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chris kreider

The NHL did it. They found a rule that I hate more than the puck over the glass penalty. It’s now the stupid faceoff violation penalty. Don’t get me wrong, I think that blatant violations should be penalized. But a winger lining up with half a skate in the circle? Are you serious? No league gets in their own way quite like the NHL.

Now that my gripe is out of the way, let’s get back to the evaluation of the game.

  • Starting with Filip Chytil. It was only one preseason game, and I don’t expect him to make the club, but boy did he look good. The kid just turned 18 years old, and he was out there controlling play. There was one sequence where he protected the puck –they showed it on replay– and he looked like a seasoned NHL vet. Skill beyond his years.

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Categories : Game Wrap-ups, Preseason
Comments (34)
Sep
20

Preseason Game 2: Jersey smells weird

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rangers devils

AP Photo/Bill Kostroun

The Rangers are back at it tonight against the Devils after beating the Isles in overtime on Monday. Filip Chytil will get his first look at preseason hockey, skating between Chris Kreider and Mats Zuccarello. That will be a fun line to watch. Kevin Shattenkirk is also making his Rangers debut.

Lias Andersson will play again, as will Ryan Gropp. That’s a good sign for both guys. Brady Skjei will skate with Shatty, so….drool. I’m expecting a round of cuts after this game or tomorrow.

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Categories : Game Thread, Preseason
Comments (5)
Sep
19

Lineup for the second preseason matchup

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filip chytil

The Rangers have revealed their lineup for tomorrow’s tilt against the Devils:

Chris Kreider-Lias Andersson-Ryan Gropp
Matt Puempel-Kevin Hayes-Mats Zuccarello
Jimmy Vesey-Adam Tambellini-Filip Chytil
Daniel Catenacci-David Desharnais-AndrewDesjardins

Brady Skjei-Kevin Shattenkirk
Vince Pedrie-Brendan Smith
Marc Staal-John Gilmour

Henrik Lundqvist
Alex Georgiev

That fourth line seems like a throw-away line to me, but the top-nine are very skilled. I’m intrigued to see how Gropp does. But all eyes will be on Chytil. Also Skjei/Shatty as the top pair? Drool.

Categories : Preseason
Comments (28)

The Rangers have cut five players from the training camp roster, leaving 49 players left in camp.

The Gettinger/Ronning moves were expected. It is interesting that Sean Day was not assigned to juniors. The club may be looking at sending him to the AHL instead.

The fact that Kovacs was assigned to Hartford with the first players cut is not promising. Many, including myself, were hoping his rough year last season was due to the bad team and bad usage. However getting cut this early does not bode well.

Categories : Preseason
Comments (7)
Sep
18

Preseason Game 1: Fishsticks

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rangers islanders isles

Hockey has arrived, and boy am I happy to say that. The Rangers begin their preseason tonight at home against the Islanders. There are a bunch of roster battles taking place this preseason, with the focus primarily on the bottom six and the bottom pairing. We get to see Lias Andersson tonight with Pavel Buchnevich and Michael Grabner flanking him, something we could see in the preseason. We also get to see Anthony DeAngelo tonight as the 3RD, a role he might get with Nick Holden, his partner.

Also playing tonight are Neal Pionk, Ryan Graves, and Boo Nieves. All three have an outside chance of making the club. We may see Graves-Kampfer, a pairing tonight, as the top pairing in Hartford this season, so paying attention to that chemistry will help us figure out what we have in the AHL this season.

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Categories : Game Thread, Preseason
Comments (25)
Sep
18

Filling the leadership void

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mats zuccarello

Photo: Jim McIsaac/Newsday

The Rangers made major moves this offseason, not only shedding salary and getting younger, but parting ways with two member of the leadership core. Dan Girardi was bought out, and Derek Stepan was traded to Arizona, leaving just Rick Nash and Marc Staal with ‘A’s on their jerseys. Both of their futures are questionable as well.

Alain Vigneault has hinted that he is unsure if the Rangers will go with four ‘A’s again next season, or just stick with Nash and Staal. Letters are more recognition that a player is a leader in the locker room, but you don’t need a letter to be a leader. Just look at Henrik Lundqvist, who’s a powerful and respected voice in the locker room.

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Categories : Preseason
Comments (12)
Sep
17

Lineup for tomorrow’s preseason opener

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Alain Vigneault has released the roster/lineup for the preseason tilt tomorrow at MSG against the Islanders. There’s a mix of kids and roster players, with some interesting lines/pairings:

Bobby Farnham-Boo Nieves-Vinni Lettieri
Pavel Buchnevich-Lias Andersson-Michael Grabner
Rick Nash-JT Miller-Paul Carey
Andrew Desjardins-Gabriel Fontaine-Cole Schneider

Ryan McDonagh-Neal Pionk
Nick Holden-Anthony DeAngelo
Ryan Graves-Steven Kampfer

Ondrej Pavelec/Brandon Halverson

The Buchnevich-Andersson-Grabner line could be the third line on opening night. It also appears that DeAngelo will be given every opportunity to stick on the third pair, assuming Holden gets the nod. Wonder what that means for Marc Staal.

Categories : Preseason
Comments (11)
Sep
13

Rangers announce training camp roster

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The Rangers have announced their training camp roster:

Andrew Desjardins is the only interesting name, as he will be in camp on a PTO. He’s not really a 3C, and he’s 31 years old. A bit odd, but not as odd as Bobby Farnham’s invite.

The preseason opens on Monday after a pair of practices on Saturday and Sunday. It’s expected that the first round of cuts will be following that game, with the kids playing in Juniors to be sent back to their teams.

Categories : Preseason
Comments (15)
ryan gropp

Gropp (Photo: Seattle Thunderbids)

The Baby Rangers dropped another disappointing game, this time to the Red Wings by a score of 4-1. Ryan Gropp got the lone goal, with an assist from Brandon Crawley. Outside of that, there was nothing to write home about. Chris Nell made 32 saves on 35 shots.

The Rangers play the Stars today at 3pm in the 7th place game. A win would be super so they avoid last place.

Categories : Prospects
Comments (21)
Sep
11

Five training camp predictions

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nick holden

It’s that time of year folks. The air is crisp (well in the mornings it is). The temperature is no longer scorching. Long sleeves are out. Pants are worn regularly. It’s almost hockey season. While the Baby Rangers are in Traverse City looking to grab a winning record, the regular Rangers are gearing up for camp. As such, here are some predictions for camp.

1. Nick Holden will not be a Ranger when camp ends. That seems like a gimme prediction, but the relative silence on the trade front hasn’t been reassuring. But the defense trade market is waiting for the Vegas shoe to drop. They have to waive at least three defensemen. When they do, teams get a clearer picture of what’s available. Holden’s contract is cheap, and teams likely want a chance to get a 30 point defenseman.

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Categories : Preseason
Comments (79)