Rangers at Senators…It’s Go Time!

Game 1, Eastern Conference Semifinals (or is this called the Atlantic Division Final?)

Rangers at Senators -7:00 PM CNBC, 98.7 FM. Online streaming is available on nbcsportss.com or the NBC Sports app.

The Rangers head up to Ottawa Kenata, Ontario to take on the Kenata Ottawa Senators in game one of the second round, thanks to this ridiculous playoff format.  Otherwise, we would be facing game 1 of a short series against the Pittsburgh Penguins.  My series preview can be read here and Carp’s much better preview can be read here.

I’ll be watching tonight’s game on a delay because of parenting responsibilities. Doesn’t RR Jr. know that it’s the playoffs!? I didn’t even edit this part from two games in the last series.  Clearly, this is a HAV.

Tonight’s probable lineup for the Rangers, via Brett Cyrgalis (@brettcyrgalis):

Jimmy Vesey-Derek Stepan-Rick Nash

Chris Kreider-Mika Zibanejad-Pavel Buchnevich

JT Miller-Kevin Hayes-Mats Zuccarello

Michael Grabner-Oscar Lindberg-Jesper Fast


Ryan McDonagh-Dan Girardi

Marc Staal-Nick Holden

Brady Skjei-Brendan Smith

The big news of course is that we get to see what plan AV has devised to help neutralize the infamous Guy Boucher 1-3-1 neutral zone trap (my thoughts on how below). The Rangers are sticking with the lineup that won their last three games against Montreal.  Hopefully Kreider and the rest of the zero goal club get in gear for this game.  Not much else to say here. Henrik Lundqvist gets the start.

For the Senators, also no changes from the lineup that was clicking for them against Boston.  Big Game Brass will be on a line with the inspirational (and series clinching goal scorer) Clarke MacArthur and the playoff rejuvenated Bobby Ryan.

Here are my thoughts on the traditional approach to beating the trap 1) overload one side (strong side) with forwards, in our case, I would say left side in order to force play towards Karlsson’s corner; 2) have the defenseman carry the puck on that strong side; 3) have one forward cut across middle of the ice to see while other two start skating towards the zone; 4) observe how opposing players are reacting; 5a) if the player coming across is open, work a short pass for the zone entry (typically a two-line pass, which is part of what made trapping so effective in late 90s-early 00s as those passes were illegal); 5b) if the player is not open and the defense has not shifted, gain the red line and dump for the other two forwards to chase (party of why Devils were so effective because Brodeur could eliminate dump-ins with his puck handling) ; 5c) if the defense has shifted to shut down the defenseman’s approach to the red line, either carry back or pass back to weak side defenseman to either work dump from opposite side or regroup for new approach. In other words, a lot rests on the decisions and abilities of the defenseman carrying the puck, which is why I expect us to struggle when Staal and Holden are on the ice. By the way, I’m looking forward to Norm’s disagreement with this breakdown.

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

355 thoughts on “Rangers at Senators…It’s Go Time!”

  1. Step aside My friend Carp ….I am FIRST!!! Woooohoooooooooo Lets win another round!!!! LETS gog og gog ggogogogoooo!!!


  2. nana nana na na heyy heyyy goodbye Habs!! Bring on the condom wrappers!!

    I love Canada but hey …Time to show them punks what playoff Hackey is all a boot!!


  3. Am I ever Carp!! Have you seen Hank ever play this well? He is zoned in . Could be the year no one rattles him.


  4. Unless Rangers give those NBCSN talking heads reasons to stop blabbering about Erik Karlsson, this will be a very quick series in favour of Ottawa.


  5. I feel it’s gonna be a long, mostly boring, with many forced mistakes from both sides, sticky game…


  6. Grabnerrrrr NOOOOOOOOOO , must score that BUT we will get more chances . GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO!!! Teams are flying!!


  7. McDonagh been delivering a ton of hard hits recently….dont remember him being more physical than he has been recently…just a beast of a player for us.



  8. 4everanger said norm!

    Hanky has to carry this about another 10 minutes maybe less if we catch a break and refs forget how to count again


  9. THREE power plays in the first period of the first game of the series. TWENTY ONE shots against in the first period of the first game of the series. And yet we dominated at even strength. What the….?


  10. Pens look much better than Caps playing at hostile territory. Would love them to wear each other to oblivion…


  11. I have to admit im a 10 today on the eric to greg scale…. win or lose I love watching this team. They have given us so many great moments…most playoff games of any team since 2012. LGR!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Out sexy boys are aboot to go one for three on the power play. Kreider gets the first of the series.



  13. What is a pleasant surprise for me – how confidently and good, inexperienced (and seemingly not build for) Buchnevich, is playing in PO.


  14. As predicted, the amount of incomplete, bad passes, turnovers and mistakes in this game, goes beyond scale…


  15. Should lose, but plenty of chances offensively, couple of breakaways, couple of posts, great goaltending by Anderson. Not an end-of-the-world Game One. Survived the trap easily, didn’t survive in-zone at all.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. well that sucked. clearly ottawa mo is to trip, they got away with at least two. still no excuse for not scoring on, their defense does not look that good.


  17. Well the good news is they played like crap and only lost on a fluke goal. The bad news is they played like crap. I worry about Andersen stoning them like he routinely has.


  18. Tough to win when you have so many players just along for the ride. Hayes, Krieder, Stephen, Miller have brought nothing to the table. Hank played out of his mind and deserved a better fate but you just knew one of his own players would manage to screen him or more than likely deflect one in against him. Hank deserved a better fate.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Ugh. Poor Hank. What an awesome game by him and then that incredibly unlucky goal (I positively refuse to call it a bad goal and don’t sass me
    about it). We slept walked through most of that game except for Grabs (monster game), McD, and Hank. They are gonna have to get a helluva lot better to have a chance. Anderson was stellar for them.


  20. Niskanen got a penalty for poking at the puck AS Fleury covered it, before the whistle was blown….and got a slashing call. All with 7 mins left in a one goal playoff game. Smh


  21. Kreider must want out of NY no other explanation he can’t suck this bad. Miller and Haze just not ready for prime time. But hey maybe they get lucky Saturday! 1-1 after 2, 2-2 after 4. The way this cotton candy team played tonight it’s the best we can hope for. Even if they win this series they get steamrolled in the ECF!


  22. Just curious, does anyone feel that Saturday is a must win game, given Rangers difficulty at home and with the trap?


  23. Grabber had a bunch of chances. Miller and Kreider did as well even though they stink…
    Step and Haze are having issues.
    Did Nash play?
    4th line led in chances again.
    Henk on another level tonite. Too bad wasted in a loss.


  24. Not sure whats up with K. Bongs. Think JT maybe trying to hard/too much pressure on himself. Needs to steal some of line mate’s stash. Ranger’s inability to convert is becoming legendary. Does any other team shoot pucks wide from as in close as they do?


  25. Troubled by the Rangers inability to score in the playoffs? Certainly. But there’s no time to worry about that now. This is the same Ranger team that got through the last round with that same inability to score. Hopefully, they’ll get through this round as well. I am one who didn’t think they’d make it out of round 1, so, for me, it’s all gravy from here on out anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Late night, just finished dvr’d game. Will read game thread tomorrow. My thoughts…
    Not surprised they lost this one, didn’t deserve to win. Still say rangers in 5 😉

    SkjeL has his worst game of playoffs.

    I thought stampan played his best game of the playoffs (ducks)…until his game winner for the sens.

    They were not physical enough on the forecheck, they looked like game 3 against mtl when they should have looked like game 1.

    Hank was awesome, deserved better than a loss.

    Mcdonut in beast mode all playoffs, good for him.

    I voted shampoo boy, mcdonut, and smiff…in no particular order.

    Night chuckleheads and LGR!!’


  27. Good morning Boneheads! Tough loss. Carp I agree I thought they handled the trap real well just can’t finish. This team desperately needs a big time sniper! Obviously frustration mounts when they can’t score, can’t play frustrated.


  28. Listening to part of the first period in the car on the way home (Ottawa feed) and an there’s an ad saying “Good seats still available!” For the second round of the playoffs? I thought all of Canada was so hockey crazy that they’d sell out the second round of a beer league playoffs. Geez.

    I thought Grabner played well, but now I see why he scored less than 10 goals the last two seasons. It seems that unless he gets a breakaway, he doesn’t score.

    A lot of people are getting on Hayes for not producing in the playoffs. Maybe it’s because he’s not allowed to pad his stats against the likes of Buffalo or Arizona. It wouldn’t surprise me if he is left unprotected in the expansion draft. It also wouldn’t surprise me if he isn’t selected.

    Lundqvist’s two best games in the playoffs have come in losses. I’m hoping he doesn’t need to be the best Ranger on the ice tomorrow.

    I’ll bet tomorrow afternoon is a different game. I’m counting on 1-1 after 2.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Hey Carp! Did you see this?

    The worst jobs:
    Newspaper reporter
    Enlisted military personnel
    Pest control worker

    You’re in the wrong business.

    Liked by 1 person

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