I mean how good did it feel to have the Rangers back on? There’s just something about not being bothered from 7-930 on weeknights that really hits the spot. We were hit with our first curve ball not 5 seconds into the broadcast when Sam was absent and Kenny was filling in – who by the way should get first dibs when Sam does finally decide to ride off into the sunset. Some people just have a voice for the game and Kenny for sure is one of those people.
- No pregame kind of through me off. I was patiently waiting to see who put on fill in the blank pounds of muscle in the offseason but don’t worry – Joe hit this quota just 10 minutes into the first. Isn’t it funny? Every single year these guys say the exact same thing.
- My top standouts for this game were Jimmy Vesey, Gustav Rydahl, Brennan Othmann, K’Andre Miller and Igor Shesterkin.
- Jimmy Vesey looked like a man on a mission. He spent the entire game hunting pucks, making life miserable for the Islanders defenseman and playing with a purpose. I’ve never been a huge Vesey guy and when he was signed for a PTO I thought, “Here we go again…” but he had a pretty good year last year with Jersey and we could find someone far less suitable for a fourth line role (paging Greg McKegg). He definitely did not hurt his chances in making the team. Guy went shelf on the Peeper, was blocking shots on the kill and looked to be a step faster than most of the guys out there.
- Im a Gustav guy through and through. I knew practically nothing about him other than this highlight video. This guy can play. He’s big, has a long reach, back checks with a purpose, puts pucks on net, finishes every single one of his checks and was a shit disturber. Theres a lot of competition for those final spots but as of right now, and yes this is only one preseason game, but a fourth line of Vesey, Rydahl, Goodrow – with Reaves in and out – would be a legitimate impactful fourth line.
- Othmann had a big, big game. Unfortunately I don’t know where he’d fit in the top 12 but you can definitely tell this kids a gamer. He got flattened by Romanov and instead of sinking and becoming overwhelmed, this lit a fire. He went out there and hit everything, the puck kept following him and I know there were a lot of Rangers fans excited that they picked this kid. This kid is fearless. It just sucks that he’s going to have to go back to Flint this year. Hell of a pass to Miller as time was running out.
- K’Andre Miller makes the NHL look easy to play in. He is such an effortless skater and now he knows he belongs. This guy was all over the place in game one and after coming off a hell of a campaign this year, we have a player who will carve out a very long, successful career in the NHL. Watch out for this man.
- Igor looked solid eh? Dialed in, kept things simple. Hell of a start for the Vezina winning goalie.
- Kreider and Mika looked good as they were around the puck for most of the game. I know its preseason but we’ve heard Gallant say time and time again, it all starts with one goal and it was nice to see Kreids get that in game 1. Little victories is something you can build on.
- Hey Matt Carpenter, if you want to stick around you’re going to have to do a little bit more than that. Irrelevant in every way.
- Trouba looked good with the C and I liked the video they showed with all the players talking about it. These guys love and depend on number 8 – that’s all you can ask for.
- Do we ever think Kaapo is going to be an impact player?
- To be honest, I wasn’t really impressed with Jones or Hajek this game. I know Jones scored but, is it just me or does it seem he is always chasing in the defensive zone? I’m sure Gallant will help with match ups but Anders Lee seemed to be eating him alive. Hajek is terrified to play hockey and I have no idea what the Rangers staff see in him, but they know hockey way better than I do so I guess we’ll see.
- Bobby T has some spice to his game. I think he definitely needs to be seasoned down in the minors but if this kid can go down there and work on his craft, this might’ve been a good find.
Not only did the Rangers kick off their campaign but the hockey gods blessed us with a back to back. They take on the Marchandless Bruins tonight at 7pm. I’ll see you guys on Twitter.