Rangers beat the Red Wings Last night, 3-2 at Madison Square Garden. The game marked Marian Gaborik’s first appearance as a Ranger. The Blueshirts looked fantastic in the first period, but listless through the final two. I think we all hope they buck this trend quickly.
However, the young crop of Ranger hopefuls continued to impress. Matt Gilroy looks like a shoe-in for a defensive spot on the roster and Michael Del Zotto is making it hard for the Ranger decision makers to send him back to the OHL.
On the forward side of things Evgeny Grachev continues to make a statement with his poise and confidence on the ice and Enver Lisin showed great finish on a nice pass from Gaborik in the first stanza, That goal combination may have won Lisin a first audition as possible linemate for Gabby once the season gets underway.
Some Other Musings from last night.
Don’t Believe The Hype: The comparisons to Gilroy being like or reminding fans and TV media of a Brian Leetch are absurd. Matt Gilroy is already 25 years old has only played in ONLY five pre-season games and by that age Brian had already played in 353 NHL games scored 78 goals and recorded 289 assists for a total of 367 Points. Leetch accumulated all this while taking care of his defensive zone in phenomenal fashion. If you feel the need to compare Gilroy to anybody how about a young James Patrick, that I might buy into.
There’s Always One: The only new face that has yet to impress this preseason happens to be one of the Rangers more expensive UFA signings in Ales Kotalik, so far Ales has been wild with his shot from the point on the power play and a virtual non factor even strength.
Vinny Prospal Invasion: Vinny Prospal scored a nice unassisted power play goal in the first period, and was interviewed between periods, which made a bigger impression on me than his goal. Vinny strikes me as evil, but the good kinda evil like Sean Avery. He will speak his mind, cause the odd bit of controversy and shoot from the hip both with his words and his stick.
Grachev and Del Zotto Time Bombs: We would all love to see this infusion of youth make the Rangers squad but besides being unable to return to their OHL teams, if both Grachev and Del Zotto make the Rangers squad, they also become pros. Which means the free-agency clock on their careers begins ticking immediately. This may be a factor into the Rangers decision against keeping these two around with the big club for this season. The Rangers have very little wiggle room as is with the cap especially with several overpaid players already with long term contracts and let’s not forget Marc Staal is due for a large payday next year.