The Rangers have done some retooling in the offseason after getting bounced in the second round of last year’s playoffs.
Former backup goaltender Antti Raanta and former top line center Derek Stepan are gone as well as assistant captain Dan Girardi.
Here to stay are defensive prospect Anthony DeAngelo, former Winnipeg Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec, and former Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk who signed a 4 year 6.6 million dollar contract in the offseason. Although the addition of Shattenkirk has done little to improve the Rangers in the defensive zone (big surprise) their power play has become one of the most dynamic in the NHL.
When looking at the Rangers their most important player is still the one they call King. With the subtraction of Raanta the 35 year old Henrik Lundqvist is once again the Rangers undisputed number one. And with an offensive minded defensive core Lundqvist will once again be asked to be the team’s savior.Something that he failed to do in the team’s first two games.
After a 2-4 loss to the lowly Colorado Avalanche and a 5-8 shellacking by Auston Mathews and the Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Alain Vigneault made some adjustments to his lineup for Sunday’s game against the Canadians, adjustments that included dressing seven defenseman and only eleven forwards.
The changes resulted 2-0 win for the Rangers and a shutout for King Henrik. It will be interesting if Vigneault sticks with his new lineup or goes back to a more offensive minded approach.
As for our Boys in Blue. Monday afternoon’s game ended in a shootout win after the Blues blew another third period multi-goal lead.
Second time in 3 games #stlblues have lost two-goal lead in third period. Six of eight goals allowed this season in third. Has to be fixed.— Lou Korac (@lkorac10) October 9, 2017
This is becoming a trend that head coach Mike Yeo will certainly want to address.
Yeo had already made a couple changes for yesterday’s game by inserting Wade Megan and Ivan Barbashev into the lineup for Chris Thorburn and Oskar Sundqvist but look for defenseman Nate Prosser to draw in for rookie Vince Dunn as well.
The bottom pairing of Dunn and Robert Bortuzzo has been less than spectacular especially in the offensive zone where neither one has managed to make much of an impact.
It should also be noted that during the game Yeo bumped Tage Thompson up to the second line with Jaden Schwartz and Brayden Schenn while demoting Dmitrij Jaskin down to the third.
Although Jake Allen is carrying a stellar .930 save percentage and 2.58 GAA [NHL.com] there seems to be a little bit of recklessness, being out of position and over committing to shots, creeping back into Snake’s game. Thankfully Carter Hutton is scheduled to get his first start of the season tonight and will give Allen a much needed breather.
Thanks for reading and Go Blues.