What a terrible game by any and all facets. It does not matter that this was a preseason game, or that the team began to finally rally with 10 minutes to go in the 3rd period. Virtually every player tonight was mailing it in. A disgusting effort that was rightfully called out by the coach in his postgame interview as well.
From calling out Alexis Lafrenière, to saying that this is the kind of hockey that will not be tolerated, and that things like back checking and competing for pucks is a “universal language”. This is great for setting the tone for the year. During our preseason recaps here on Blue Seat Blogs, the format has been to look for 3 players who provided positives, but given how the game went, let’s do the opposite.
To start things off, there is a fire under Alexis Lafrenière. He played so poorly with Artemi Panarin and Vincent Trocheck, that Laviolette demoted him in the third period. There have been numerous discussion points brought up about Lafrenière both in the general media and amongst the fans. Some of it toxic, but then some of it also rightly critical.
I know it’s preseason, but isn’t this supposed to be a number one overall pick? You look around the league and other number one picks are using preseason to not only get up to speed, but look dominant in their skill sets. Has anyone ever consistently been brought out of their seats from a play by Alexis Lafrenière?
Unfortunately, he looks like a passenger on any line he plays on, he appears unable to process the speed of the game at the NHL level, and he’s a horrendous back checker. If you appear to not seem to care, then the feedback you are going to receive is that you appear to not care. I am hopeful Laviolette can get through to him, but we really might be looking at the beginning of the end this season for Lafrenière in New York.
Second player, Jonathan Quick. I said before that we had to give it time to see how he would look as preseason and camp went along, but then you watch the games, and it is concerning how he looks in net. That wraparound goal was pretty bad, and he just looked out of place.
This is a goaltender whose attribute is supposed to be that he’s athletic and can make those good post-to-post movements, he looks like he’s skating in quick sand at times. Slow reaction timing, and he’s getting beat by shots that more often than not should probably be stopped. Are we looking at the next Marty Biron who retires midseason after a horrendous outing? Going to be very interesting going forward.
My last “player” for the night, I have to give it to the entire Rangers power play. Now I know they haven’t had the full regular time group play yet, but there’s something that is lacking from the players they do have. The only people willing to shoot are Jonny Brodzinski, and some of the young defenseman like Robertson and Jones when he’s played in preseason too.
The Rangers aren’t going to go a whole season without scoring a power play goal, but this power play in the past has helped get them into games. Along with great 5 on 5 hockey, the hope is that it returns to form.
Alright, that’s enough on this mess of a game. At least Othmann and Cuylle scored. So are they going to make the team or what?