Rangers dominate Devils as team starts to click

rangers devils artemi panarin

The Rangers dominated the Devils, as the mostly NHL team really clicked out there. There was balanced scoring from all four lines, a good penalty kill, and a powerplay that at least moved the puck well. The game wasn’t without mistakes, but no team is perfect. Mistakes happen every game. Even against the Devils’ AHL team. The important thing here is that the Rangers looked good and motivated.

First Period

  • The replay didn’t show it, but the first Rangers goal was all started by Adam Fox keeping the zone on a clear attempt. Then the Devils were playing catch up, passing lanes opened up, and Mika Zibanejad had an easy tap in goal from, you guessed it, Adam Fox.
  • Now with mostly NHL players in the lineup, the Rangers had a much better neutral zone presence. They forced a few turnovers in the neutral zone, but the big thing is the Devils didn’t gain speed on rushes. One thing to work on: The center line pass defense is a little off on zone entry. It’s high in the zone so it’s not a huge issue, but something to watch for.
  • Ryan Reaves went down early, no word on injury significance yet, but that is one of those injuries that we were talking about all week. These things happen, and roster decisions on opening night won’t be the same in April.
  • Laf-Kreider on the PK up front, with Tinordi as a penalty killer. Makes sense to check Tinordi in that role, since you need all six defensemen to be able to kill penalties.
  • Reaves injury aside, Julien Gauthier is really forcing his way onto the opening night roster.
  • It did not go unnoticed that as soon as the Reaves injury happened, the Rangers picked up their game. They were much more aggressive and really went after Subban. They took the game over from that moment on.

Second Period

  • Chris Kreider went right over to Subban to start the 2nd period. Subban didn’t engage at all. Interesting to see that it was Kreider to go after him after the alleged slew foot.
  • That was some solid separation speed from Kaapo Kakko, beating Subban for the breakaway goal, five hole. If this is the Devils without Mackenzie Blackwood, they will have issues in net.
  • More confirmation that Sammy Blais will be on PP2. He was on PP1 while Kreider was in the box.
  • Exhibit 378563 why the Rangers need another off-wing shot on PP1, that Panarin->Strome pass is a goal for any lefty on the roster. But the extra half second needed for Strome to receive and shoot means an easy save.
  • I laughed out loud at that Fox->Zibanejad pass and goal on the 5 on 3. Wow.
  • Lafreniere had a brutal turnover that led to the first Devils goal. Can’t give the puck away like that in the defensive zone. But it happens. Isn’t the first, won’t be the last.
  • What a goal from Blais – good read on the turnover, then fought off two checks and dipped the shoulder. Wow.
  • This is what a real fourth line does – they grind it out and have the skill to put the puck in the net. Two goals in 20 seconds for the fourth line.

Third Period

  • On the podcast, Rob and I said that Jacob Trouba would be captain, and Becky said it would be Kreider. I changed my guess from Kreider, who I was basically advocating for captain for two years now. I think I galaxy brained it. Becky is right. It’ll be Kreider.
  • Julien Gauthier on a line with Artemiy Panarin. And looking good too.
  • Igor Shesterkin looked good too, don’t let that get missed.
  • Something else of note from the systems: Rangers were pressing with two men in on the forecheck despite being up 5-2 in the third in the preseason.
  • I know we are all pumped about how the Rangers looked, but remember that this is the Devils AHL team. The Devils aren’t good, and their AHL team isn’t good either.