Archive for Preseason

Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Boy that was a fun game to watch, wasn’t it?

Ryan Malone is impressing a lot of people, myself included. We all know he was a solid 20 goal scorer, but after 11 goals over the past two seasons, he looked to be cooked. It’s still early, as Malone is still playing against some guys that will be in the AHL, but his two games have been, if anything, solid games. Let’s keep this part short, and get to the bullet points:

  • Let’s start with the kids that have made the team: J.T. Miller and Jesper Fast. These two have done nothing but impress.
  • Anthony Duclair, if not for the odd contract situation, would also be on that list. This kid has been unreal. He won’t continue his 30% shooting rate, but he does so many other things the right way. If it was just offense and a 30% shooting rate, I’d say send him back. But the kid, aside from lapses here and there, is a smart, skilled player. He forces turnovers with his speed, and while he is sometimes out of position in the defensive zone, you take those growing pains.
  • That said, Duclair really reminds me of Chris Kreider in 2012. We were all enamored by Kreider during that run, but he was shooting at an unsustainable clip (20%) and that was covering up his defensive flaws. Duclair seems to be a step ahead in that regard.

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Categories : Game Wrap-ups, Preseason
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Oct
03

Preseason Game 5: Blackhawks at Rangers

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Photo: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Photo: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

The roster is beginning to take shape, and the competition for those final roster spots is heating up. It feels like there are ten players fighting for a handful of spots, and each performance in the preseason will determine who makes the club and who “dies and gets sent to the minors” (thanks good ole Jake Taylor of the Cleveland Indians).

The Rangers play a moderate 1-2-2 forecheck and a strong-side overload in the DZ (man-on-man when the puck is below the goal line). With a lead, AV will back the 1-2-2 forecheck up to the neutral zone, forcing turnovers while keeping five bodies back for defense. As for special teams, the Rangers run a 1-3-1/umbrella hybrid powerplay and a hybrid (diamond/wedge+1) penalty kill).

Joel Quenneville is one of the best coaches in the game. His Hawks play an aggressive 2-1-2 forecheck, keeping the back forward and defensemen ready to jump on turnovers. In the defensive zone, the Hawks play a standard zone defense looking to defend you in layers based on puck location. On special teams, they run a 1-3-1 power play, and a wedge+1 penalty kill.

Rangers lineup:

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Categories : Game Thread, Preseason
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Martin St. Louis will get a shot at center tomorrow against the Blackhawks, and Anthony Duclair will again be in the lineup. The lineup comprises a good mix of veterans and kids. Exact lines aren’t known at the moment, but here are the players dressing:

Forwards: J.T. Miller, Lee Stempniak, Tanner Glass, Derick Brassard, Chris Kreider, Ryan Malone, Martin St. Louis, Mats Zuccarello, Kevin Hayes, Rick Nash, Anthony Duclair, Jesper Fast

Defense: Mike Kostka, Dan Girardi, Marc Staal, Dan Boyle, Ryan McDonagh, Matt Hunwick

Goalies: Henrik Lundqvist (full game), Cam Talbot

Matt Lombardi, if he can skate tomorrow, will be in the lineup on Saturday. He and Malone have a lot of ground to make up due to their injuries.

Categories : Preseason
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Oct
01

Kristo, Bourque among those cut

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The Rangers announced nine cuts today, including forwards Danny Kristo and Ryan Bourque:

Forwards: Chris Bourque, Ryan Bourque, Danny Kristo, Nick Tarnasky

Defensemen: Conor Allen, Mat Bodie, Tommy Hughes, Petr Zamorky

Goalies: Jason Missiaen

There are 34 players in camp now:

Forwards (20): Derick Brassard, Anthony Duclair, Jesper Fast, Tanner Glass, Carl Hagelin, Ryan Haggerty, Kevin Hayes, Marek Hrivik, Chris Kreider, Oscar Lindberg, Matthew Lombardi, Ryan Malone, J.T. Miller, Dominic Moore, Chris Mueller, Rick Nash, Martin St. Louis, Lee Stempniak, Derek Stepan, Mats Zuccarello

Defensemen (10): Dan Boyle, Dan Girardi, Matt Hunwick, Steven Kampfer, Kevin Klein, Michael Kostka, Ryan McDonagh, Dylan McIlrath, John Moore, Marc Staal

Goaltenders (3): Henrik Lundqvist, Cedrick Desjardins, Cam Talbot

It’s worth nothing that both Bourques, and Tarnasky need to pass through waivers first. Cedrick Desjardins, who was not cut yet due to injury, will need to pass through waivers as well.

Categories : Preseason, Waiver Wire
Comments (13)
Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

It’s amazing how the roles were reversed this game. On Monday the Flyers dressed an AHL squad and looked outmatched by the Rangers. Last night, the Rangers dressed an AHL squad but didn’t look outmatched. That’s a testament to the strong undrafted UFA signings and solid development of the kids. They had a bad second period, but were always in the game. I only got home to catch the second half of the game, but such is life.

  • Danny Kristo had a solid game, but it makes you wonder if it’s enough to unseat some of the other kids. Even if you assume the Rangers send Anthony Duclair back to the Q, there’s still Jesper Fast, Oscar Lindberg, Kevin Hayes, and Lee Stempniak to beat for a third line role. It’ll be tough for him.
  • The battle for the 7D spot has pretty much been resolved at this point. Dylan McIlrath won’t be sitting in the press box, he will get big minutes with the Wolf Pack. Steven Kampfer and Michael Kostka have been ‘eh’ as well. That leaves Conor Allen and Matt Hunwick. Allen will probably get big minutes with McIlrath in the AHL, leaving Hunwick. He’s been better than Kampfer and Kostka, that’s for sure.
  • I still think that Hayes needs some seasoning in the AHL. I see no harm in going the first month with Derick Brassard-J.T. Miller-Dominic Moore-Lindberg down the middle until Derek Stepan returns.

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Categories : Game Wrap-ups, Preseason
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Sep
30

Preseason Game 4: Rangers at Flyers

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Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The Rangers are in Philadelphia on the back-end of this home-and-home with the Flyers.  Last night the Rangers tore through the Flyers, who dressed an AHL lineup for the most part. This time around the roles are reversed, as the Rangers are dressing the AHL squad. Should be interesting to see how the kids do without NHL talent flanking them.

The Rangers play a moderate 1-2-2 forecheck and a strong-side overload in the DZ (man-on-man when the puck is below the goal line). With a lead, AV will back the 1-2-2 forecheck up to the neutral zone, forcing turnovers while keeping five bodies back for defense. As for special teams, the Rangers run a 1-3-1/umbrella hybrid powerplay and a hybrid (diamond/wedge+1) penalty kill).

The Flyers play a 2-1-2 forecheck, and once they get a late lead, they switch to a more conservative 1-1-3 left wing lock. In their own zone, the Flyers play a mix of zone and man-on-man defense, depending on puck location.On special teams, the Flyers run a 1-3-1 and an umbrella power play and a diamond force penalty kill with the strong side forward looking to pressure the point.

Rangers Lineup:

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Categories : Game Thread, Preseason
Comments (2)
Sep
30

Rangers lineup for tonight

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The Rangers have announced their lineup for tonight, with five players suiting up for back-to-backs:

Forwards: Ryan Bourque, Anthony Duclair, Carl Hagelin, Ryan Haggerty, Kevin Hayes, Marek Hrivik, Danny Kristo, Oscar Lindberg, Dominic Moore, Chris Mueller, Lee Stempniak, Nick Tarnasky

Defensemen: Conor Allen, Mat Bodie, Matt Hunwick, Kevin Klein, Mike Kostka, John Moore

Goalies: Cam Talbot, Jason Missiaen

Tonight is the preseason debut of Mat Bodie, meaning Tommy Hughes and Petr Zamorsky are the only players yet to appear in a preseason game. AV mentioned that there would be cuts today and tomorrow to get the roster down to 30. Stay tuned for those later on.

Categories : Preseason
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Sep
30

Kids dominate skeleton crew Flyers

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Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The kids were at it again, taking it to a Flyers team that didn’t dress many starters. The Flyers are also in the middle of three games in three nights and four games in five nights, so there’s a fatigue and –since this is the preseason– lack of skill factor here as well. But it was still fun to watch Anthony Duclair’s snipe for the first goal, or Ryan Haggerty burn past Andrew MacDonald for the second goal. I actually watched the full game, first time this preseason, so hey, that’s cool too.

  • Duclair is forcing management to keep him around, and that’s a very good thing. The Rangers will need to trade someone if he sticks around, but that shouldn’t be a big deal. The nine game rule doesn’t apply to Duclair, since his contract doesn’t slide anyway.
  • Kevin Hayes is still a bit raw, but man the kid is big and skilled. He forced a ton of turnovers last night. I think he will benefit from a little time int he AHL, just to get adjusted to the new speed of the game, but he looks like the coup that everyone thought.
  • Haggerty had a strong game as well, but I think Duclair has passed him this preseason. Then again, there aren’t many who Duclair hasn’t passed.

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Categories : Game Wrap-ups, Preseason
Comments (29)
Sep
29

Preseason Game 3: Flyers at Rangers

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So we meet again.

So we meet again.

The “out for blood” Flyers are in town tonight to take on the Rangers in their third preseason game. As with most preseason games, there is a new lineup tonight, with J.T. Miller getting a shot between Rick Nash and Martin St. Louis. Miller has had a strong preseason, and now it appears he is being given a shot as the short-term 1C stopgap until Derek Stepan returns to action. He’s certainly earned that shot.

The Rangers play a moderate 1-2-2 forecheck and a strong-side overload in the DZ (man-on-man when the puck is below the goal line). With a lead, AV will back the 1-2-2 forecheck up to the neutral zone, forcing turnovers while keeping five bodies back for defense. As for special teams, the Rangers run a 1-3-1/umbrella hybrid powerplay and a hybrid (diamond/wedge+1) penalty kill).

The Flyers play a 2-1-2 forecheck, and once they get a late lead, they switch to a more conservative 1-1-3 left wing lock. In their own zone, the Flyers play a mix of zone and man-on-man defense, depending on puck location.On special teams, the Flyers run a 1-3-1 and an umbrella power play and a diamond force penalty kill with the strong side forward looking to pressure the point.

Rangers Lineup:

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Categories : Game Thread, Preseason
Comments (8)
Sep
29

Injuries hampering veteran chances

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Penalty box, press box with injury, close enough.

Penalty box, press box with injury, close enough.

The Rangers went on a low-risk spending spree this summer, bringing in veterans Matt Lombardi, Lee Stempniak, and Ryan Malone. Some questioned this initially –Stempniak not so much– as the Rangers have a lot of kids ready to take spots in the lineup. However, more competition is good. Competition breeds improvement.

But now, two of those veterans have seen injuries cut into training camp and preaseason games. First Malone went down last week with a hip flexor injury after a strong-ish (he fatigued at the end) performance in the preseason opener against the Devils. He missed out on practices, didn’t play Friday and won’t play today. Meanwhile, Lombardi just went down with a groin injury after an unimpressive game on Monday. He was slated to go tonight, but he’s been scratched last-minute.

Less than a week into the preseason, and two vets brought in on low-risk deals are on the shelf. What will that say about their long-term durability?

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Categories : Forwards, Preseason
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