I apologize for not writing this sooner. I wasn’t even at my computer at all the entire day yesterday. A rarity for me.
Anyways, about the game. First thing that comes to mine is “WOW”. They were amazing. For a while my friend and I were debating if the players were Red Wings in Ranger uniforms. They played hard, fast, and extremely well. This is the way I would love to see them play all year.
A couple of players impressed me greatly during that first game against the New Jersey Devils.
First off was Derek Stepan. All eyes were on him and he didn’t disappoint. He made a great play in the 1st period on the power play passing from the slot to Alex Frolov who was to the right of Marty Brodeur and passed along his crease to Gaborik who took the deflected pass and knocked it in the net for the very first goal of the game and new season. It was an amazing goal created by solid forechecking and offensive pressure. Two things we did not see enough of last year.
Stepan played solid and with poise like he was just another All-Star playing with the best. He was later replaced on the first line by Erik Christensen, but that was only so Torts can see how different people play in different spots. Stepan played a very good game and is probably the most exciting prospect moving throughout the preseason.
Later on Frolov made a nice move capitalizing on a bad Devils pass in front of their own net to which he deked Marty right out of his Avery-hating skates for a sweet highlight goal. Frolov played very well the entire game and looks extremely motivated for his new scenery. Part of me is all ready sad/worried that if and when he has a good season with us, he’ll leave next year for greener pastures. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves first, Mike. This is just the first game of preseason. Do keep it on your back burner though, kids.
Ryan McDonagh also played very nicely knocking down a Devils’ prospect who attempted to rush his zone.
Ironically, the ones who stumbled a bit making some mistakes resulting in goals were Marc Staal and Dan Girardi. Both made mistakes resulting in Devils’ goals. Marc recovered in the second period playing a solid D, which just means to me that they’re knocking the rust off. Which is fine with me, make your mistakes and get them out of the way now in the preseason before they matter.
The power play looked really good overall, a HUGE improvement over the past couple of season. A heavily penaltied game, the Rangers went 2 for 7 on the Power Play with Gabby netting both goals, one being the game winner in Over Time.
Another big impression was made by Brian Boyle. Boyle, who’s been throwing his body around in scrimmages doing everything he can to make the team brought that game to the preseason as he made BIG BIG hits and even scored the Rangers’ second goal of the game. Boyle, who I personally thought had played himself off this team last season, is doing a great job to start this year and make it difficult for the coaches to get rid of him.
I scoured the internet and I finally found some sort of highlights for the game as they’re NOT on nhl.tv or anywhere obvious. Unfortunately, this does not contain the first goal of the game, nor Boyle’s goal. But some decent highlights nonetheless.
Wade Redden was officially placed on waivers today. According to ESPN the Rangers made the move before tonight’s game against the Devils in the Prudential Center.
Glen Sather informed Redden’s agent on Friday and then had a meeting with Wade himself this morning. He’s going to look into playing overseas with Sather adding that they’ll honor his contract regardless.
Redden didn’t play in the first game due to the birth of his first child, but this move we all knew was inevitable. (Anyone else think of Kim Jong-Il in Team America when they hear that word?)
The move puts the Rangers nicely under the $59.4 million cap limit. We can all take a nice breath of fresh awesome.