Miller, Staal, Allen with solid play in third preseason loss

September 24, 2013, by
Hasn't missed a beat (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Hasn’t missed a beat (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The Rangers lost their third preseason game –and second straight– tonight in Edmonton, but it was not all negative. J.T. Miller and Connor Allen played extremely well tonight. Allen is leapfrogging kids on the depth chart very, very quickly. We all know about Miller’s potential, and the kid played will with Arron Asham and Chris Kreider. Marc Staal also showed what he brings to the Rangers when he is fully healthy. Boy did he look good. Very assertive with the puck.

  • Starting with the powerplay, the Rangers are moving the puck well, but they are still holding the puck a little too long. It was nice to see people in front of the net with the man advantage as well. It’s still a work in progress, and this wasn’t their top powerplay unit out there. It was nice to see Ryan McDonagh get some time out there too.
  • For those wondering, it was a 2-1-2 (spread) on the 5 on 3, and an umbrella on the 5 on 4s.
  • Connor Allen has some wheels on him. Kid got back really quickly on the Ben Eager shorty. He forced the shot, and it was just some bad puck luck. That’s a goal that happens in NHL 14. Kevin is big on Marek Hrivik (as am I), but Allen has been very, very impressive.
  • As mentioned above, JT Miller and Marc Staal sure looked good. Staal isn’t missing a beat after that gruesome eye injury. Ditto Miller and his hammy.

  • There was one shift in the second where the Rangers had two guys pressing on the forecheck and one guy at the blue line to hold the zone. AV is a 1-2-2 guy, so this struck me as interesting. The Rangers had been moving the puck in the zone during that shift, so I’m not sure if this was just working with what the opposition gave them, or a shift in the way AV will coach this team.
  • It’s worth noting that the Rangers have shown more puck support and a more aggressive offensive zone pursuit when the play has been in the zone for a while (either via face off or via offensive cycling).
  • Nice to see Dom Moore wearing the ‘A’.
  • Arron Asham with another quietly solid game.
  • Has anyone seen his game disappear faster than Chris Kreider? I’m not concerned yet, the kid still qualifies as a rookie. That said, he is not playing well without the puck and he is not scoring. Two penalties in the first period, at least he picked up an assist in the second. He played well in the third too.
  • Benoit-Pouliot-Derick Brassard-Mats Zuccarello. Yea. That line will stick.
  • If I have one complaint about Dan Girardi, it’s that he is too methodical with the puck in the offensive zone. Grip it and rip it, one-time it, something. There was a shift in the third where he had the puck with a wide open shot from the point. He held the puck for a good second and a half, and then wristed a softy to the net. Guy has a cannon. Use it (that’s what he did on his PP goal, more consistency).
  • Again, this is preseason. The Rangers have played fewer games than the rest of the NHL and are carrying more non-NHLers than the rest of the NHL.

New York has a much-needed day off tomorrow before another pair of games on Thursday and Friday to close out the preseason. It wouldn’t shock me to see cuts made tomorrow, since this roster is still pretty heavy with kids that won’t make the team. I’d expect the club to keep the starters, the fringe veterans (Asham, Powe), and the kids who are really pushing for a spot.

Categories : Game Wrap-ups, Preseason


  1. Gary Paul says:

    You bring up good solid points. Good & bad ones but like you said here, it’s still preseason, early-lots of new/young talent.

    • Dave says:

      Yup, and lots of young guys getting long looks, guys who are sticking around because the team needed bodies, etc.

  2. Bloomer says:

    Yes, Staal was a monster. I was also impressed with Conner Allens’ play and Millers debut. But this team lacks the moxie it once had.
    They were playing a Oiler team that was missing a lot of their regulars and couldn’t handle them.
    Believe it or not back-checking is not a dirty word and body checking is part of the game. Where are my Rangers?

    • Spozo says:

      Can’t you say that the Oilers were playing a Rangers team that was missing a lot of their regulars?

    • Dave says:

      The Rangers had played just their 4th preseason game, and that lineup had just 7 guys who are guaranteed roster spots.

  3. HARLEMBLUES says:

    Marc Staal is so so good.Loved JT Miller from day one.Mats Zuccarello is a MAN and so skilled.I want to see more of JFast and Mashinter,yes Mashinter.Chris Kreider is 22,big,skilled,fast,a rookie and he will be fine.Dylan Mc also will be fine.LINDBERG where has he gone? People r so,so hard on CK.

  4. Paul in sunrise says:

    Allen will go to wolf pack to get lots of quality minutes and develop. No chance he makes final cuts based on that.

    • Dave says:

      That’s probably what will happen. I think he earned first call up with his preseason performance though.

      • Ray says:

        If the Rangers carry 8 dmen as AV wants, first call-up won’t be for a while. Also, Allen carries quite a cap hit, only Staal, Girardi, McD, MDZ cost more. It’ll take a lot more than one or two games to make the case for him.

  5. AD says:

    So of all our rookies in camp, is it Hrivik, Fast and Miller who remain “in the hunt” for a position with the Rangers? Is that the consensus right now?

    Under Torts, “tie goes to youth” when it came down to a veteran and rookie; when will a reporter ask AV his philosophy on this?

    I won’t be attending a game this year if Richards is given minutes for what he accomplished 3-4 years ago.

    • Dave says:

      Lindberg too. If there’s an injury to a defenseman, Allen may get a look.

      Keep in mind you don’t want these kids in a 4th line role. Top-9 is pretty set, there are 3 openings with Cally/Step/Hags out.

      • WilliamW says:

        Think there will be plenty of time in Hartford to see who is playing the best before we decide on 1st call ups

        I’d rather Allen play a full year down there alongside McIlrath to get experience and used to the pace/speed

  6. Frank Cerbone says:

    Kristo looks like the bust (-3) I predicted he would be. He’s in the final year of his 3 yr ELC and looks headed to Hartford. Kreider at least got an assist, but both Kreider & Kristo & maybe even now one of my favorites McIlrath could be moved. Too bad Christian Thomas was traded for Kristo. Thomas in only 2nd year of his ELC continues to look better than Kristo…once again Gordie Clark really stinks in evaluating talent.
    Dorsett had another bad game-only 14 pm. Mashinter looks like the younger, cheaper, tougher player.

  7. William W says:

    Miller looked very good for his first outing. As did the Brassard line and Staal-Allen pairing

    Kreider was ok, had good moments and bad moments. His physical attributes are what will make AV want to keep him. Just needs to stop making mistakes away from the puck. He isn’t asked to be Boyle but can’t be liability

    Didn’t see much out of the Lindberg line

  8. cv19 says:

    Am I the only one who thinks McIlrath is a journeyman at best? He doesn’t excel in any area, including his ability to fight.

  9. Bill says:

    Connor Allen looks real good another good find for the Rangers! If he continues to play well and sticks with the big club Delzotto could be traded.

  10. Frank Cebone says:

    Don’t get too hyped up with Connor Allen. He’s 23 yrs old and attended Washington Caps training camp in 2011 as an undrafted free agent & did not impress the Caps at age 21.

    McIlrath born 4/92
    Allen born 1/90

  11. Frank Cerbone says:

    McIlrath had one of the best fighting/win % last season in the AHL,

    Watch McilRath pitchfork a Boulton into the air on Utube.
    Boulton gave Orr all he could handle & McIlrath
    just lifted him and threw him away like a rag doll.

    Or watch McilRath knock down 6-6 Oliver Lauridsen minor league tough guy for Phila after Lauridsen “touched” 5’9″ Christian Thomas behind the net.