Pregame: On the brink
The Other Team: Silver Seven Sens
So, it’s here. Game 6 against the Senators at the Garden. If the Rangers lose tonight they’re done.
It looks like Alain Vigneault is sticking with the same group that let Game 5 in Ottawa slip away. That means no Pavel Buchnevich - unless of course Vigneault does some sleight of hand before puck drop.
No apparent NYR lineup changes: Extras on ice for AM skate at MSG are Klein, Buchnevich, Puempel, Pirri; Clendening, Kampfer, Raanta.— Steve Zipay (@stevezipay) May 9, 2017
Will Vigneault leaning on experience burn the Rangers for the fourth time in Ottawa this series? We’ll see.
Something that will be worth keeping an eye on tonight is which defensive pair gets second-pair minutes. Another trend to look out for is J.T. Miller’s diminished role and whether that keeps up tonight. He’s still seeing power play time, but he can’t seem to escape fourth line even strength minutes.
The “Lundqvist has to be sterling” narrative is nothing new, but it is still aggravating. It would help if Lundqvist played out of his mind tonight. But it would also help if the 18 skaters in front of him played better hockey. Tonight is the night this team and its coach has to figure it out. The Rangers are out of time.
Be good to yourselves and one another. Enjoy the game.
Let’s go Rangers.