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Three Countries And Four Games In Five Days Don’t Mix

Well, the New York Rangers were bound to lose one of these games, considering the travel and the schedule of the games.  The Rangers began in the Czech Republic, played a game, went to Sweden, played a game, had a day off, then went to Slovakia, played a game, and then finished in Switzerland, and played a game.  That’s a lot of travel and hockey in just four days.  Regardless, the Rangers were absolutely dominated in this game by a very small and very skilled EV Zug team, and wound up losing 8-4.

  • Mats Zuccarello had the best preseason of any Ranger player.  He felt at home on the big ice surface, but he also played well on the NHL surfaces before the trip.
  • Michael Del Zotto had a blown coverage on the seventh Zug goal, but he also has had a strong preseason. He still has some work to do, but he has had a vast improvement thus far.
  • Brendan Bell had a strong first preseason game, but has certainly regressed. He has been exploited by these Euro teams as being slow and flat footed, which he is.
  • Stu Bickel is only here because Mike Sauer and Marc Staal are hurt. He needs work. It was impressive to see him survive the third cuts, but that survival is going to be short lived.
  • Speaking of short lived, Erik Christensen’s remaining days with the Rangers may be short lived.  With cuts looming, Christensen completely blew his assignment on Zug’s fifth goal.  He deserted the front of the net to chase the puck behind the net, which led to a goal that was inevitable.
  • The defense outside of Dan Girardi and Ryan McDonagh is shaky, but when missing your top two defenders, it’s expected. The Rangers were exploited time and time again by a quick Zug team. The remaining four players were either injury replacements (Bell, Bickel), a young defenseman who will have defensive lapses (Del Zotto), or a veteran journeyman (Steve Eminger).  That folks, is the definition of a make-shift defense.
  • Martin Biron wishes he he had a few of those back. He was not strong at all today. However, at least half of the Zug goals were unstoppable.
  • The top duo of Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik clicked again. They are going to generate a lot of offensive chances this year. They looked their best when Brandon Dubinsky (aka Mr. Questionable Facial Hair) was on their line, but you have to figure Wojtek Wolski, who also looked good there, will get the shot once he’s healthy.
  • The top power play unit got torched. That’s what happens when you have four forwards and Del Zotto out there (essentially five forwards).
  • Holy Artem Anisimov! That goal he had was beautiful. When a video becomes available, I’ll post it.
  • Outside of the top duo and Anisimov, there wasn’t really much to praise the Rangers for. It was one of those forgettable games.

9 Responses to “Three Countries And Four Games In Five Days Don’t Mix”

  1. Walt says:

    No excusses, just a very poor showing!!!

    Things will get better when the defense settles down to it’s regular players. Don’t expect that the Erixon boy will stay in the AHL too long this season.

    Just a thought, what if WW doesn’t work out with the big boys on the top line, wonder what it would look like big Rupp in his place?

  2. Matt J says:

    MDZ wasn’t bad. Bickel and Bell both cannot hold their own out there at least on the same pairing. Alright, Girardi and McDonagh did not look good out there together so hopefully Sauer is ready for friday’s game.

    Defensive Pairings for the Kings:

    Sauer-Mcdonagh
    Girardi- MDZ
    Eminger-Bell

    I really hope Erixon shines quickly in the AHL, and Staal can get back for the opener or this could be dreadful for NYR for the next few games.

    I really hope the sloppy defensive play had at least something to do with the bigger ice surface, and or this magical mystery tour that team just finished up.

    I hope Wolski can go for NYR on friday as EC made me vomit watching his invisibility on the bigger ice surface.

    • Matt J says:

      meant defensive pairings for the kings game obviously.

    • Dave says:

      Girardi and MDZ don’t mix well. I’d swap Sauer there.

      • Leatherneck says:

        keep Eminger and Del Zotto together, Sauer and McDonagh together and place Bell with Girardi, why mix and match set pairings due to the absence of Staal? 2nd and 3rd pairings are set so let them build trust and chemistry

        • Dave says:

          Since Girardi is going to get the top minutes, you can’t have someone like Bell paired with him, because it means he will also get the top minutes. Girardi will need someone like McDonagh who he can rely on when facing top players.

  3. becky says:

    when you post the AA vid please also post a pic of Dubi’s new and more questionable facial hair, thanks.

  4. pavel says:

    Look on the bright side. They might have lost the game, but…
    THE SEASON STARTS IN 4 DAYS!!!!!

  5. SC says:

    I was at the game last night in Zug and you are right on the money about everything including Dubinsky’s facial hair. It looks more like Shaggy’s from Scooby Doo than anything else. The Hobbit was GREAT last night, and strangely, especially on defense. Anisimov was the most creative player on the Rangers last night and I agree that goal was a gem. I saw Torts gave Del Zotto an earful after the lack of coverage/diving defensive play that resulted in Zug’s 6th or 7th goal. You’re right on about Gabby & Richards looking the best with Dubinsky, but Dubinsky looked a bit “out of it” last night. Zug played extremely well and scored most of their goals by using the larger ice surface and efficiently counter-attacking the Rangers. I would say 7 out of 8 of Zug’s goals were things of beauty, with their 2nd one being a put your hand in your face at the Biron error.