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Category: Preseason

Johan Hedberg released from PTO; Four others sent to Hartford

Per Andrew Gross, the Rangers have released goaltender Johan Hedberg from his professional tryout. Hebderg was brought in while Martin Biron was out for personal reasons, but never got a chance to play in a preseason game. Both Biron and rookie Cam Talbot were great in their preseason game(s), earning more time. Unfortunately for Hedberg, he was the odd-man out.

Gross also notes that Michael St. Croix, Shawn O’Donnell, Brendon Nash, and Josh Nicholls were sent to Hartford. St. Croix will be expected to round out his defensive game while providing an offensive spark for the Pack, while the other three will likely play bottom-six roles.

Update: Ryan Bourque was sent to Hartford as well.

Possible 2nd/3rd line identified in Rangers preseason win over Flyers

Brassard played very well tonight. (Photo: Andrew Theodorakis / New York Daily News)

Brassard played very well tonight. (Photo: Andrew Theodorakis / New York Daily News)

The Rangers got their first win of the preseason tonight, besting the Flyers 3-2 in Philadelphia. Since there will be cuts announced relatively soon, this was likely the last time we will see a number of these guys this year (on Broadway at least). New York looked a lot better than they did in their loss to the Devils last night. Some of the depth guys signed in the offseason played well, and some of the kids played well too. Again, we feel there is more value in a bulleted approach to the recaps for the preseason, as it allows us to touch on the rookies who played. Goal breakdowns will be done for the regular season.

  • Benoit Pouliot has been playing well. I liked him on the line with Brassard and Zuccarello. Brass gave Pouliot a nice look for the third goal. This will be a fun line to watch in the regular season.
  • Dominic Moore has been a very pleasant surprise for the Rangers so far this preseason. He looks like he hasn’t missed a beat. I want to think he’s getting all of this preseason game time to get back up to speed, but he’s there already.
  • The AV/Arniel powerplay has been evident already: Puck movement, cycling, chances, shots, but most importantly: zone entries via the rush or the pass. Either a defenseman gains the zone on the rush, and dishes to the man sitting at the corner of the blue line, or the pass is made to the man at the blue line, who gains the zone. It’s great to see.

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Preseason Game 2: Talbot earns more time

Photo Credit: HBO

Photo Credit: HBO

The Rangers are in Philly tonight to take on the Flyers in the second game of the 2013 preseason. The roster for today’s game is again comprised mostly of kids that the coaching staff wants to see play in game situations. It is worth noting that Jesper Fast and Oscar Lindberg will not only be on the same line, but will play top six minutes, per Steve Zipay.

Last year, the Flyers ran a bit of a hybrid forechecking system. The first look is the 2-1-2 forecheck, and once the Flyers get a lead, they tend to switch to a more conservative 2-3 left wing lock. Both systems send two forecheckers into the zone, but the 2-3 leaves one forward high in the zone, while the 2-1-2 sends an additional forechecker  in deep. The 2-12 also allows defensemen to join the forecheck.

In their own zone, the Flyers play a low zone collapse. This creates a logjam in the high-priced real estate, but gives some leeway at the point for puck movement. On special teams, the Flyers play an umbrella powerplay (like most NHL teams) and a diamond penalty kill.

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JT Miller back on the ice

Per Andrew Gross, rookie winger JT Miller, who tweaked his hamstring when training camp opened, was back on the ice today and skating with the non-game group. AV stated over the weekend that Miller would miss the first two games, so it is likely that he will play in the third game next Monday in Calgary.

Devils drop Rangers in preseason opener

(Phillip MacCallum/Getty Images)

(Phillip MacCallum/Getty Images)

The Rangers were in Newark tonight, and lost the preseason opener 2-1 that showcased some solid goaltending and some decent prospect play. This was likely the only preseason action for some forwards, but others earned more preseason time to see what they can bring to the lineup on a regular basis. We aren’t going to go into full goal breakdowns until the regular season, as we feel there is more value in seeing how some of the borderline players performed.

  • Henrik Lundqvist looked good, as always. Cam Talbot matched him in performance tonight though. His performance was so good that he will get more time in net tomorrow night in Philadelphia.
  • Chris Kreider giveth, and Chris Kreider taketh. He had a very solid offensive game, but that first goal by Mattias Tedenby was on him. Justin Falk had to cover the back door (I believe it was #20 who snuck in, but I missed it on the replay), and Kreider made a real sloppy attempt at covering Tedenby by whacking him with his stick. He’s still young, but needs to learn to take the body.
  • There was one play that really summed up why I believe John Moore will be a solid defender. In the first period, he received the puck behind the net, and had two Devils on him instantly. Instead of panicking, he protected the puck and shoveled a nice backhand pass to Brandon Mashinter. Subtle, but important. That rush on the powerplay was nice too.

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Rangers roster for tomorrow’s game announced

After tonight’s loss to the Devils, AV revealed his roster for tomorrow, per Andrew Gross:

Forwards: Andrew Yogan, Taylor Pyatt, Micheal Haley, Benoit Pouilot, Darroll Powe, Oscar Lindberg, Dominic Moore, Derick Brassard, Michael Kantor, Jesper Fast, Derek Dorsett, Mats Zuccarello

Defense: Dylan McIlrath, Dan Girardi, Ryan McDonagh, Danny Syvret, Anton Stralman, Connor Allen

Goalie: Cam Talbot, Martin Biron

I’ll be watching how Lindberg, Pouliot, Fast, McIlrath, and Allen play tomorrow. I’ll also be keeping an eye on Moore and Powe, who appear to be competing with each other for a roster spot.

Preseason Game 1: Lots of prospects in against Devils

Kreider is getting his chance on the top line (Image: Boston Herald)

Kreider is getting his chance on the top line (Image: Boston Herald)

The preseason starts tonight, with the Rangers in Newark to face those pesky Devils. Even though this is preseason, the general mood of the fan base is that of excitement. There is a lot of hype for this year’s club, as they should be contending for a Cup this season. Today is all about the prospects, as only eight regulars from last year are in tonight’s lineup. Keep an eye on Ryan Bourque, Marek Hrivik, Danny Kristo, and Dylan McIlrath (if he plays) tonight.

The Devils use two separate forechecking systems. In the early going the Devils play a 2-1-2 forecheck, but once the Devils get a lead, they switch forechecking strategies to a 1-2-2 hybrid trap. In the defensive zone, the Devils play a shot-blocking collapsing box style. The Devils allow their wingers to have the freedom to attack the point if the matchup is right (i.e.: When a slow-footed defenseman is out on the ice). On special teams, the Devils play your standard umbrella powerplayOn the penalty kill, the Devs play a rotation between a box and a diamond, depending on puck location and the setup of the opposition.

Rangers Lineup (per Pat Leonard):

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Five prospects to watch in camp

via Blueshirts United

via Blueshirts United

With the first round of cuts made, the attention now turns to trimming the roster down even further from those who will either serve as AHL call ups or rookies who might get their first cuppas this season. With news that Ryan Callahan and Carl Hagelin might miss the season opener, the Rangers are going to be looking for two extra forwards to break camp. There is a chance that these forwards might be Arron Asham and Darroll Powe, but there is also a chance that the coaching staff will want to take a longer look at some of the kids who impress at camp.

1. Oscar Lindberg

Lindberg is one prospect who we have talked about extensively at this blog since the Rangers acquired him from Phoenix for Ethan Werek. Lindberg was top-ten in the SHL in scoring last season. Upon arrival in the US, he promptly dismantled the competition at the Traverse City Tournament scoring five goals and seven points in the four game tournament. Lindberg has already had a strong camp, which just adds to the intrigue for the young Swede. Throw in his ability to win face offs and his play without the puck (the SHL is a notoriously defensive league), and he is someone who could force his way on to the roster.

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Rangers announce roster for tomorrow

Following today’s cuts, the Rangers have announced the roster for tomorrow’s preseason kickoff against the Devils (per Katie Strang).

Forwards: Arron Asham, Brian Boyle, Ryan Bourque, Marek Hrivik, Chris Kreider, Danny Kristo, Brandon Mashinter, Dominic Moore, Rick Nash, Shawn O’Donnell, Darroll Powe, Brad Richards

Defense: Marc Staal, John Moore, Justin Falk, Aaron Johnson, Michael Del Zotto, Stu Bickel (if Bickel isn’t healthy, then Dylan McIlrath will play)

Goalie: Henrik Lundqvist, Cam Talbot

My guess is that Kreider, Nash, and Richards will skate on a line together, since they skated together during today’s scrimmage. Same goes for Staal and Del Zotto. The other players are likely playing to earn more training camp time. Keep an eye on Bourque, Hrivik, and McIlrath (if he plays).

First cuts made, 14 reassigned to Hartford or Juniors

As expected, the Rangers made their first cuts after today’s scrimmage. The cuts were all players that did not partake in the intra-squad game. Generally speaking, the first round of cuts is usually CHL players bound for Juniors anyway, and AHL players that likely just didn’t make the cut during camp this year.

Those that were reassigned to their respective Juniors teams:

Forwards: Anthony Duclair (Quebec, QMJHL), Klarc Wilson (Prince George, WHL)

Defense: Troy Donnay (Erie, OHL), Ben Fanelli (Kitchener, OHL), Ryan Graves (Charlottetown, QMJHL), and Jimmy Oligny (Rimouski, QMJHL)

Those assigned to the AHL:

Forwards: J.T. Barnett, Kyle Jean, Jason Wilson

Defense: Charlie Dodero, Samuel Noreau

Goalies: Jeff Malcolm, Jason Missiaen, Scott Stajcer

The surprising cut out of these is Kyle Jean. I thought he was going to get a bit of a longer look. The next round of cuts will likely be after the second preseason game, when the Rangers have 5 days to travel out west.