Rangers at Blackhawks … It’s Go Time!

Game 28

Rangers at Blackhawks – 8:30 PM MSG+.

The Rangers continue to slump.  Despite stealing some games, they have not been playing well, by any metric. Worse yet, the forwards are ravaged by injury.

I’m going to have my parents and in-laws over for a birthday celebration.  Yes, my birthday was yesterday, but they are all coming today.  Yes, there will be a second cake. No, I don’t really care for cake. No, I won’t be able to watch the game as closely as I’d like. Yes, this is an HAV. UPDATE: My in laws are a late scratch . No, I’m not upset.

Special thanks to James G for covering the review of tonight’s game.

Tonight’s possible lineup for the Rangers (17-9-1):

Chris Kreider-Derek Stepan-Mats Zuccarello

JT Miller-Kevin Hayes-Michael Grabner

Jimmy Vesey-Brandon Pirri-Nicklas Jensen

Marek Hrivik-Oscar Lindberg-Jesper Fast

Ryan McDonagh-Dan Girardi

Marc Staal-Nick Holden

Brady Skjei-Kevin Klein

The big news, of course, is that Antti Raanta will start his second consecutive game.  It’s the first time Lundqvist has been a healthy backup in back to back games in almost three years.  It’s also one of the only times as Rangers coach that AV has gone with the same goaltender on both games of a back to back when the Rangers travel in between the two games.  It might even be the only time this has happened when one of the team’s two goaltenders wasn’t hurt, but I am not looking that up (HAV).  There’s no sugarcoating this: Lundqvist has been bad and AV is sending a pretty clear message that it won’t be tolerated.

Equally big are the return to the lineup of Jimmy Vesey after missing one game with a forearm injury caused by a slash taken during the Islanders game.  And speaking of the Islanders, can we just laugh for a moment at the hilariously awful Clutterbuck and Cizikas contracts? Fantastic.

Still out of the lineup are Rick Nash, Matt Puempel, and Pavel Buchnevich, who it was revealed has a protruding disc that may eventually require season ending surgery.  Still will probably finish with more goals and points than Anthony Duclair.  Clendening and Jooris are Prucha’d.

The defense remains the same as it has for most of the season.

For the Blackhawks (17-8-3), the story is also about injuries.  The Hawks have been without captain and star center Jonathan Toews (much to the chagrin of Sioux), as well as starting goaltender Corey Crawford, but tonight they will also be without Brent Seabrooke as well.  Marian Hossa is having a career resurgence and it’s amazing to watch.  I think he is possibly the most underrated player of his generation.  Scott Darling gets the start.

The penalty kill for the Hawks has been a serious problem, and with the Rangers coming off a game with two PP goals, tonight would be a pretty good night for Pirri to get going.

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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349 thoughts on “Rangers at Blackhawks … It’s Go Time!”

  1. This s not insignifacant. And Antti is up to the challenge, so far.
    I’ve always had a soft spot for Rozsferatu. Thought he was a helathy scratch earlier in the season.
    I’d like to see JT score. Purple needed to last night & did.
    Gomez has some ill-fitting dentures.

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  2. Looks like a little bit, just a little bit more efforts and some luck and they will score… It can’t continue for too long… Either way.

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  3. Rangers look to me not like on a last leg, but slightly out of gas. Not sure how it turns in 3rd period. Will pray for point.

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  4. 3rd period will be a grind on the back to back. Auntie will need to carry us home
    Jensen is a big boy, like him in front on PP but Holdon on PP? Not sure about that one.

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  5. That Kane penalty had a lot to it. It’s a non-penalty against the Rangers, one you can’t call because there’s no rule against one guy spinning an opponent so his teammate ends up boarding him by the numbers. You can’t call it on either Staal or Holden, but it’s still a penalty, sort of. And Kane’s retaliation was vicious, would draw the attention of the Player Lack of Safety Committee if he weren’t a superstar.

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  6. Thought Kane was upset about Staal’s high stick more than board
    .
    Team needs to learn how to lift the puck in tight – talking about you #21

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  7. SN, if you lift a guy’s stick you habe to put some effort into it in case the opponent is strong on his stick. If you miss then your stick is going flying. That’s what happened.

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  8. Kane likes to circle from blue line to goal line and back again with the puck, with opposing players chasing him like a dog chasing a car. Holder said enough of that and got a good hit on him. He’s not used to getting hit, so he stayed down like a Mary

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  9. Evrock, watch the replay. I didn’t catch it til I did. He wound up, threw the elbow, added the stick. He was good and pissed.

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  10. If Antti had stopped that one and continued to do so, how do you put Hank back in next game? The misplay serendipitously (for AV) is both a no goal and he can insert Hank next game without answering too many questions. Raanta’s been superb, wot?

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  11. Its a terrible rule. Is it a rule, yes. Is it a good rule, no

    As to whether back foot is on ice or above that spot slightly

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  12. Fran Healy to Hank: “You know, King, when I was having a bit of a rough time of it catching for the Yankees, I used to…”

    Hank: “Shut up, doofus.”

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  13. This wasn’t as bad as some, where a team enters the zone a half-hour before the goal is scored fifteen plays later and has it waved off. A lawyerly rule to me, but credit to the staff for catching it.

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  14. Evrock, a missed call is a missed call. I just find it odd the offsides has suddenly been elevated to its all-important status. Meanwhile what a game!

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  15. Wow, some of these young home growns gonna be tough to send back. Jooris? Pirri? Could be a tough decision for Mr. Gorton at some point.

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  16. This has to be one of the best games of this season. Two excellent teams, playing good hard clean hockey.

    Olga and his entire family should be proud.

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  17. Wow. That was one of the most well played, and entertaining 0-0 games I’ve seen. Great to get a win too. Holden deserves it too with his great defensive play, on Hossa especially

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Terrific game …have to stay with Ranta for a bit here…..Lindbergh looks like he’s back in the mix even when all forwards healthy

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  19. Let’s not forget for a minute the multiple excellent, and some, perhaps fortunate saves by our backup goalie. Kept us in game big time.

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  20. Good for Auntie getting win in Chitown
    Holden played well
    2 swedes and a Slovak were on fire
    .
    Derbils on Sunday back at home

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  21. Great game! A confidence building win over a quality opponent won by a team playing the 2nd of a back to back.

    Note: Hossa on the ice for game winning goal. Bitter!

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  22. If Sather was still the GM, he’d have to go out and find some 35 plus year old players. Far too many under 30 year olds on the ice for one of his Ranger teams. Roszival? Hosea? Perfect players for Sather to seek.

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  23. Both teams have injuries. Fun game to watch. But it’s only December. There are some good things to pull away from this game.

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  24. AA, not saying anything about the play of Rosie or Hossa. They played fine. Just commenting that our old GM liked to bring in old FA’s. You know. Marty, D Boyle, and who was that guy from SJ that kept getting his bell rung that was signed by Lou for a 3 x 5 after us? Oh, man. Close was SO done before he got to us. How could any GM with eyes bring him over for serious draft picks?

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  25. They showed some onions on this trip. I didn’t think they had it in them. Hank on Sunday? You put him in a tough spot. If he lets in a bad one we’ll be all over him. No margin of error.

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  26. Nyr2008.

    Totally agree with you. SATHER has made some terrible moves regarding older past prime players.

    I only take exception with your use of Rosy and Hossa as examples. Unfortunately, Hossa is the type of 30+ player Sather never really got.

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  27. I would think you continue playing Auntie on Sunday. Give LQ more rest, time to work with Allaire, and ride Auntie’s play while he’s hot.

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  28. Shortest best road trip in a long time
    .
    He knows needs to sit some more
    .
    AV should never break up JT-Haze-Grabber
    . We found a 3/4 line – The Swedes were pushing it and Ribbit was up for battle

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  29. I voted raaaaaannnnta, opie the victim, and know when to Holden…in no particular order

    Honourable mention to win kleiner who once again had to do the work of 2 D men every shift because beat wide is just not that good yet.

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  30. 2 tough, gritty, entertaining hockey games in a row! I’ll take this over the non contact all star game BS we had to suffer through at the beginning season any day.

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  31. That was as good a road game, & more I could ask for. Original 6, & Eddie O & Foley ain’t that bad for an opposing crew.
    The pressure was on Raanta to shine, & he did. I think secretly Antti thinks Hank is Weekes. Good point about a tough start for LQ on Sunday.
    That 4th line showed some moxie, motivated the others IMO.
    I woulda been happy with 1 point, 2 was icing on the cinnabon.
    And Zook looked like he may be sobering up.
    All’s good…………………….for tonight

    Like

  32. Actually Mcdonagh gets assist on the play too. He passes to Stepan and changes for Holden. Rare that the guy who comes off the ice gets assist on the goal by guy who replaces him

    Liked by 1 person

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