents….I’m pleased to have found a place around corner from me that gets games no matter what so no more blackouts!!!! LGR!

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  5. Yeah really. I mean Teams are pushing them around. I think Glass should come up for a spell and play with Lindberg and Fast.

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  6. “Is Stepan the bald one?”…Not fully yet. He likes to glide, accustoming to the season.
    Rangers can’t catch their game rhythm yet…

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  7. Manny, now that it affects me …. I can’t tell you how byfuglien ticked I am by this scam everyone has going in order for folks to watch games out of market…

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  8. Yeah, there are no jokes with this team now. PP mostly looks like something good will happened. My hockey Gods!

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  9. The passing on this year’s outfit is unreal. One-timers when they’re the play; holding it a tick, as Step just did, when that’s the play; ragging it until someone’s open (Hayes, Zook…) when that’s the play. Early days, but, wow!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Of for hartnell’s sake…..I’ve got a blues feed and no replay….I’m gonna newspaper this whole place if someone doesn’t tell what happened to him…..

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  11. This year, I can’t believe that an awful job by the refs is still something you deem amazing lol. They’re the worst.

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  12. I have no problem with Joe calling games, but at the beginning of the game the blues try and enter the rangers zone and it’s a delayed offside Joe says “the rangers team is so fast, the blues just return to the neutral zone instead of forechecking and risk an odd man rush”. Idiot,they didn’t forecheck due to the delayed offside…then al says the same thing during intermission.

    Morons

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  13. Ilb
    Re landeskog…iirc this past summer his name was out there because the avs were looking for a top 3 d man (I believe in the non redacted rangers report we discussed moving staal for him quite extensively this past summer). They are still looking for top D supposedly, hence why he is available. Thing I saw recently was he was still “available” and might be a ducks avs deal with fowler and landeskog changing teams…horrible deal for avs imho.

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  14. I’m glad the rangers are winning, but I find this all-star game passionless hockey rather droll. It’s like watching practice…bleach.

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  15. Not to be lost in another offensive onslaught is that Henke is having probably his strongest showing of the season

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  16. Rangers playing 100% positive hockey. You can dump and chase and grind. (And so can we if we want to, but we don’t.) We will skate and pass and shoot you to your knees.

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  17. If Mcilrath was playing he’d be having a pointless fight with Reaves and have momentum shift to Blues. Blues would win 6-5

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  18. Big difference between this particular team and teams from before is that this team actually capitalizes on pretty much every odd man rush. I have not see anything like this from this franchise in a very long time.

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  19. perhaps it’s sacrilegious but this team are like gods from ancient Mesopotamia …i think carps departure was a good omen ,,,yes that’s it!

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  20. Wicky, that’s just silly….that’s what the interweb is for….

    Ha! I remember the day I posted a shirtless Avery picture on blog…some of youse went ape carcillo! Good times…..

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  21. If the Cubs are to win a WS, coming back from 3-1 seems appropriate. The Red Sox had to come back from 3-0 against the NYY for their drought breaker. Getting to game 7 and losing would be unnecessary torture for those fans. Blowing 3-1 not much better for Cleveland.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. All i want is a shutout and a Buch goal. Kid needs something for his confidence. In a couple of games he will come out for Lindberg because AV doesnt like having people sit for too long

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  23. I was thinking Zucc, Olga….I’m gonna rig this vote and add him to my list.

    Vesey looks like he’s barely old enough to have a learner’s permit…adorable.

    Ok, long day for me…fab evening all! See ya tomorrow. LGR and Doodie!

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  24. Anybody missing Yandle. . . or Boyle?

    As many of us have been saying, addition by subtraction. And Holden and “Beat Wide” Skjei looking pretty good. Skjei’s game will continue to improve and he could be 1st pair by the spring.

    The more I watch Shattenkirk, the less I want to give up valuable assets or a contract next summer for him. Not impressed.

    Hank looked sharp from start to finish.

    Not sure if we’re looking at fool’s gold, but this team’s looking pretty good right now.

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  25. Hank, Vesey money & Danny G. I gotta give some defense credit on the shutout. IMO he played like the Beast of old.

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