Rangers vs Panthers … It’s Go Time!

Game 19

Rangers vs Panthers -7:00 PM MSG

Tonight is the first home game after the Rangers’ longest road trip of the season in which the Rangers went 3-1. Typically, the first game back after a road trip is a let down game.

I had tickets to tonight’s game but gave them to my parents. Clearly, this is an HAV.

Tonight’s probable lineup for the Rangers (13-5), via Steve Zipay (@stevezipay):

Chris Kreider-Derek Stepan-Rick Nash

Jimmy Vesey-Mika Zibanejad- Mats Zuccarello

Michael Grabner-Kevin Hayes-JT Miller

Brandon Pirri-Josh Jooris-Jesper Fast

DEFENSE

Ryan McDonagh-Dan Girardi

Marc Staal-Nick Holden

Brady Skjei-Kevin Klein

The big news of course is Pavel Buchnevich’s back spasms perhaps being s more serious condition. He is scheduled for an MRI tomorrow.

Also of note is Josh Jooris returning to the lineup in place is the Machine, Oscar Lindberg. Lindberg has struggled tremendously this season, and could find himself waived if and when everyone is healthy.

The lines themselves have been adjusted in the wake of the egg laid in Columbus. Grabner is reunited with Hayes and Miller, while Vesey gets a look with Zibanejad and Zuccarello. AV continues to insist upon the killer Zs playing with each other, but I’m not convinced that pair is working together.

The defense remains unchanged, so Clendening remains Prucha’d for a third straight game. I disagree with this arrangement. Skjei should be playing more often, not less.

Henrik Lundqvist starts today. I believe Raanta will start tomorrow night against Pittsburgh given AV’s traditional practice of switching goaltenders in the second game of a back to back with travel in between. Then again, against s divisional rival, he may lean more heavily on Lundqvist.

For the Panthers, (9-8-1), this is the fourth game of their current road trip. They played last night and won on the back of a brilliant performance by Roberto Luongo, who will be sitting tonight in favor of James Reimer.  Star center Aleksander Barkov was hurt and missed the third period of last night’s game but seems like he will be in the lineup tonight

There are a lot of castaways for each of these teams playing for the other, most recently Dylan McIlrath, who will be a healthy scratch tonight. McIlrath is currently 8th on the Panthers’ depth chart behind Jakub Kindl. Yup, we sure missed out on a star there.

However, Keith Yandle will be in the lineup for the Panthers, as will former Rangers captain and ageless wonder Jaromir Jagr. For the Rangers, castoffs Michae Grabner (waived without ever playing a game!) and Brandon Pirri(traded for a 6yh round pick!) will look for some measure of revenge.

Don’t forget to tell everyone you know and to follow me on Twitter @rangersreport2. And don’t forget to vote for your three stars after the game!

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189 thoughts on “Rangers vs Panthers … It’s Go Time!”

  1. This Valet Cat is a smooth talker. Not too bad, honestly. Oh, and Congratulation to Sam. Well deserved, but isn’t a time to let someone else to try. I would vote for Maloney (if he wants, of course).

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  2. LGR!!! Not sure about the GO part. Back in the day we used to hate pregame festivities on a Sunday night because of NJ Transit’s thinner Sunday night schedule.

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  3. This Valet Cat is a smooth talker. Not too bad, honestly…

    You know, I came here to make a similar comment, but got distracted by that whole Sam Rosen lovefest.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. If Keith Yandle is getting boo’ed, Ranger fans should start a derisive, every game, chant for Dan Boyle. Speak of a player that did NOTHING for us.

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  5. Rangers better get used to and find a remedy to this clog up the neutral zone crap. Everyone will be doing that to them. Need to do some dump in and send Kreider and Grabner in after it.

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  6. I wish I knew this place existed earlier. This really is an alternate universe.
    Did anyone hear Sam reading the Sleepy’s mattress sale ad during play? Is that what MSG has sunk to?

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  7. Reimer’s not standing on his head. We’re making it easy for him. We’ve just put a lot of shots into him. The only difficult shot he’s faced went past him and in the net. He hasn’t been playing well for a while and they’re taking it easy on him.

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  8. I was at one of those big home improvement supplies stores this morning an saw a lady in a blue Nedved sweater. I then walked the entire store looking for Hlavac and Dvorak. No luck!

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  9. I’m not one to get on Nash–good player who busts it–but that’s a truly bad miss for a goal-scorer. Hold it, lift it.

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  10. Their goalie is not spectacular at all. I don’t know why guys are not shooting from perimeter more often, trying to literally deliver the puck to the net.

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  11. Nash lost his touch. Again. I just hope that we are not at the beginning of Nov.-Dec. decline. With playing like the last 2 games, there is no chance in the next two with Penguins.

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  12. Not like our offense was explosive tonight. That neutral zone is getting clogged more and more. Just what Nash likes (S).

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  13. Well, at least we can play tomorrow night to try to get off the losing streak (0f 2). Going to be interesting who our 4 centers are tomorrow and into the future weeks.

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  14. Brutal. First Zibanejad takes a forearm shiver to the head with the ref 5 feet away. Then he wrecks his leg and then we see the formerly good on shootouts Henrik beaten 2 for 2. By the time we get to Thursday they will likely have lost 4 straight and the bloom will be off the rose.

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  15. To the Boneheads – Thank you so much for filling in for Carp. Until Carp returns, this is still the best ranger blog around. Truly enjoy the game reviews, great insight, the banter, witty comments.

    As for the Rangers, I am having visions of last year, a lot of fancy passing with a refusal to shoot. Hayes breaks in during the OT and refuses to shoot with a one on one with the goalie, absolutely mind boggling. Zibanajad will be a hugh loss, especially at the face-off dot.

    Liked by 1 person

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