The struggling Florida Panthers come to New York for their first matchup of the season. The Panthers are one of the worst teams in the Eastern Conference at the moment, and have been dealing with inconsistent goaltending and a plethora of injuries. The Rangers are dealing with their own injuries, but have won two straight while playing some very strong hockey. They have also called up Chris Kreider to add some more scoring potential to that third line.
On the forecheck, the Panthers play your traditional 1-2-2 hybrid trap, which sends one forechecker deep to harass the breakout, and clogs the neutral zone with two guys up high and two defenseman back by the defensive blue line.
In the defensive zone, the Panthers are like the Rangers in that they play a low zone collapse. The problem is that between the suspect goaltending and the bad defense, it doesn’t work too well. The Panthers have surrendered a league-worst 110 goals, of which no one is even close to matching.
On special teams, the Panthers are like most NHL teams, in the sense that they use an umbrella powerplay and a hybrid diamond/box penalty kill. There’s nothing special there.
For more on Torts’ systems, click here.
2012-2013 Records: Panthers (8-16-6), Rangers (15-12-2)
NYR Leading Scorer: Rick Nash (10-14-24)
FLA Leading Scorer: Jonathan Huberdeau (12-7-19)
NYR Goaltender: Henrik Lundqvist (25 GP, 2.23 GAA, .922 SV%)
FLA Goaltender: Jacob Markstrom (8 GP, 2.97 GAA, .903 SV%)
Marian Gaborik-Brad Richards-Rick Nash
Carl Hagelin-Derek Stepan-Ryan Callahan
Chris Kreider-Brian Boyle-JT Miller
Taylor Pyatt-Jeff Halpern-Darroll Powe
Ryan McDonagh-Dan Girardi
Michael Del Zotto-Steve Eminger
Anton Stralman-Roman Hamrlik
Scratches/Injuries: Mike Sauer (concussion), Arron Asham (back), Marc Staal (eye), Stu Bickel (healthy), Matt Gilroy (healthy)
Broadcast Info: MSG, 7pm
Torts’ post-practice interview from Wednesday: