Last year the Maple Leafs managed to go 2-1-1 against the New York Rangers despite every game featuring Jonas Gustavsson against Henrik Lundqvist. Over the past three years the Leafs are 4-7-1 including 7-0, 5-1, and 7-2 wins. If the Leafs don't come to play then they are in danger of being blown out. Cam Charron has a great preview that looks at how Randy Carlyle has used Nazem Kadri this year. The key: he has used him just the way we've always wanted. Kadri is being put into a position to succeed and so far he's taken advantage of the opportunity.
Joe Fortunato from Blueshirt Banter joined us to answer some questions and give us some thoughts on the Rangers' starting lineups
1. How's that Rick Nash trade working out? How has he fit into the lineup and does the top heavy nature of your forwards worry you at all?
I think it's worked and it hasn't. Nash has been an animal, easily the Rangers' best player all year and is a true game-changer. It hurts because the Rangers lost Brandon Dubinsky and Artem Anisimov, which has hurt the team's depth. I do think once this team figures itself out (John Tortorella teams need a training camp, and this team didn't get one) they'll be fine.
2. What's the deal with Chris Kreider? He looked like he was going to be a star after last year's playoffs but he has struggled in the AHL and has had a rough start to the season. What's up?
Tortorella just sat him against the Flyers so that he can get a better idea about the team's defensive scheme. I think he'll be fine as well, he's been through a lot as a young player but I really do think he's going to be a special player.
He does, however, have a bone chip in his ankle, so he will be sitting again tonight and is now day-to-day.
3. Why does your team hate female fans?
Ha, I think that article was meant to be funny and a ton of people didn't take it that way. I will say thanks to twitter and facebook I know of countless female Rangers fans. I just think the article was taken the wrong way, is all.
Lines And Defence Pairings
New York Rangers
Rick Nash - Brad Richards - Marian Gaborik
Taylor Pyatt - Derek Stepan - Ryan Callahan
Michael Rupp - Brian Boyle - Carl Hagelin
Benn Ferriero - Jeff Halpern - Aaron Asham
Ryan McDonagh - Dan Girardi
Marc Staal - Michael Del Zotto
Steve Eminger - Anton Stralman
Clarke MacArthur - Tyler Bozak - Phil Kessel
James van Riemsdyk - Mikhail Grabovski - Nikolai Kulemin
Matt Frattin - Nazem Kadri - Leo Komarov
Colton Orr - Jay McClement - Mike Brown
Dion Phaneuf - Mike Kostka
Mark Fraser - John-Michael Liles
Carl Gunnarsson - Mike Komisarek