Again, not sure that means much to you. But what you might want to know is for only the fourth day of training camp, the overall level of intensity was pretty impressive. Since I don’t have much in the way of a reference point, I asked a couple of people if the level of this camp was higher than this point last year.
The answer, from media folks to Tom Renney, was a definite yes.
Anyway, a couple of interesting revelations:
—Shockingly, Hugh Jessiman finished with two goals, and was plenty active away from the puck as well. He was even on the ice for a good stretch during overtime. Afterward, Hugh was beaming, saying this camp has been a far more encouraging experience than last year. And when I asked Renney about his former No. 1 pick, the coach said he liked what he saw.
Again, I doubt Jessiman has a realistic shot of starting the season in the NHL. But it’s been a worthwhile venture nonetheless.
Unless something changes before then, count on me writing a little bit more about Hugh in tomorrow’s paper…
—Meanwhile, in other power forward news, Brendan Shanahan scored two goals in the second period (actually, it was the second half since the teams only played two 25-minute sessions), one a rebound off a Marek Malik shot, and one a dart past Al Montoya from the top of the faceoff circle. I suppose it’s a bit early to start hyperventilating about your big free agent signee. But if you’re the Rangers right now, you’re certainly encouraged.
—Since it’s 80 degrees outside, it’s hard to fathom that the team has its first exhibition game tomorrow in New Jersey, followed by another at home on Wednesday. But so it is. Renney said he’s likely to skate two separate units in the back-to-back meetings with the Devils.
—The Rangers have their annual pre-season golf tournament at Westchester Country Club today, so most of the players were filing out of the Training Center fairly quickly. After a successful Blue-White scrimmage without any noticeable injuries, the team now can go to work on bruising their egos.