Rangers vs. Sabres… It’s Go Time!

Game 40

Rangers vs. Sabres – 7:00 PM MSG

The Rangers come back home to start the new year after a road trip against some of the minnows of the league. They were not playing well the last time they were home. It will be interesting to see how they come out of the gate tonight.

I am back at the helm of the blog, but even so, E3 will provide tonight’s review. Clearly, this is a HAV.

Tonight’s possible lineup for the Rangers (26-12-1):

Chris Kreider-Derek Stepan-Mats Zuccarello

Jimmy Vesey-Kevin Hayes-Michael Grabner

JT Miller-Oscar Lindberg-Jesper Fast

Nicklas Jensen-Marek Hrivik-Brandon Pirri

Ryan McDonagh-Kevin Klein

Marc Staal-Nick Holden

Brady Skjei-Dan Girardi

The big news, of course, is that Matt Puempel is out with a concussion.  Nicklas Jensen was recalled to take his spot in the lineup.  Jensen has 24 points in 29 games with Hartford, had no points in his four games with the Rangers earlier this season.  JT Miller finally finds his way into some PP time in place of Puempel in front of the net. Henrik Lundqvist gets the start.

Rick Nash is getting closer to returning.  If he comes back before the bye* week, it seems like Saturday against Columbus is the only possibility.  There are still no definitive timetables on Buchnevich or Zibanejad.  Buchnevich supposedly just needs to regain his conditioning.

For the Sabres (13-15-8),the story is about falling out of their playoff race and not progressing as they had been expected to, while fellow former tankers Toronto Maple Leafs and Edmonton Oilers are already well on their way to contending for playoff spots.  Apparently Eichel blew up in the dressing room following their last loss, so we may be in for a repeat of when he torched the Rangers a month ago.

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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214 thoughts on “Rangers vs. Sabres… It’s Go Time!”

  1. No pumped up kicks to deliver the hattie? I guess THE will have to deliver.

    Rangers 5
    Sword-boys 1
    Papa John’s -1
    E3’s plumbing -2

    LGR!!!!!

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  2. So which team came to play and which team is taking them lightly?

    Eo fR team that scored, Baby buffaloes wants the 2 points

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  3. Zuccarello, some time this season I hope, may want to think about coming off the ice with his linemates every so often. God, was that a lousy play by him.

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  4. Watching the d-zone breakdown on the first goal, Skjei and Stepan both doing the same (lousy) job trying to block a pass from the corner, hanging Kreider out to dry–he can’t decide whether to cover Girgensons or the point, decides on neither. Despicable Girardi the only guy doing his job. Awful.

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  5. Playing the Sabres is a thankless task that will teach the Rangers nothing about the playoffs, and they will likely come back at least a little, but what a ripoff for the paying customers. Glad I have a tutoring gig in the third.

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  6. It’s like watching a road accident. You stick around to see if anyone’s interested in getting out of the car.

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  7. Good first half on that PP, and some good shifts offensively this period. But you can never count on getting three goals just by playing well.

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  8. Very true… And a winner. But if you remember he complimented the awful Diamondbacks this past year. Said they were a great team.

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  9. Double Bubble strategy. We’ll spot em 3 maybe 4 boys, then we’ll work on our come from behind system.

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  10. No norm rooting for 4th in metro. Let jackets win metro and pens caps play each other. We crossover vs Habs. Rather price then metro.

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  11. Part of me (probably because I’m going to miss the period) would like to see the Rangers wax the Sabres for a second straight period but again score only one, to learn the hard way to remember to start games in front of the home fans that pay some of their salaries. The other part wants AV to put in the JVs and rest up for tomorrow.

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  12. Is it a good idea, really, Eric, for the Rangers to go into the playoffs thinking there are some teams they can beat but not others? Or do they have no Cup aspirations at all.

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  13. Norm

    Trust me I want another cup bad as much as anyone. We have 1 percent shot staying in metro.

    Pens would wipe the floor with us as we’ve seen

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  14. Well, if our #1 goalie doesn’t return to form, it’s unlikely who we play in the PO’s will matter, anyway. #Paging Hank.

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  15. Amazing how much Kreider gets interfered with going in on forecheck but gets a penalty when he breathes on someone

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  16. As much as we are talking about defense mistakes (mostly rightfully), I absolutely believe that Hank’s inconsistence play became a REAL problem. He is not saving games anymore, causing a lost of some games and affecting collective confidence. Team is different last 1.5 seasons because of that, IMO. It’s not like I blame just him for anything what’s wrong with this team, but he became a big part of it.

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  17. So get this. The Blue Jackets only have to score two to get half off Papa Johns
    ” score twice, half price ”

    Ain’t that sumpthin.

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  18. Guess it’s not to be, but I was really hoping they’d at least win 1 frikkin game………….
    this year

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  19. Let’s remember they are missing their best offensive player, #2 center, and a very good rookie. When all the parts are here, with Hanka playing like Hank, they’re a good team.

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  20. Of course, toothless, shotless offense in 3rd period by our trailing team is not Hanks’ fault…but it is different part of critique. Embarrassing feeling doesn’t leave me during games like that. I almost feel guilty pulling for this team on ice. There is no shame to lose to good team, it all depends HOW.

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  21. What pisses me off no end is not losing, it is that no one, coaches or players, will apologize to the paying fans for this piss-poor, un-energetic performance. The balls!

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  22. Sneaking a peek–glad I missed it, I guess. At least they won’t have to wonder what caused the problem. Hayes, as an example in the first period, started a rink turn of such a wide radius that he couldn’t finish it without hitting the boards.

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  23. Norm, LOL!! To boot, KK with the assist on a rookie’s first goal. Girardi with a Buffalo assist. ‘Twasn’t our night.

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  24. Team has zippo personality, zippo fire, zippo intestinal fortitude.

    That being said, I voted hated, machine, and know when to Holden…in no particular order

    Liked by 1 person

  25. No chance at all for this team to win a cup! Except for Mac Truck the D stinks and IMHO Hank is done! He ain’t the same goalie he once was!

    Liked by 1 person

  26. There is the day when every athlete is done, but we don’t usually realize it totally until it is so obvious and sad that no one even wants to talk about it. I hope a few of those (unnamed) whom we watch at MSG have not yet fallen into that particular Dante-sian Circle of Hell.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. 3 games now that I haven’t bothered to watch this year. That’s probably more than I’ve missed in the last decade. These guys suck.
    At least we should be ok in the playoffs. We lay most of our stinkers against the crappy teams.
    Looking forward to being part of the Blue Jackets historical win on Saturday. Smh

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  28. Injuries have nothing to do with anything. The BlueJax have been without Dalton Prout for quite a number of games, and you don’t see that stopping them.

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  29. Who’s going to be the next Ranger player of the week that forgets to show up the week after? I’m referring to the goalies since I have no idea how Kreider was tonight. Lol

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  30. Fire Beukeboom! Isn’t the D his responsibility? I remember, on his way out, Ulf said that AV gave full control of the D to him (Ulf). Should we assume the same with Beukeboom?

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Missed the game in House of Cards marathon (yeah, I know, late to the party, but Frank is pure evil genius)
    .
    Who won?? Did Skapski play?? Should we trade for Kane, Franson or the other Kane’s taxi driver??
    .
    It could have been worse, you could have been there live. Tix were going for big bucks on secondary market with the kids home from school.
    .
    E3 – need more colon blow for manana; love for Phil Hartman (aka Caveman Lawyer)
    http://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/colon-blow/n9822?snl=1

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  32. Changes in health status and a recommitment to the speed game with which they began the year. They can float for a while longer during the overlong regular season, but not too much longer.

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  33. Klein passed one right to the Sabres, Mcdonagh right to the Sabres. who else? Girardi had a terrible game.

    Clendenning should be in tomorrow.

    Zucc missed a back check on one goal. Holden missed a back check on a goal. Just no commitment to Defense by the whole team tonight.

    The Rangers are icing two fourth lines, but they were not good. The offense was not good tonight either, except for the Kreider line.

    What happened to Kevin Hayes? Miller made some good plays, especially on that goal.

    The good thing is that they play tomorrow, I expect a much better game.

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  34. Who is here to inspire this bunch when they need a kick in the azz? I hate to say it, but I think Secretariat was correct that McDonagh is too quiet. A Fotiu or a Glass or an Asham or even a Carcillo might have lit the fire last night. We have no one anywhere near any of them in terms of pizzazz.

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