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Tonight, the Montreal Canadiens come to town, and it’s the return of old friend Brandon Prust. Prust is expected to get a warm welcome from the fan base, but once the puck drops, all that goes away.
The Canadiens have given the Rangers trouble in the past, but this is a different Ranger team that is built on speed and forechecking. The Canadiens play a 2-1-2 forecheck, similar to the Rangers, which is different from the 1-2-2 that caused so much havoc in the past. The Rangers have seen the 2-1-2 many times before and know how to break it.
In the defensive zone, the Canadiens differ a bit from the Rangers in that they pressure the point while also collapsing to protect the slot. This is a bit of a hybrid of the man-to-man coverage and low zone collapse that Suit spoke about this morning. In doing so, the Habs ensure that they are protecting the high-priced real estate, while not giving the point men too much leeway.
The Canadiens also work...