Boy oh boy did I miss hockey. Nothing better than hanging out with your old man watching your team play some puck. I thought the Rangers looked alright for the most part in their first preseason game against the Devils. I had a few points I wanted to talk about, so having said that here we go.
Lias Andersson Looks Deeecent
Lias Andersson had himself a game last night. Not only did the kid pot two goals, but he looked a HELL of a lot faster.
My one knock on Andersson last year was that he looked like he was a step behind. It almost looked like he would take 3 quick strides and go almost no where, quick sand status. This was alarming because everyone now knows the NHL is more geared towards a skilled player with hot wheels. Last night Lias proved that his skating has improved because of his summer training.
I know it’s only one game but this is a great start for the kid. Shift by shift, game by game, if Lias can continue to build off of this it looks like he can have a successful first full year in the show. LOVE seeing him and Jesper out there killing penalties by the way.
Marc Staal: Still Bad
Brett whatever his name recently posted something in the post saying how Marc Staal is an important piece of what the Rangers have this year. In what fucking world man? Who was on the ice for all three Devils goals last night? You guessed it. Yeah, I get that two of them were on the PPer but enough is enough. If this way any other defenseman on the Rangers, they would’ve been sent packing by now, after all its been like this for YEARS. With full possession of the puck, big dumb and goofy failed to clear the zone resulting in a Devils goal.
I tried to stay positive about this, being that it’s game one and maybe Staal had improved since last year. That’s a hard no and it’s going to be a shame seeing players like Smith, DeAngelo or McQuaid not play because of some preconceived notion that Marc Staal is a good hockey player. The day he is no longer wearing blue will be my own personal Stanley Cup. CANNOT WAIT until next year and a potential buyout.
Cody McLeod Why Are You The Way That You Are?
We knew this was coming. Cody McLeod is not a legitimate NHL player but will get looks because of his history in the league? Sound familiar to the last paragraph? Boo Nieves gets hit in the head and the only player to do something is Jesper Fast, who weighs 130 pounds soaked and wet. There is no purpose of having someone on the team who is supposed to stick up for guys who ya know, just doesn’t do that. It started last year in Nashville and nothing has changed and it’s a shame. McLeod used to be one tough SOB but if you think he serves more of a role than Tanner Glass did in his time with the Rangers then we have bigger problems than having McLeod being on the fourth line.
Also, the NHL Department of Player safety should probably look into this..
Some other takeaways:
Kevin Hayes played a strong defensive game and continues to be a reliable player. This is a big year for Hayes. Will he take the next step or remain where he was last year? His performance will ultimately be the key factor of whether or not Hayes remains in New York.
Chris Kreider will be an effective player when he changes the whole, skate as fast as you can down the wing until you run into the corner. Shoutout Rick Nash.
Panel Buchnevich brought some snarl and a clap bomb from the point. He should build off of last years results especially now with a coach who has a brain.
Tony DeAngelo made great first passes and battle level was what you wanted to see. He took what I thought was a soft penalty but I can’t hate a kid trying to mix it up. I really hope he makes it in the NHL and becomes the defenseman the rangers hoped he would in the Stepan deal.
Thoughts? Leave them in the comment section. The Rangers are undefeated and I’m going to ride this high as long as I possibly can.