Monday, September 12, 2011

TC: Rangers 6, Stars 2

Didn't get a chance to collect any scribbles on the Baby Blueshirt win yesterday so here are just a few observations - the game's box score is available here.

*Don't mess with McIlrath. Seriously. It is not smart. Love this kid.

*Ryan Bourque is everything the summer hype built Christian Thomas to be. Ray's kid was really strong on his skates and, despite his size, willing to go to the tough areas. He has a good shot and really made a leap from last year.

*Scott Stajcer looked far calmer than the last time I watched him play and it served him well in this one. Solid effort.

*Still unimpressed with JT Miller. Perhaps it is because I perhaps irrationally hope for first round draft picks to justify their selection by showing something special and he has not been special yet. However, credit to the kid for the opportunistic goal early and for some solid penalty killing work.

*Was a fan of Shane McColgan when he was drafted because of his roller hockey background. Am a bigger fan of him for fighting to stand up for Thomas. Sure the whole 'fighting after a check' thing is getting annoying in the NHL, but here it showed McColgan's willingness to be a team player and that he is not just a one-way scorer.

*There was a shift right before the McColgan fight that left an impression. The Rangers dumped the puck down the ice and chased after it. Three Stars touched the puck as they moved it back out of their zone and each one was hit by a different Ranger - Wilson, Jordan and Kerbashian. Dallas made it back into the New York end but the Blueshirts recovered and Stajcer made an easy save. All too often the big Rangers dumped and didn't quite chase, much less make the other team pay for getting back out of their zone. It was simple forechecking but it stood out to me.

*My two biggest standouts from game one - Blake Parlett and Jonathan Audy-Marchessault - were very good again. Parlett definitely looks like a professional out there among kids with his calmness and decision-making. Audy-Marchessault will need to improve more off the puck if he is to avoid becoming Corey Locke - super skilled scorer in the AHL but not a NHL regular.

*By all indications Carl Hagelin will make it tough for the Rangers to cut him in camp. Tim Erixon, who was already penciled into the New York roster by most folks before this tourney even started, wasn't as involved as he had been in the first game but he didn't have to be.

*Michael St. Croix was not good. Late in the second period he got lost up-ice ice chasing after the same player as Jason Wilson. Dallas moved the puck right past him and the man he should have picked up on the backcheck made the nice pass to set up the Stars goal. It was a big goal as it came with just seconds left in the frame and they were back within one at 3-2.

*While I feel that the 'Twitter war' between Dave and Jay is ridiculous and I can't stand Joe at all, MSG is doing a fantastic job with these broadcasts. Insightful guests throughout the game, quick but entertaining interviews with the kids and pretty good camera angles in an arena not built for TV.

*The Rangers are definitely in the weaker of the two divisions.

No game tonight but an afternoon matchup against the Carolina Hurricanes tomorrow at 3:30.

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