The New York Rangers are only a week and a half away from their season opener and have some cuts to make. Who impressed against the Flyers?
Right off of the bat, thank your lucky stars that New York Rangers forward Jimmy Vesey is OK after this dirty hit from Philadelphia Flyers forward Radko Gudas.
— Elite Sports NY (@EliteSportsNY) October 3, 2016
I guarantee that we’ll hear explanations ranging from “Vesey put himself in a bad situation” to “Gudas didn’t display an intent to injure”.
Gudas is a player with suspension and intent to injure history and should absolutely be suspended for his hit on Vesey.
While we’re on the subject of Vesey, he is going to be a special player. He has a level of competitiveness which the Rangers have had in the past couple of years. If he can bulk up a little (OK, a lot) then he could be an All-Star.
Not only is he willing to go to the dirty areas, but he has some serious hockey IQ. Vesey can see ahead of the play to where the puck will be which is something that just cannot be taught.
People are already chirping about the Rangers defense and how bad they look. Do they look particularly good? No. Is it still the preseason? Yes.
Chemistry between the defensive pairs is something that should not be overlooked throughout the exhibition play. While on offense, if mistakes are made because the players are not a good fit, then production will falter.
On defense however, a lack of chemistry can lead to goals by the opponents and overreactions by the fan base.
Does that mean we should let Ryan McDonagh off of the hook for his awful defense on the final play of the game? No sir, because it was awful defending no matter what time of the season it is.
Mac is the captain and will need to play like one this season if the Rangers are going to be successful. We shouldn’t let Rick Nash off of the hook for his spectator impression on the Flyers winning goal.
That’s an awful, awful play by Nash.
It wasn’t all doom and gloom though, as Brandon Pirri continues to impress. He could have the makings of Derick Brassard 2.0 if he produces for the Rangers this year. Pirri is a cheap, low-risk/high-reward player, just like Brassard was.
Adam Clendening will be a valuable player for the Rangers’ blue line. He has some speed and is able to make those breakout passes that AV loves.
Kevin Hayes had some nice 2014-15 Kevin Hayes moves last night. If he can bring that version of himself back for the 2016-17 season, that would be great.
Derek Stepan made some nice passes, most notably the one to Vesey, and had a decent presence along the boards when battling for the puck deep in the offensive zone.
Say what you will about the man, but Tanner Glass wants to make this team. He has little talent, but you can’t deny his heart. Having said that, he shouldn’t touch the ice at the NHL level this season. If Pirri is sent down in favor of Glass at any point this season, then fans should riot.
J.T. Miller will be on the opening night roster, but he needs to wake up. He cannot, and the Rangers cannot, afford a slump this season. The Blueshirts have a deep roster this season with plenty of hungry players who would love to see Miller as a healthy scratch.
Henrik Lundqvist made some nice saves, so that’s good.