In some unsurprising but relatively upsetting news, Marc Staal will not be traveling with the team to Europe for the remainder of the preseason and the first two games of the regular season. Staal, who is still having post-concussion headaches, has been a question mark all month, and leaving him behind is the right thing to do considering his symptoms. It is not good news that the Rangers will be missing their best defenseman for the first two games of the year, but if it helps him get better, then I am all for it.
Also, the roster for tomorrow’s preseason game against the Flyers has been announced:
Goalies: Henrik Lundqvist, Martin Biron
Defense: Dan Girardi, Ryan McDonagh, Michael Del Zotto, Mike Sauer, Tim Erixon, Stu Bickel
Forwards: Sean Avery, Brandon Dubinsky, Brian Boyle, Dale Weise, Andre Deveaux, John Mitchell, Mats Zuccarello, Erik Christensen, Artem Anisimov, Andreas Thuresson, Ryan Bourque, Wojtek Wolski.
While the forward lines seem to be set, there is still plenty of competition for the last defense spot and the spare forward spot. It’s going to be interesting to see if Del Zotto can improve upon his performance on Friday, where he was infinitely better than he was last Wednesday. Always showing improvement is a sure way to make the team.
The Rangers are expected to make at least one more cut prior to leaving for Europe. It is worth noting that Dylan McIlrath, who was not cut on Saturday, is not in the lineup for tomorrow’s game. However, with Staal not making the trip, it is likely the Rangers will not cut anymore defensemen yet, and the remaining cut will be a forward.