Saturday, September 19, 2009
Preseason: New York 5, Boston 2
What an odd Saturday, right? A 4pm start and a 5-2 win over the Bruins. Sure it was preseason, sure Boston ghost-skated through the third period, but it sure is nice to beat an Original Six rival. And it came just after the Brandon Dubinsky signing, so this are looking rosy (definitely not Rozy) in the Ranger's Universe right now. There still is a long way to go before the season even starts so let's just enjoy the moment.
*The Rangers opened the scoring with a power play goal. MDZ to Prospal to Kotalik, one-timer goal. Holy cow. It was a power play goal. By the Rangers. Tic-tac-toe, goal. The Rangers. The New York Rangers. I needed five, 10 minutes to collect myself. I still don't think that the shock has worn off fully.
*I finally collect myself and Arty Anisimov scores a stunner of a shorthanded goal. Granted, it was on some scrub Bruin defender - Jeff Penner? - who can't carry Chara's jock but damn. Two days, two highlight reel goals. For once (once) I agree with Micheletti - Anisimov made the team with that one. Let's hope he can score like this when it counts.
*Matt Gilroy certainly has earned a spot as well. It is far, far too early to call him the next Brian Leetch (and let's not, given how well Tom Poti turned out) but seeing a Ranger defender willing and capable of carrying the puck 180 feet is simply fantastic.
*There is still some question on MDZ, who got speared by Milan Lucic. Lucic had been running around for a period and a half hitting Rangers and Donald Brashear was no where to be found. MSG never had a replay so we can't see what exactly happened but they cut to the incident with MDZ on the bench. If he came off from being hit, why didn't Brashear jump on to get revenge? We are supposed to fall in love with this goon for defending his teammates and he doesn't do the job two days in a row. If anything, he looked confused standing there on the bench. Yeah, high class.
*Early in the game Aaron Voros got creamed on the boards, then elected to fight and use his face to block punches again. And, as he got up off of the ice, he was smiling. That's comedy. I think that the Rangers are going to keep him for this season for comedic relief alone.
*Avery! Avery! You know, let the other 29 teams and their fans hate this guy. For us, he is a star. He causes havoc and he rubs it in with a goal to make it a 2-0 game. And, unlike in New Jersey, he was treated like a regular player as the Avery Rules were nowhere to be found. It was a nice change of pace; too bad it won't happen on most nights this year.
*Valley starred against the Bruins in the preseason opener but he gave up a piss-poor goal midway through the first period of this one. After MDZ turned his head and lost track of the puck, Savvy was able to throw it at the net from behind the goal line and banked it in off the netminder. Weak. The second goal in the second period wasn't much better. Sure Valley was left alone on a turnover, but he flopped across his crease and the puck was slid under his stick. While he still is not going to lose his job to Chad Nueve-Seis, he needs to be better.
*Nueve-Seis starred right after he came in mid-second period as the Rangers had to kill a long 5-on-3. He was perfect stopping 12 shots and has been a nice revelation this preseason. Chad definitely looked better than Tim Thomas, who was far from the U.S. Olympic goaltender that he usually is.
*Now I don't get how they got that aforementioned two-man advantage. I understand the Semenov elbow, the guy is massive so when he leans into a check, his elbow leads the way. But how did the Bruins get a power play in the first place when Steve Begin breaks in to fight Dane Byers, who was challenging someone else? Last I checked, third man in was a major penalty. And Begin jumped in to cross check Semenov after the Ranger defenseman dumped someone but Begin escaped without a call there. It is preseason for the refs too I guess.
*Byers made one helluva drop pass to P.A. Parenteau for the fifth Ranger goal. While it doesn't look like he will play in New York at all this season, Byers certainly proved that he worth keeping in the organization. Perhaps he will get a shot next year ...
*Brian Boyle will be a Blueshirt this season. After playing so poorly in the first two preseason games, he has steadily improved. I still think Blair Betts would be better, but Boyle's size is tantalizing.
*If you didn't think YES announcer and ESPN Radio personality Michael Kay could get any more annoying and obnoxious, you were wrong. Those commercials for him in the bank with big fan Glen that were aired seemingly every break were worse - far, far worse. Perhaps they thought that the only way he could look good was to get someone that bad to join him in a spot. What next? A special commercial with Kay alongside Joe Micheletti?
*Yet again, Micheletti was completely outshone by Dave Maloney. Once they bring Al Troutwig back into the mix, they really should get rid of Micheletti entirely.
*Why must MSG continue to bring up Marian Gaborik's five goal night against us? Yes, he is on our roster now, and that may prove to be terrific. But there is no reason to keep picking at an old scab again and again and again. What next? MSG will air the Montreal Massacre again?
But on a happier note, there are three preseason games left where the Rangers will make their final cuts and set the opening night roster. It will be interesting to see what Torts, Sather and company decide as there have been so many players stepping up for the open slots. You can pretty much write off Byers, Paul Crowder and Corey Locke but who do you pick from between MDZ, Bobby's World and Heineken? Parenteau scored here and has been as good as needed in all situations but hasn't starred; do they keep him as an extra forward? And how does Arty's success alongside Lisin and Grachev boost their stock? As soon as the Rangers release their cuts, I will put them up. I wouldn't want to have to decide ...