Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Preseason: New York 4, Detroit 2
I think that we were given a glimpse into the future on Monday night of what this season holds for the Rangers. The highs (the first period), the lows (the second period) and the boring, slightly nerve racking but adequate (the third period). Of course, it all game against a top flight franchise's B team so it isn't a true measure of our destiny but I think it was a fair one.
Since it is too late for me to get metaphorical or any deeper, let's just get into some Monday night notes:
*Marian Gaborik. Gabby started the game, got checked by the Mule and came right back with his best Jaromir Jagr impersonation. Gaborik started with strong work on the quarterboards, held off a defenseman, swooped around the net and sent the puck back to an open Enver Lisin for an easy goal. After that, he was pretty invisible for much of the evening but that is ok, it was just a preseason game.
*Someone should let John Tortorella know that it was indeed just a preseason game. Sure, 'safe is death' and all that, but you don't have to be stupid. When you are holding onto a one-goal lead at home in a meaningless game, there really is no need for you to put your injury-prone superstar on the ice to sit pinned inside his own zone right in front of Nik Kronwall's cannon of a shot. Really, it's not necessary and, frankly, it is stupid. Gabby escaped uninjured, but why take the risk??
*And why the hell would someone come to the Garden wearing a Penguins Bill Guerin jersey with a Stanley Cup patch on it?!? This clown sat in section 327 or so with his girlfriend and took abuse much of the evening. The highlight was his Ranger-fan girlfriend being serenaded with chants of "Dump Your Boyfriend." I love the Garden.
*Walking out of the building after the game was Donald Brashear and Brandon Dubinsky. They left out the front entrance with everyone else and hustled out like their lives depended on it. Dubi denied a girl's autograph request along the way - a girl who was wearing his jersey to boot. I guess once you get paid you don't have to be nice to the little people who will provide that money. And no, the Rangers didn't have a charter to catch - they are practicing in Tarrytown tomorrow.
*Andrew Gross of the News said that they will be working on the power play, which is always great news. After two stunning, early goals that nearly had me in cardiac arrest, the power went out of their play and it became pedestrian yet again. They did show some willingness to enter the zone and go right to the net, which is so very much better than the Renney years when the blue line seemed to come with a stop sign.
*There is no stopping Ryan Callahan. Dude. What a goal. Cally got a great pass from young Grachev, got knocked down and still banged the puck into the net for a goal. Hoooo-weeeeee, what is it with these highlight goals in meaningless games? It's just not fair!
*Even though it was an empty netter, Anisimov scored again. Feel free to pick him up in deeper fantasy leagues but don't go too nuts, there is no indication he will get anything more than third line time.
*Grachev played well but I still don't think he should start Opening night. Why give him third line minutes and limit his spots when he can get play in all situations on the first line in Hartford? It isn't like he is that needed here with at least one of our centers already needing to shift to the wing (Dru, Prospal, Dubi, Arty, Boyle).
*I can honestly say that I hardly saw Dru and Boyle out there tonight. Boyle drew a penalty with hard work, and Dru won a few faceoffs but otherwise, nothin'.
*Speaking of nothing, Pierre Paranteau and Bobby Sanguinetti. Poor PA has played up and down the lineup and has done most things well but nothing great and can't seem to score. Looks like another season in Hartford for him. Bobby saw some power play time tonight and grabbed an assist on that Lisin goal but it is crystal clear that he has been passed on the depth chart by MDZ and Gilroy. By a lot.
*That Aaron Voros is still on the depth chart at all is a testament to his hard work. While I think that ultimately he will be the useless shell of a player that he was at the end of the season, he started this fall as well as he did last year and will be rewarded with a job. More power to him.
*I think Voros was saved from a savage beating by desperation. Dan Cloutier is so desperate to get a job that he refrained from turning Voros into Tommy Salo late in the second period. It is a shame, because it is almost certain that Clooch has no shot at getting a job so it would have been great to see him go nuts like old times.
*Other things on the Red Wings: When Datsyuk turned on his top gear - which he hardly did in this game - he was the best player on the ice and a world class talent. There is nothing to worry about the Wings in term of form; they hit a few posts, took a few bad penalties and yet still nearly tied the game. Johan Ryno would have the coolest name in the league if it was pronounced Rhino and not Ree-no. Ville Leino scored one great goal (a high wrister over Hank on just Detroit's third shot of the game), which is great for me as I spent good draft picks on him in most of my fantasy leagues.
*You may be able to get Gilroy or MDZ late and they should be good for some points. If anything has been clear the last few games it is that they have serious potential. There are certain to be growing pains, but both will be bona fide NHLers sooner rather than later. They are even making Wade Redden look good - what a feat!
*And finally, for now, why is MSG airing their Season Preview show prior to the game against the Caps on Thursday? Why not sometime next week when the roster is set and there are no games for us to immerse ourselves in? Curious.