Rangers vs. Senators … It’s Go Time!

Game 23

Rangers vs. Senators -7:00 PM MSG

I hope you all had a great weekend. Tonight is the first time Derick Brassard comes back to MSG since being traded over the summer (together with a seventh round pick) for Mika Zibanejad and a 2nd round pick. Zibanejad, of course, remains out with a broken fibula. Taking his place in the lineup as facing the Senator’s for the first time is Matt Puempel, who the Rangers claimed off of waivers from the Senators last week. Puempel scored on Friday in his first game as a Ranger.

Starting off our work week with tomorrow morning’s review will be James G. Thanks for he help, James! Clearly, this is an HAV.

Tonight’s probable lineup for the Rangers (15-6-1), via Steve Zipay (@stevezipay):

Chris Kreider-Derek Stepan-Jesper Fast

Michael Grabner-Kevin Hayes-Brandon Pirri

Mats Zuccarello-J.T. Miller- Rick Nash

Matt Puempel-Josh Jooris-Jimmy Vesey

Ryan McDonagh-Dan Girardi

Marc Staal-Nick Holden

Brady Skjei-Kevin Klein

The big news, of course, is that JT Miller will start this game at center after playing on the wing all year.  This is just the first of many line changes, including  definitive top six forward, Jesper Fast, playing on the first line. BDL must be thrilled. No longer playing center is Brandon Pirri. Wicky must be thrilled.

Honestly, I’m not sure what to make of these lines.  I’ve disagreed with AV in the past and been proven both right and wrong.  In this situation, my biggest gripe would be that Rick Nash has been coming on lately, so I don’t understand the logic in breaking up what was working for him. That said, after being grossly out possessed and outchanced in the last 40 minutes against the Flyers, not to mention the beat down against Pittsburgh on Wednesday, it is probably time for a change.

Raanta gets the start in goal. Lundqvist gets rested tonight after dragging the team to a win against the Flyers. I still find all of the Raanta clamoring hysterical. Everyone always loves the backup. I wonder if these people were begging for Healy in 94.

The defense remains unchanged, so Clendening remains Prucha’d for a fourth straight game. I still disagree with this arrangement. Skjei should be playing more often, not less. Although, I’ll say Nick Holden has has a good stretch here. Kevin Klein has struggled mightily this season.

For the Senators (13-7-1), the story of the season is goaltender Craig Anderson’s wife’s courageous fight against cancer.  Anderson has rejoined the team and been sensational. He will get the start in goal tonight. Mike Hoffman has returned to the lineup for the Senators and has had some chemistry with Brassard.

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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112 thoughts on “Rangers vs. Senators … It’s Go Time!”

  1. It’s no secret Girardi didn’t look so good at the beginning of the season paired with skjel, then everyone wanted Holden benched (oddly when paired with skjel, now it’s Klein…hmmmm

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  2. Pitiful Anderson can take the 3rd period off! Does the slide back to reality begin? My question what has happened to Kreider? The guy should dominate!

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  3. Can you imagine if Neil was able to get to Stepan?

    Oh and – wake me in April when we’re healthy. I’m not getting upset in November about giving up two goals. Don’t care how ugly the recent giveaways have become

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  4. All I can say is this game was over Fast! I was embarrassed just watching it they couldn’t make a pass all night. I guess the word is out clog the neutral zone and the Rangers are easy pickens! We Suck Again! The truth is they are not built for playoff hockey!

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  5. 2 things…did they say karlson leads the league in blocked shots? Not the thing that comes to mind first when you think of his game. Is this like the torts in Vancouver having the sedins block shots? Will it last?

    So Florida fires coach due to apparent personnel disagreements with upper management. Gallant wanted actual guys that could play hockey (upset over gudbranson trade) and GM wanted advanced stat “players”.

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  6. No panic, but, reason for concern. Not a horrible effort tonight. The breaks are just evening out a little and they are seeing some better goaltending. They have to be stronger on the dump ins and execute better. Need to be tape to tape not into the skates. Teams are watching them and adjusting. They (AV and staff) need to respond.

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  7. I had to laugh. Ottawa hasn’t practiced their pp, yet it looked better than ours. The difference is they move around. The Rangers just stand in one place and pass the puck around, which is the same thing they did last season. Joe even mentioned that the passing lanes were blocked up for the Rangers. That’s not hard to do when the players aren’t skating. UGH!

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  8. Joe: “Kline skated the puck out of the…”
    Sam: “Hold on Joe. A ‘Let’s go Rangers’ chant up from the crowd”.

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  9. When you see the following…doesnt make that Yandle trade too bad after all:

    According to Nick Kypreos, Anthony Duclair can be had “for a pretty penny.”
    Advice: “I’m hearing teams are saying that Duclair could be had at the right price,” Kypreos noted on Saturday’s Hockey Night In Canada.

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  10. James – high praise from your senior editor;
    Starting off our work week with tomorrow morning’s review will be James G. Thanks for he help, James! _Clearly, this is an HAV_

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  11. Good morning, boneheads!
    This game was unwatchable. Yes, mr. Bettman, let’s add a couple of more teams so we can dilute the talent even further.
    As for NY, time to adjust. 3-4 games in a row opponents plug the middle zone rendering NY’s transition game ineffective. The word is definitely out, nobody is engaging in track and meet with them. This will become a norm not an exception. Time for AV to make the next move.

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  12. That was the worst game I’ve watched since playoffs. What impressed me with this year’s model, was the full team style of play. Chances were taken, because from what I saw, every Ranger on the ice was aware and able to cover any mistakes the higher risk plays could expose. That was missing last night.

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  13. By the way, on the first goal, while Klein has definitely unnecessary over-committed to the puck carrier leaving Pageau alone, Hayes also took a nap after losing the draw.

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  14. when AV ‘balances’ the lines by including a D focused forward (Fast) with 2 offensive forwards, it ends up diluting the NYR greatest strength; Ozone possession time from speed and passing.
    .
    Are we seeing a repeat of last year? Start strong and hold on for PO spot while flaws are exposed but not fixed…

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  15. Last season the team didn’t start strong… they won a bunch of games at the start the didn’t deserve to win given their play.
    As I remember some guy nicknamed Carp referred to last year’s team as find a way.

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