For a preseason game, last night’s OT loss to the Flyers had a little bit of everything that encompasses Rangers/Flyers. It had physical play, it had dirty play, it had good defense, it had scoring bursts, and it left a seed for the regular season. The Rangers may have lost, but they erased a 3-0 lead in the third period to get “a point” in the preseason standings. It may not seem like much, but showing the guys to come back like that means a lot for the kids and playing the right way.
- First things first, that hit by Radko Gudas on Jimmy Vesey was nasty. That’s the type of hit the league is trying to get rid of, and I guarantee that Gudas won’t be suspended because Vesey turned. But here’s the thing, the hockey play there is to stop, turn, and gain some space. The turn is the hockey play, getting creamed from behind is not. Here’s a link to multiple angles of the hit.
- Credit to Dylan McIlrath for jumping in and literally dragging Gudas out to fight. He wound up taking on Jakub Voracek as well, who did not get penalized for third man in. I have never seen that penalty called in my life. Not once.
- Don’t know why Vesey was back. It’s the preseason, feel like it makes sense to take caution with your offseason prize. But what do I know?
- The Flyers were suffocating during this game, they didn’t give the Rangers much, closing gaps at the blue line quickly and forcing the Rangers into broken entries. The Flyers had a bunch of NHL guys, closer to 75%, while the Rangers had about 50%. Guess this is to be expected. It happened on the powerplay too.
- These are the kinds of games where you want to see what Adam Clendening can do. He wasn’t flashy with the points this game, but he looked relatively comfortable next to Ryan McDonagh. He was with Ryan Graves for a while, and also looked comfortable there.
- That Konecny goal was brutal for the Rangers. Chris Summer was watching the play, and Ryan Graves tried to block the point shot from two feet in front of Skapski. Summers isn’t that good, but Graves will learn that’s not the best approach.
- J.T. Miller has had a bit of a rough preseason, but boy was he poised on that pass to Graves for the first goal. Also good job by Graves to get in as the fourth man on the rush. That’s where the good chances come from.
- Brandon Pirri has to make this team, right? Even if he’s not the perfect hockey player, the kid just shoots and shoots and shoots some more. And you know what? They go in.
- This is the second straight game where the Rangers have mounted some sort of comeback. That’s promising, especially since they still have 45+ players in camp and are doing this without their normal lineup.
- Vesey has been a pleasant surprise in camp. I didn’t expect him to buzz around the net this much, or be this effective. It’s still early, but this team needed some youthful –note: rookie– injections. Vesey, Clendening, and Pavel Buchnevich have done just that.
- There’s some poetic justice in Vesey scoring the tying goal, by the way. Even if it was a loss in OT, that was fun to watch.
- That goal by Voracek was absurd. There is nothing you can do about it.
Now that the four games in six nights are almost over, expect the Rangers to do some major cutting from the roster. It started last night, and will continue after tonight’s game. Not much time left for bubble players who have survived this far.