Rangers at Canadiens… It’s Go Time!

Game 1, Eastern Conference Quarter Finals

Rangers at Canadiens -7:00 PM MSG, NBCSN (if you’re out of town), 98.7 FM. Online streaming is available on nbcsportss.com or the NBC Sports app (cable subscription required and may be blacked out locally).

The playoffs are finally here.  After watching three weeks of a second preseason, our heroes finally play a meaningful game. All of the talking is over.  It’s time to see how the many “ifs” are answered.  You can read my preview on the previous thread.  You can read Carp’s preview here.

This is the first legitimate “Go Time” post that we’ve had in probably three months. Clearly, this is an HAV.

Tonight’s probable lineup for the Rangers, via Matt Calamia (@mattcalamia):

Chris Kreider-Derek Stepan-Mats Zuccarello

Jimmy Vesey-Mika Zibanejad-Rick Nash

Michael Grabner-Kevin Hayes-JT Miller

Tanner Glass-Oscar Lindberg-Jesper Fast

DEFENSE

Ryan McDonagh-Dan Girardi

Marc Staal-Nick Holden

Brady Skjei-Brendan Smith

The big news of course is that Kevin Klein and Pavel Buchnevich find themselves as healthy scratches in favor of trade-deadline acquisition Brendan Smith and late season AHL call-up Tanner Glass, respectively.  While I’m not a fan of either Smith or Glass, I would imagine both guys are on short leashes, Smith in particular. Henrik Lundqvist obviously gets the start. Here’s hoping he can find his old form.

For the Canadiens, Max Pacioretty, who had to be helped off the ice during yesterday’s practice after taking a high stick, seems to be recovered and will play.  Slow footed Alexei Emelin will be out with an injury.  Talented young forward Alex Galchenyuk will start on the 4th line, but will see PP time. Carey Price obviously starts in goal.

For those of you watching on channels other than MSG (i.e. NBCSN), I hope you aren’t sick of seeing Kreider crash into Price in 2014, because you’re about to see it more times than you’ll care to remember, broken down frame by frame like the Zapruder film. Kreider’s leg goes back, and to the left. Back, and to the left.

I’m sure MSG will show it a couple of times as well, but definitely less.

Don’t forget to tell everyone you know and to follow me on Twitter @rangersreport2. And don’t forget to vote!

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693 thoughts on “Rangers at Canadiens… It’s Go Time!”

  1. Stepan smiling a lot pre game. Wonder if he’s going to be smiling in the post gamer when he’s talking about how they have to be better in game 2

    Liked by 3 people

  2. WOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOOOOO RAAAAAAAAAAANGERS!!! Lets gog og go ggogogogogogogoogoogoo!!!

    Send the kids to the neighbors and get your popcorn ready ..this is gonna be a GREAT GAME .It is Hackey TONIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. GOGOGO…kick em in the nutze and pry their beadie little eyes out and run little price through the boards…killkillkill!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  4. I’m totally OK with lines and pairs – that what Rangers have. The only concern, considering this season’s bad “habit” – first 10 min. of the 1st game. If could withstand it, they will be OK.

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  5. Nerves? Vomit? My God, we’ve been waiting for a real game for at least a month–this is the best! Woot, wooooooooot!

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  6. Not a great start. Would like a little more possession. As expected, can’t get pick out without our forwards coming deep into our zone.

    Also, if 2014 collision didn’t happen, Keeider goes for hat puck

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  7. Zbad started that crap PP with that horrid cross ice pass to a Hab. Nash kept it up by dumping the puck at .00000000 mph.

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  8. Other than Glass’s goal (lol btw), this looks NO different than game 82. I’m disgusted by their piss poor execution….. It’s like they’ve never played/practiced together!

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  9. it’s starting, refs with a blind eye to the canadien goons who should have been called for a blaton penalty but it’s the canadiens so….

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  10. I’m sorry, But Mac better light a fire under their asses between periods otherwise this is going to be a quick series. This lead is a house of cards……

    Liked by 1 person

  11. now’s the part of the evening where Habs fans will scream every time a Ranger throws a hit. and follow it up with an arena wide “boooooooooo” when there’s no call.

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  12. The Rangers are sure hitting HARD!! Love Nash , best 8 million dollar defensive forward in the game. This year he could finally pay off.

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  13. Henrik better get some blowies in the locker room bc he’s the only reason (besides “big game glass”) why they’re up by 1…

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  14. This is why It’s hard for me to watch these playoff games. Why does it always appear to me when the rangers play the canadiens in the playoffs the refs appear to be on the canadiens payroll.

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  15. These games always remind me why I hate the Habs. Mostly, those jerky fans and the impact they have on the idiot referees.

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  16. How could anyone think that AV wouldn’t dress Glass, not for goals, but because of the last time Montreal embarrassingly chased us off the ice?

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  17. They’ve got to crash the net. Get in the crease a bit. Price will make these point blank saves all series long.

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  18. Oy. If the Rangers didn’t have bad luck, they’d have no luck at all. Should have 2-0 minimum. Usually that comes back to bite you, but not always. And Montreal can’t be happy looking ahead at the series.

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  19. 3 or 4 big opportunities for a goal totally negated in this game by the fact that every Ranger forward is left handed

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  20. Gallagher is that D1ck at the bus stop with three older brothers who’ve all been left back at the same bus stop

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  21. Montreal is a team full of punks. Man do I loathe them, especially with Claude Crybaby behind the bench.

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  22. Rangers should’ve be ahead like 3:0 or at least 3:1 after that period. Too bad. Wouldn’t it be funny for centuries if Glass goal becomes GWG?

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  23. Too many good opportunities wasted. That usually comes back to haunt you. Have to cash in when you have those chances.

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  24. HEY AV OR ARNEIL>>FIND 5 GUYS WHO SHOW SOME DESIRE TO SHOOT THE PUCK AND PRACTICE WITH THEM..what a effing disgrace that opportunity went to waste NO SHOTS ON NET WITH A 2 MAN ADVANTAGE NO EXCUSE

    Liked by 1 person

  25. It’s not about shots. It’s about not taking wrist shots from 25 feet out while eye to eye with Price. guys have to go to the net try to score some dirty goals. Not going to get many by him in this series by doing this regular season nonsense.

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  26. 5 on 3
    Zucc – won’t shoot
    Step – Won’t shoot
    Zika – in front of net – can’t shoot
    McD – shouldn’t shoot
    Nash – whatever…

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  27. If they don’t come out of this game with a win it’s going to be the typical “shoulda woulda coulda” crap. Lundqvist giving them every chance to put this away. Montreal totally back on their heels first 10 mins of the 2nd. 2 man advantage late in the second. All the infamous “looks” are there for them to discuss. Better not come to that.

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  28. Doodie it’s their watered down style of play. They don’t have anything resembling aggressive play in their repertoire. They have got to be willing to try to score some garbage goals.

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  29. Rangers are winning. They got a goal when they shouldn’t have, didn’t get a goal when they should have. 1-0, Canadiens have to chase the game. Grind it out, baby.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. member when Kreider was all alone in the slot and passed instead of shooting….? Oooooo I member!!!!

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  31. SN – Couldn’t agree more. Been saying that for a while, he brings nothing to the PP. Stephan refuses to shoot and too slow to get to 50-50 pucks. Not very good in face off dot either.

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  32. we better dump and go to work and stop with the behind the back passes even if they connect it keeps Montreal D looking at us …Dump It make them turn their backs and forecheck NOT foreglide listening your eminence Cardinal Hayes??

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  33. Okay… seriously? They’re going to sit on a 1-0 lead? I just can’t….. I tried to can, but I can’t…

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  34. Jinxing everything and everyone, I’ll just say it: Lundqvist has made mostly good plays with the puck tonight. [runs away.]

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  35. Danault did NOT have to do that–refs DYING not make that call, but he gave them no choice. Dubious Opportunity. (Though a 2-D, safety-first DO might not be the worst idea. No shorties.)

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  36. McD not having his best game. Lot of teammates are, though. Staal and Girardi arrived in Montreal in a time machine.

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  37. I looked forward to this game for weeks yet I don’t seem to be enjoying it.
    Socks are off, bout to start going to town on the little piggy nails.

    Liked by 1 person

  38. Nothing better than PO hockey. Just slightly more intense than the last 10 games this year. Slightly. (S).

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  39. Lindberg, Girardi, Glass for me. Hank didn’t actually have that much to do, though he did it when he had to.

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  40. I don’t want to hear any more soft-Rangers crap after this, win or lose. I will, though. Can’t keep a good narrative down 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  41. Montreal is not the LA kings – most of their ‘tough’ forward don’t weigh over 175 lbs.
    .
    Won and didn’t play great; Henk played well, didn’t cash in on PPs.
    .
    Survive and thrive baby

    Liked by 1 person

  42. Rangers forward depth was supposed to be a thing going in. And sure enough, even with mere 4th line minutes, that line made the difference, and not only with the goal.

    Liked by 1 person

  43. Can you guys believe there are people who, while born and raised in NY choose to, of their own free will, be habs fans. I think they are spies, not sure but probably.

    I work with one, perhaps one of the most annoying men I know, top three for sure. Any who, had the boys lost, I may have had to choke him out. So really for his sake, tonight’s game was a Must Win. Funny how things work out.

    Liked by 1 person

  44. AV, picking at his crack: “I thought that Tanner brought us a bit of energy, and… (picks at crack) I thought Quickie gave us some nice minutes.”

    Liked by 1 person

  45. I just love the doubt that is running through all the habs fans heads.
    ..but Kevin Weekes said the habs were sure to win tonight.

    Screw le habs

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  46. Kenny and Dave say team that wins 1st game wins almost 70% of series. Lose first game and your odds are a measly 30%.

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  47. The Big Russian Kid from America that the Habs have on their 4th line sure looks like a “change of scenery” candidate this summer.

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  48. wow still wound up.. had my Flyers fan neighbor over for the game.. at least he hates the Habs more so did not add to the three periods of 1-0 tension. Wonder if NYR can lobby to get the first four games in MTL?

    Did anybody see Chris tonight? Need better. At least Zuc did his best Avery impression.

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  49. This morning’s debate on the 12th man is looking a little… off. The thinking was that if the 12th man was under any kind of serious consideration, the Rangers were in trouble. Or that if it was such a minor position, why not play Buchnevich. Both notions, which I agreed with in large part, were WRONG, WRONG, WRONG. Maybe AV knows what he’s doing, perhaps knows even more than we do. Maybe.

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  50. Just caught up on dvr’d game….woo falking hoo!!! Love the physicality…love it! Scrums after whistles, great great hockey!

    I voted hated, opg, and glass…in no particular order.

    HM to beat wide, who played a very physical game finally, good for him.

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  51. That was mind blowing. Tanner Glass with the gwg and Hank with the shutout after everyone had him dead and buried. Seeing him actually giggle in the post game interview when they showed his reaction after taking one of Weber’s shots off his head was priceless.

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  52. You can argue who’s better between Lundqvist/Price all you want, but Lundqvist has NEVER given up a goal to Tanner Glass in the playoffs.

    Liked by 2 people

  53. I was quiet all night because I didn’t want to jinx them. Fast showed why the coaches love him on the clear to Grabner for the EN goal. Holden made some awful clears but they survived. We got 60 minutes tonight. Danny G looked fresh and Stahl won some battles. VC looke ok fo rhis first playoff game. PP goal would have helped but can live with that as long as the PK works. The King ( no Shampoo Boy tonight) Mister Tanner and the Machine- in that order.

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  54. True Carp. Klein’s not THAT un-deserving a scratch…sure it’s a bit of a numbers game, but he was probably a solid choice as least-solid-of-the-4-right-siders. I just thought that Holden was objectively bad, and didn’t do much that factored into the win.
    But yeah…it’s AV. Keeping a winning lineup is both his MO and not a bad rule of thumb anyhow.

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  55. I thought Holden had two (obviously) atrocious turnovers, and maybe one or two other bad plays. But he as also physical in front of the net and along the wall and that counts for something.

    Also, if you’re benching guy for two turnovers, how many games would Miller or Zuccarello or Vesey sit out?

    Liked by 1 person

  56. What is that?

    I painted my face.

    You painted your face?

    Yeah.

    Why?

    You know, support the team.

    Well, you can’t walk around like that.

    Why not?

    Because it’s insane?

    Hey, you gotta let them know you’re out there, this is the playoffs.

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  57. Holden played some very good defense tonight. He was also philanthropic with the puck the first two periods. Better in the third.

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  58. “I don’t know, Dave. AV doesn’t normally like to change a lineup after a win. And De-Klein hasn’t exactly been Brian Leetch.”

    Unless of course it’s after a game 2 win against the pens last season in the first round 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  59. I usual score turnovers by defensemen as more negatively impactful (at least generally) than forward turnovers. Of course it depends on the turnover.

    Liked by 1 person

  60. Zucc 20+ minutes of dispelling playoff-disappearance theme. It’s not always points-for in these things, and he played some excellent points-against tonight.

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  61. our power play was atrocious tonight we absolutely got away with having a 5 on 3 and not knowing where to go what to do or who was going to eventually send the puck on net shot selection was awful twice

    Liked by 3 people

  62. Ricardo – The Wrath came out after playing in game 2 last year vs Pitt. The only game our sexy boys won had The Wrath on D.

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  63. how many minutes did the wrath play in game 2. oh i know 9 minutes.

    how many teams picked him up on waivers (twice) this year. oh i know ZERO

    ps sorry Craig.

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  64. home teams 1-4 tonight.

    i can’t even imagine this place if we did what Edmonton did tonight in losing a 2-0 lead.

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  65. wicky will love this

    Darren Dreger‏Verified account @DarrenDreger

    McLellan says some of his players were looking for home run plays (too fancy), but says their batting average in game 1 was pretty low.

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  66. Alex – still think TB can beat the penguins? No? Me either!

    Not sure why you have such a hard on over The Wrath. I was merely responding to Carp’s statement that the lineup was changed last year after game 2.

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  67. E3

    ton of injuries for tampa. simple as that

    re the wrath. much ado about nothing. receives too much credit from people like you re the one win last year. proof in pudding. put on waivers twice and nobody went near him. that says it all.

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  68. AV doesnt like to change players after a win

    Question was asked, did the Rangers’ lineup change after last year’s game 2?

    Answer: yes it did. Wrath came out.

    Much ado about nothing. Why your eyes cross every time someone mentions the Wrath is a bit strange. The inverse of man love.