The preseason has finally come to a close for the New York Rangers, now all that’s left to look forward to is opening night.
This time of year is always the greatest time of year to be a sports fan. The baseball playoffs around the corner, football is underway, and oh the start of the New York Rangers season is quickly approaching.
The preseason is finally over, and all that is left to do is make the final roster cuts. After that, we get to see what the 2018-19 Rangers will look like. No longer will we get to speculate which player deserves a chance over the other. And, all of the questions surrounding the roster will be answered.
The Rangers had a very strong camp that showcased a great amount of young talent, but what exactly did we learn from it?
David Quinn Has The Tools To Succeed
When you read that, you say to yourself “of course he does, that’s why he got hired.” But, when listening to David Quinn talk, the more and more you realize that the Alain Vigneault era is actually over.
Quinn has stressed the idea of constant communication with his player. A trend that has become more apparent all throughout sports. Teams now are making communication a major priority when conducting coaching searches, and who better to hire than a college coach who has to communicate constantly.
Not only is the communication aspect different under Quinn, but the feeling around camp is different. Different players have told Larry Brooks of the New York Post just how different of an environment this training camp has been.
“Constant communication,” says Brady Skjei. “He talks to us all the time, but he listens, too, if you know what I mean.”
Vigneault was always a coach that put his trust in his players and expected them to be vocal. Quinn, on the other hand, looks to be more vocal in the locker room, the polar opposite of AV.
Quinn wants the Rangers to be a little more physical on the ice. He already expressed his displeasure on two instances, one resulting in Boo Nieves getting injured. This just one of many ways that things are different under Quinn, making it look like Jeff Gorton made the right decision in bringing him in.
The 2017 NHL Trade Deadline Looks To Be Successful
It is always hard to judge trades that involve prospects and draft picks when they are made becasue the impact is never felt right away. But, if the preseason has taught us anything, it is that the Rangers made out pretty well during the 2017 NHL trade deadline.
Players like Libor Hajek and Brett Howden who came over in the Ryan McDonagh/J.T. Miller trade have done nothing but impress. Howden looks like he can be one a solid two-way player in the NHL. Hajek has also shown he has plenty of upside and is a legitimate prospect on the blueline.
Ryan Lindgren, who the Rangers acquired in the Rick Nash trade, has also impressed. He might not make an impact at the NHL level right away, but he has shown enough in the preseason that he is capable of becoming a legit NHL defenseman.
Veterans Aren't Done Yet
Despite all of the talk of the youth around the Rangers, some of the veterans are reminding us that they are still here and ready to make an impact.
In his return to the ice, Kevin Shattenkirk has done nothing but show signs of life. He looks to carry that over to the regular season and become someone the Rangers can count on in all different kinds of scenarios.
Brendan Smith entered camp and is showing that last year might be a fluke for him. His game has resembled the type of play the Blueshirts saw from him when they acquired him in 2017, and they hope that the preseason success is not a fluke.
Chris Kreider, Pavel Buchnevich, and Mika Zibanejad have also had impressive camps, giving Rangerstown some hope that this year might not be so bad after all.
The preseason is finally over. Rosters will be cut down to the league requirements. But, most importantly hockey will be back, and quite frankly hockey fans cannot wait.
Let the fun begin.