The boys were back last night and Sam Rosen was on the call. Who else missed that voice? I definitely did. Game 2 was not as flashy or had the flow of game 1, but it was nice to see how certain guys were going to battle for roster spots. IMO, these are the guys that stood out – for better or for worse.
- Gustav Rydahl looked like he blew out his knee but ended up returning to the game. I’ve said this once and I’ll say it again – I am a #GustavGuy. I love the way he battles back on the back check and always seems to be on the defensive side of the puck. For a fourth line center, this would be my guy.
- Jaroslav Halak looked calm, cool and collected. He was pretty square with almost every shot he faced, handled the puck quite a bit for the defenseman and at this point looks like a MASSIVE upgrade over Georgiev who struggled to stop beach balls.
- Vinny Trocheck will be a game changer this year. This guy is consistently hard on the puck, finishes checks and just looks like a Ryan Strome 3.0. It’ll be interesting if he can develop chemistry with Panarin, but if he does – look out. It’ll also be nice to have another defensively responsible center we can put on the ice late in games for face-offs / defensive zone structure.
- Vitali Kravtsov looked more comfortable in his second game. He was actually very good on the boards getting pucks out and even started showcasing his skill. On the PP he’s going to learn that he doesn’t have time to catch a cross ice seam pass before shooting and if he can develop a one timer in that spot, he’ll be another weapon you can put on with the man up.
- Will Cuylle is all bark no bite. He spent most of this game trying to but missing checks, fighting guys who won’t fight and being a step behind. AHL bound for the Star Wars guy.
- Matthew Robertson has a chance to sneak into the top 6 but he’ll have to control the puck better. He has a long reach and broke up plays in the neutral zone but struggled in the D-zone holding the puck for too long. The NHL is an entirely different pace and if he can react a split second sooner, he might be able to get into the big squad.
- Alexis Lafreniere seemed to be everywhere tonight. This kid is going to blossom right in front of us. He played a simple game, was around the net and was ultimately rewarded on a play he didn’t give up on. All reports say he’s fine after taking a slap shot to the leg but don’t be surprised if he takes a few games off. Preseason is preseason and we need him for a full 82 at as close to 100% as he can get.
- Jimmy Vesey will be on the opening night roster. We’ve come a long way from guys like Jayson Megna, Greg McKegg, Connor Brickley or Steven Fogarty being on the fourth line. If Vesey buys into his role, being a fourth liner who supplies energy, blocks shots and penalty kills, he’ll be quite the asset for the Rangers. He told Larry Brooks he wants to play like Tyler Motte and if he can, the Rangers fourth line will be in business. He set up a great screen on the Fox goal and continues to impress.
- Jonny Brodzinski has a motor and it’s hard to root against the guy. He puts pucks on net, gets in hard on the forecheck and always has his feet moving. I don’t think he’ll make the squad but will more than likely be one of the first forwards called up in case of injury.
- Ryan Lindgren is bleeding again?
- Adam Fox is a New York Ranger. He does everything right and you never have to worry about his effort or execution. We’re truly blessed to have a guy like this on the team. Oh yeah, he’s only 24 years old – must be nice.
- Jarred Tinordi is not going to make the team but I did want to share this video. Towards the end of the second he went after AJ Greer after a gutty spear but the two have a past that most don’t know about. This video is laugh out loud funny. Shoutout to Rex for finding this thing.
The Rangers are back tomorrow night against the Devils at 7pm. There’s 4 games left and a lot of decisions to be made.