Some thoughts the morning after:
1) For a preseason game, especially a first preseason game, that was a pretty good pace.
2) Too early to make a complete judgment but I think Frolov could be a really good one. Again, we’ll hold off before getting too carried away. But the guy definitely has some hands and some strength, and if the coaching staff thinks he’s good defensively, well, what’s not to like?
3) If so, presto, you have a first line. But for that first line to be a first line, it needs a first-line center. Again, too early to tell, but Derek Stepan has done nothing to make you think he couldn’t be it. We know that, unless Erik Christensen takes a major step upward, he’s not it. But he might turn out to be by default. I’m not sure that can work. Christesen’s not bad. But he’s not a first-line center on a contending team. I don’t think so, anyway.
4) If Brian Boyle can really learn to use his size every night, and if his skating really has improved as it appeared to have, then the Rangers might be able to push some teams around in the offensive zone and create energy and momentum.
5) Derek Boogaard may really not have to fight much. I think a lot of people are afraid of him. The Colton Orrs won’t be, of course. But a lot of people will. However, unless he’s in really bad shape, or unless he was really nervous in his first home game, he’s a worse skater than I thought. If that’s possible.
6) I liked Ryan McDonagh in spots. But what if he’s not ready? What’s that third pair going to look like? Semenov was OK. If Garnet Exelby has to make the team and play, it could be a big problem.
7) John Tortorella was in a good mood after the game. I almost asked him about having four forwards on the ice during OT — which he had on the power play just before the Rangers scored the winning goal. That’s was the topic over which we had our big TV blowup last season (also against he Devils). He thought it was a stupid idea.
I’m going to be away from the computer most of the day. There will be cuts. I trust you guys will scan the other sites and post them when/if they happen before I get back. Please attribute the source if you borrow them from another site.
Fifteen games until Opening Night.
15: Thurman Munson. Tom Tresh.
15: Bart Starr.
15: Anders Hedberg. Jim Neilson. Mike Hudson (he was suspended late in the ’93-94 season and never got back into the lineup; during the playoffs he went into Mike Keenan’s office and said, “Coach, you know my suspension’s over, right?”).