Quick Traverse City recap

Photo: Hartford Wolf Pack
Photo: Hartford Wolf Pack

With all the focus on the World Cup of Hockey and Team USA’s dismal performance, it’s easy to forget that the Traverse City Tournament is underway. The Rangers have played twice, losing to Carolina in OT (4-3) and then beating Dallas in a shootout (5-4). As expected, the team is very efficient offensively, but is struggling to keep the puck out of their own net.

Against Carolina, goals were scored by Jimmy Vesey, Robin Kovacs, and Dylan Di Perna. Malte Stromall and Sergey Zborovskiy tallied assists. Brandon Halverson made 38 saves while managing a point. The Rangers were outshot 42-32 in this game.

Against Dallas, Stromwall (2), Kovacs, and Boo Nieves all scored. Vesey (2), John Gilmour, Sean Day, and Calle Andersson notched assists. Halverson again had a strong game, making 36 saves.

Stromwall and Vesey lead the way for the Rangers with three points each. Kovacs has two points. Six other Rangers have one point. Halverson has a .902 SV%, making 74 saves on 82 shots. Overall it’s been a strong tournament offensively, as the Rangers have some very talented forwards on the roster.

There is one game remaining against Minnesota. With a win against Minnesota, the Rangers have a chance of finishing in second in their pool. They will also have a game on Tuesday, dependent on the results against Minnesota.

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41 thoughts on “Quick Traverse City recap

  • Sep 19, 2016 at 11:16 am

    Watched some of both games. IMO, Vesey and Kovacs look ready for the show, while some others look like their game is timid, Buch included. The defense looks a bit hesitant, with only Anderson looking like his game translates to the pro game.

    Probably not a fair comparison, but one which I will make anyway, is the comparison to the North American squad in the World Cup, which is heads and tails above these teams. Yes, the NA team is pros, but young pros. These Traverse squads look more like junior clubs who have had only 3 practices together. They do not seem to know where their teammates will be.

    Let’s hope they gel the more they play.

    • Sep 19, 2016 at 11:30 am

      I wouldn’t worry about the D as half of the D corps at Traverse City isn’t even Rangers’ property. Anderson has looked good in the few shifts of his I saw. Very polished, which is to be expected from a 22 year old pro.

      I wouldn’t worry about Buch seeming timid, he’s been playing in the KHL, which is very much a men’s league. This is all part of the adjustment the kid is making to N. America.

  • Sep 19, 2016 at 11:19 am

    The North American team is simply fun to watch.

  • Sep 19, 2016 at 11:24 am

    Is Buch playing well? This is his first crack on North American ice, correct?

    • Sep 19, 2016 at 9:00 pm

      Buchnevich is like Schrodingers Cat. He’/ there and if you look at him, he’s not. The best shift of his day was when he double shifted with a Duke & Joly, guys with spatial awareness. Boo & Vesey are up and down guys, Buch is a square peg in a round hole on that line. Gropp would be a better fit.

  • Sep 19, 2016 at 11:36 am

    Robin Kovacs is going to be an NHLer sooner than later. Pure goal scorer and is the type that can lift Ranger fans out of their seats. Vesey is showing off a multitude of skills and his power move to the net against Carolina was impressive indeed. Buchnevich will need some time to acclimatize to the ice size as can be seen in TC. A guy who has really impressed me is BOO. He’s great on faceoffs, is an elite skater & passer & he can be physical too. I think with some seasoning he translates into a good NHL Centre. Sean Day has skills, but he’s almost too cool out there & seems to lack fir in the belly. He’ll have to up his intensity level to be a Grada A prospect. Ryan Gropp is having the same trouble in TC that I saw in Junior. He stands around way too much & needs to learn to keep his feet moving at all times. Ty Ronning is very young but he’s a liitle buzzsaw & unlike Gropp he does keep his feet moving all the time. Fogarty has not shown much at all and Morrison is the second coming of St. Croix. Malte Stromwell, like Kovacs, looks very good. That shot on his second Dallas goal was exceptional, it surprised me; that was an NHL-like snipe. Halvorson? Meh, I’ve never really been impressed with this guy. Like many young goalies, he’s down on his knees incessantly. He’s been mediocre & it’s not all on the D either. Of the invitees Duke & Ottenbreit are the better ones.

    • Sep 19, 2016 at 11:46 am

      The goaltending position is basically played on its knees now. Faulting a young goaltender for being butterfly heavy is going to get very frustrating, very fast.

      • Sep 19, 2016 at 2:01 pm

        Being on your knees in goal all the time is the domain of those really large goalies who move very little. Shestyorkin is not on his knees and is very, very athletic & covers a lot of ground. He’s awesome & what goalies used to be.

      • Sep 19, 2016 at 2:10 pm

        Brandon Halverson has been something of a disappointment. Last year was a rough year for him in the OHL, and the hope was that it was just a fluke — especially since he was lights out the year after he was drafted. Thus far he’s been beaten on some easy shots, hasn’t been reading the play that well and has been going down too quickly. He’s made some big saves in the clutch, but overall this has been a tough tournament for him. –Joe Fortunato

        Totally agree with Joe on this one.

        • Sep 19, 2016 at 6:37 pm

          (Insert oblique references to Dan Blackburn here)–

          In the interim, thanks for the insights, Doc.

          What’s your take on either of young D-men, Gilmour and DDP?

          • Sep 19, 2016 at 6:54 pm

            Gilmour had 1 solid stretch pass in 3 games, the rest of the time he was either invisible or a train wreck; got away with a cross ice pass that led to a one on none because of a bad offside call in our favor. If he makes Hartford it’s only because the system is barren.

            DiPerna got caught out on a shift for ages in the 3rd, every time he touched the puck and tried to clear he’d pass it straight to Minny. Just meh otherwise.

            Day has all the tools, just needs to play with a bit of an edge and simplify his O game. He has a hammer from the point, use it.

            ZBo is okay, will be able to play in HFD, ceiling is bottom pair in NHL

            Andersson is much better than last year, would like a game not paired with Gilmour for a better read.

          • Sep 19, 2016 at 8:10 pm

            Hey Mikey, how are ya! I wasn’t very impressed with Gilmour. He’s not as great a skater & puck mover as he was made out to be and coughed up the puck on numerous occasions. He takes way too long to pass the puck, sometimes skating around like he thinks he’s Brian Leetch. He’s going to have a hard time making Hartford & I think he’s Greenville material. DDP also coughed up the puck quite a bit & I was more impressed with Ottenbreit than him. There was one shift where he couldn’t get off the ice & I thought he was going to collapse from exhaustion.

            • Sep 20, 2016 at 1:18 am

              Thank you, Doc.

              All the best, brutha.

  • Sep 19, 2016 at 12:24 pm

    Rangers have been horrifically outshot in the 1st 2 games, that both of them got to OT is a minor miracle. They rarely get sustained pressure in the O zone while the other team routinely does.

    Only thing of importance is how they’re running PP1 with both D on the point playing their off hand.

    • Sep 19, 2016 at 2:03 pm

      Agreed. Combination of poor D & forwards who are not strong on the boards. They get muscled off the puck a lot.

  • Sep 19, 2016 at 2:33 pm

    Morrison, Ottenbreit & Duke are the three changes for today.

    • Sep 19, 2016 at 2:39 pm

      Also Chapie in.

      • Sep 19, 2016 at 2:48 pm

        Also Betz & Joly up front, DiPerna in back. Halverson to start.

  • Sep 19, 2016 at 3:43 pm

    Gilmour & Andersson look like the frickin Keystone Cops out there.

    The set up by Buchnevich and muff by Boo is why I wonder about his hands. That being said, it’s the far end of the rink so maybe those watching on TV had a better view.

    Keegan Iverson is playing with a chip on his shoulder like he hadn’t been offered a contract by his old club. Didn’t regally do it the other games I saw.

    Down 1-0 after 20, but it’s been competitive.

  • Sep 19, 2016 at 4:44 pm

    Being outshot 24-16 after 40, tied at one.

    Probably the best Fogarty has looked so far, that line of him Ronning & Betz are creating chances fairly consistently.

    Really like Ottenbreit, probably the best D we got and not our property.

    Betz is playing for a contract, otherwise going to a canuck college.

  • Sep 19, 2016 at 5:17 pm

    Vesey & Nieves are terrific together. These lines were the best yet. Gilmour looks like Greenville material to me. Zborivskiy may not be flasy but he gets the job done. As for Day, someone needs to put a cattle prod up his you know where.

  • Sep 19, 2016 at 5:20 pm

    Guys I liked for Minny(in case of a trade) were Tuch, Bertschy & Lucia.

    • Sep 19, 2016 at 6:47 pm

      Tuch’s their top prospect, Doc. No way he gets moved.

      Lucia’s also something of an untouchable. Inasmuch, their drafting has been a zeppelin crash. Colton Gillies. Tyler Cuma. Granlund. Brodin.

      Yeow. Kinda softens any flashback to Hugh Jessiman. Or Sanguinetti.

      • Sep 19, 2016 at 8:16 pm

        Oh God Professor, promise me you’ll never mention Jessiman again! I almost broke the TV when they drafted him, my ex son-in-law thought my ranting was hilarious. I was sure the Rangers were going to draft Dustin Brown, and if Don Maloney was standing next to me I would have pissed on his shoes. As for Tuch, well if we are going to trade with Minny(still think we will) gotta get their best prospect, no?

  • Sep 19, 2016 at 8:32 pm

    The other thing is that none of these guys stick out like Skjei or Graves did last year.

  • Sep 20, 2016 at 1:43 pm

    Rangers-Bluejackets for 3rd place tonight at 6, should be interesting. CBJ has a big team.

  • Sep 20, 2016 at 6:08 pm

    Rangers warm up

    26 67 89
    72 51 59
    60 65 79
    71 78 84

    58 92
    83 74
    85 64


  • Sep 20, 2016 at 6:46 pm

    This could get ugly, lousy board work on first goal & defensive breakdown on the second. The goalie(Halverson?) stinks too.

  • Sep 20, 2016 at 7:07 pm

    Boo Nieves not on bench after 1st couple of shifts, role is being rotated between Fogarty, Duke & Joly. !st goal short side high, 2nd goal odd man rush where Day doesn’t defend the pass. He made up for it with that seeing eye writer he soft tossed about crossbar high.

  • Sep 20, 2016 at 7:09 pm

    Fogarty was centering Vesey & Buch, so don’t know what happened to Nieves(hurt?) Sonny Milano flying out there for CBJ, playing with Pierre-Luc Dubois. Baby Rangers still in it but man they seem to mishandle so many passes.

    • Sep 20, 2016 at 7:48 pm

      Boo now in street clothes. Got hurt, but pulled him as a precaution. Milano is making Montreal look like an all star.

      • Sep 20, 2016 at 7:59 pm

        Montreal? Explain please.

        • Sep 20, 2016 at 8:19 pm

          Stupid autocorrect. #50.

          • Sep 20, 2016 at 8:45 pm

            Ya for sure, Moutrey.

  • Sep 20, 2016 at 7:35 pm

    Sonny Milano is definitely the best player in this game, hands down. You can see Buchnevich is a very intelligent player. he will evolve over time.

  • Sep 20, 2016 at 7:38 pm

    Jayzuzz!!! Another great goal by Vesey, just powered his way to the net. Very, very impressive player!

  • Sep 20, 2016 at 7:47 pm

    I’ve seen enough! Jimmy Vesey is not just good, he’s elite. Jeff Gorton, thank you boss! Another goal!

  • Sep 20, 2016 at 7:58 pm

    Chippy game now, I love it. CBJ boys are big & rough & Baby Rangers standing up. Of all the unsigned forwards, Reid Duke is the best. Big, rangy Centreman who can play. Give him a contract Jeff. There is some potential there. This kid Joly has shown two or three flashes of real offensive skill. You can see Sean Day has played a lot of river hockey, the skill set is there, the nonchalance is maddening. He needs some MMA trainig to liberate the inner beast.

    • Sep 21, 2016 at 10:34 am

      I’ve seen enough hockey to know that you can’t teach a guy to be a little ball of hate. Guys like Betz fight to get a job but it isn’t innate. Domi liked it.

      So Day is a guy with size and skating and has the puck on a string, but he is a gentle giant. With that skill set, I can live with it if he can cut down the mistakes in his own end. Just wonder if Mississauga is the right place for his development.

      I wasn’t that psyched about drafting Ronning because the production wasn’t there, but he turned me around at TC. Nice wide base, strong on the puck and a little ball of hate who has skills. Wouldn’t be surprised to see his production explode this year in Vancouver/Langley.

      Gropp was much better in the last game, the benching and line combos did him a lot of good. Hopefully that can teach him consistency while he’s in HFD.

      Morrison? Greenville bound for sure, he ought to see if he can land a job in Europe.

      • Sep 21, 2016 at 11:41 am

        Agree that Gropp was much better in last game. He was invisible up till then. But Stromwell & Kovacs laid an egg in the last one, in fact, Stromwell’s lazy backcheck resulted in the CBJ 5th goal. Man, you can see why Day went in the third round, so much skill, so little drive. Jess Rubinstein reported that Nieves disappeared in the last game–LOL!! ya he was injured & in street clothes. Sheesh! Also some suggestion, I read somewhere that Morrison was injured.

        • Sep 21, 2016 at 12:00 pm

          Read her Blueshirt Bulletin piece, and yo give her the benefit of the doubt it’s tough to scout D on TV. That being said, what color is the sky in her world?

          If she was wondering where Day was, it was because they ran the Gilmour/Andersson pair out on PP1 most of the time(when they could draw a penalty.) Day is guy I would keep up for 9 games just to throw him in the deep end and actually challenge him. The game comes to him too easily.

          Morrison wasn’t hurt, just was no good in the 1st game and got outshone by Duke & Joly.

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