Game Wrap-upsPreseason

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.

  • Dylan McIlrath is one big dude, but he got caught with a bad pinch in the first period that led to a two-on-one for Philly. Not sure if I can call that a mistake, as AV is telling his defensemen to be aggressive, but I believe if he skated through, then the Flyers wouldn’t have been able to chip it past him for the rush. He got caught again in the second period that led to the Max Talbot goal. Kid has 40 pro games under his belt, he needs time.
  • Connor Allen is a nice defenseman, he’s very smart with the puck, shows a lot of poise, and has a good head on his shoulders. He is a bit lapse defensively, and his pairing with Anton Stralman isn’t the best use of either’s skill set. Neither are great defenders.
  • Speaking of Stralman, he had a very Stralman-esque game. Turned around a few times, but had some nice offensive chances. He has history with Scott Arniel, so expect him to get some powerplay time as well.
  • The first Rangers goal was very nice all around: Stralman kept the zone, got the puck to Mats Zuccarello behind the net, who fed Derick Brassard in the high slot. Brass let go an absolute rifle of a shot and beat Steve Mason high glove side.
  • Marty Biron was pretty solid in his half. He didn’t face many shots, but the ones he did face were quality attempts. He stopped them all.
  • Andrew Yogan did a good job just throwing the puck at the net for the Rangers second goal, and Darroll Powe did a nice job making sure he got to the net as well. That’s AV hockey. Get to the net.
  • Jesper Fast and Oscar Lindberg…wow. These kids are going to make the coaches make difficult decisions in a week or two.

Overall the Rangers looked better than they did yesterday. They were buzzing around the net, and creating a lot of offensive chances. As mentioned above, there will be cuts after this game, and with five days off before the next preseason game in Calgary, expect some intense practices with a lot of work on AV’s systems.

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  1. Was a better played game than last night. Both teams NHL quality lines really stood out, as expected

    McIlrath had a tough game but he’s learning and while folks hoped he’d be ready this year – he’ll be in Hartford realistically. Not a bad thing as he is still developing and just not at this pace yet

    The bottom 6 candidates all played well, even Pyatt had some good chances and PK work

    Lindberg to me is significantly more advanced than Fast. He may be ready this year but would benefit from taking it slow and growing alongside the other youngsters

    Yogan and Allen were both impressive. Won’t challenge for spots but quality depth is always nice. Hope they stick around through next cuts. Haley too. Thought he had a nice game alongside Dorsett and Moore

    Both goalies played well

    Stepan needs to sign soon and get with the team. 3.5 for 2 – everyone but Sather/Stepan’s agent seems to know this

  2. Nice to hear Dominic Moore is coming back to form. I liked him the first time he was in New York, (another example of the Rangers given up on young players too soon). Yogan does has the size and skill maybe this could be a break through year for him.
    Seems like there is lot of competitions for spots which will make the decision who to keep harder, but the organization stronger with added depth.

  3. Brassard can pass man. That saucer pass over the defender in the first period was rediculous

  4. Playing well even without. Hags and Cally.

    I get goosebumps thinking how stacked the lineup could be when they return. Might have to make step their centerman.

    Since they will all be behind.

  5. With Stepan out, it is easy to overlook the looming dilemma AV faces: what does he do with Richards if Lindberg makes the roster?

    Richards is nowhere near close to being ahead of Stepan and Brassard on the depth chart and, if Lindberg makes the team, he must be the 3rd line center (i.e., rookies arely play 4th line center because it is a different role/impedes their development). So, where does Richards fit into the equation?

    Under Tortorella, he made it clear: tie goes to youth if a veteran and young player can equally contribute. I would love to see a Rangers beat writer/reporter ask this question of AV.

    I hop ewe do not return to the Sather of old, whereby veterans are given roles over youth due to past accomplishments.

    1. Richards will end up as 2c or 3c this year. Dominic Moore will center the 4th line and Lindberg will spend the season in the AHL. Next year, once Richards is bought out, Lindberg will be a lock for the 3c position out of camp.

      1. Agreed. Too much depth (how great is that) for Lindberg to make the team, but he’s a nice piece to have waiting in Hartford.

        1. A full season in Hartford only means that Lindberg will be better prepared for the big time. This team is looking better by the day.

          Depth. What a refreshing change of pace.

    2. Well, since Stepan is about to sign with the Flyers, it’s not going to be an issue.

  6. I liked the team that played last night a lot, better than the team that played the night before.

  7. For those of you not wearing your eyeglasses last night, Lindberg did nothing to show his talent.

    Fast looked good but wont make the team.

    Connor Allen looked calm and wont make the team.

    This kid Svert (defenseman), now he looked really good – he is also a left side d-man so he could make things interesting if trades are coming.

    McIlrath (and I’m a huge supporter) looked WAY out of his league — slow, timid, indecisive. He goes to the minors and hopefully plays an entire season. Should he get injured again, we could be looking at a bust of a draft choice. The limited pro experience showed.

    The surprise is Pouliot and Zuc — I think both of these guys will exceed expectations this year!
    Perhaps Haley makes the team just as enforcer cause they are gonna need some backup.

    Biggest flaw the team has now…I think we have speed, got goalies, got Dmen, even have scoring….but the issue is “intimidation”.
    We need a bruiser forward or better yet crazed defenseman.
    Dorsett will help…Boyle needs to step up…Haley would be nice…but we need consistent force making sure our Dmen dont get run every game.

    We have the best D-force in the league – but they are all the same player. Nice guys that hit but dont injure. Need a hammer !!!

    1. Zuccarello exceed expectations if people actually knew what they were watching then you would easily see zuccarello is a world class playmaker and is the best playmaker on the team and has the best hockey sense ill out zuccarellos playmaking ability and vision against anyone in the nhl

  8. Is it possible to add the bullets with general ideas next to the goal breakdown during the season? I like the extra remarks personally!

  9. Zuccarello brassard should without question get top six mins over haglin and Richards zuccarello and brassard will get you more production then haglin and Richards and I love haglin just zuccarellos better player

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