Rangers’ Offensive Lines: The Blueprint for Success in Laviolette’s Systems


Dive into the Rangers’ offensive lines and the strategies of Peter Laviolette’s systems. Discover how each line contributes to the team’s success.

Hey there, Rangers fans! Let’s talk about Peter Laviolette and his systems. He can win us over if his systems make the Rangers a force to be reckoned with. And by force, It means getting deeper into the playoffs.

It’s not just about results; it’s about having a good process. Gerard Gallant had results but no structure. Laviolette’s known for his systems, and that’s what made his teams competitive.

Now, we can’t always judge a coach’s X’s and O’s from preseason games. It usually takes several regular-season games for the players to get the hang of the system. But from what we’ve seen so far, Laviolette’s systems will feature an aggressive 2-1-2 forecheck, with a bit of a 1-1-3 mixed in there.

The 2-1-2 forecheck keeps the pressure on the opponents. It also has two men back just in case things fail. The 1-1-3 enters the foray when the Blueshirts overload one side of the ice.

Of course, there will still be some dump-and-chase, but you can be a possession team with a well-executed dump-in.

For this system to work, the defensemen must be ready to pinch. And I’m not just talking about Adam Fox and K’Andre Miller; even Ryan Lindgren and Jacob Trouba need to channel their inner wingers when the puck’s on the half boards.

Analyzing the Roles and Expectations of Each Line Under Laviolette:

Now, let’s talk about the lines. Laviolette’s systems usually have a shutdown line that takes defensive zone faceoffs. Meanwhile, the top 6 forwards get the green light to go out there and put points on the board.

In D.C., they had guys like Carl Hagelin, Garnett Hathaway, and  Nic Dowd  grinding it out in the defensive zone. They got at least 15% of the faceoffs. Conversely, Alexander Ovechkin, Tom Wilson, and Evgeni Kuznetsov had taken at least 70% of offensive zone draws.

So, when you see these Rangers lines for the season opener, it’s music to our ears:

Chris Kreider – Mika Zibanejad – Kaapo Kakko: These guys play 200-foot hockey, and Kakko’s sung praises about playing with Kreider and Zibanejad.

Artemi Panarin – Filip Chytil – Alexis Lafreniere: This trio must be in the offensive zone as much as possible. They all need to put up points.

Will Cuylle – Vincent Trocheck – Blake Wheeler: A line that’s 50/50, bringing the heat with a strong forecheck.

Barclay Goodrow – Nick Bonino – Tyler Pitlick: The shutdown line that starts in the defensive zone.

Forward Jimmy Vesey and defenseman Zac Jones will be healthy scratches, rotating in depending on Laviolette’s game plan. Let’s gear up for a strong season opener against Buffalo, tonight!