Rangers vs. Frolunda Review: Hank Shines, Rangers Sloppy But WinSeptember 30, 2011, by
The Rangers improved to 3-1-1 in the preseason with their win over Frolunda this afternoon. The game was highlighted by Henrik Lundqvist’s return to his old SEL team, and what an ovation it was. Henke is loved in Sweden, and is a bit of a national hero there. The opening ceremony included a standing ovation from the crowd as he stood at center ice. After the ceremony, there was a game after all, so let’s get to that:
- Although the Rangers won this game 4-2, they were very sloppy. They got out shot by a team in a league not known for offense. They made bad passes, except for a few nice plays, and played horrible defense. If this game were played against an NHL team, they would have lost.
- The Rangers spent the first five minutes of the second period on the penalty kill, with the majority of that being down two men. You can’t do that in any game, and they are lucky the SEL isn’t an offensive powerhouse.
- Michael Del Zotto had a game that is symbolic of the 2011 Boston Red Sox: horrible start (bad turnover), horrible end (bad penalty that led to a powerplay goal), strong middle (good PP work, an assist). However, he has gotten progressively better with each preseason game, and that is a positive for him.
- Erik Christensen, despite his pretty goal (off a beautiful pass from Mats Zuccarello), did not have a good game.
- Mats Zuccarello solidified his spot on the roster. The little hobbit that could had another strong game. He came to camp in great shape, and it’s showing on the ice.
- Names I didn’t hear during this game: John Mitchell, Dale Weise, Carl Hagelin, Blake Parlett. For Parlett, that’s not necessarily a bad thing, but he had a bad coverage mishap in the game that led to a quality chance. Mitchell and Weise, well, we know what we are getting with them. As for Hagelin, he’s fast, but he can’t be a one trick pony.
- Names I heard a lot during the game: Tim Erixon, Mats Zuccarello, Ryan Bourque. All three had good games, but Erixon was victimized on bad coverage on a penalty kill that led to a rebound goal in the third period. Bourque always had the puck, but there was one instance where he just stared at a loose puck for about three seconds. I didn’t get that.
- Kris Newbury, despite his goal (which was a flubbed shot), proved that he is not going to make this roster either. Too many forced passes.
- Sean Avery almost got decapitated this game, taking a high stick to the mouth and not returning. Pretty sure 90% of the NHL is happy Avery got whacked in the face.
- Henke had one helluva game. He was very, very sharp and in midseason form.
- It’s clear Wojtek Wolski will need to stay on a line with Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik to be anything close to effective. He was invisible today.
- The MSG broadcast said there will be cuts after this game before they head to Slovakia. So stay tuned.