I just wanted to add something to what I wrote this morning about Derek Boogaard as a weapon.
He absolutely is, because there are going to be plenty of guys who won’t mess with him—and some who will (Colton Orr three times in the first month, for example). Boogaard is a pre-emptive weapon that way.
The thing is, though, he could actually dominate games if he could skate well enough to run around blasting opponents, and forcing other teams to try and stop him, instead of him stopping opponents’ tough guys. If he had enough ability to deliver hits, and then have that Sean Avery middle-of-every-scrum characteristic, he’d be a huge difference maker.
Alas, I don’t even know if he can skate well enough to play every night.
Here is tonight’s lineup, according to Steve Zipay:
Alex Frolov-Derek Stepan-Marian Gaborik
Brandon Dubinsky-Erik Christensen-Mats Zuccarello
Sean Avery-Todd White-Evgeny Grachev
Brian Boyle-Artem Anisimov-Brandon Prust
Dan Girardi-Alexei Semenov
Matt Gilroy-Ryan McDonagh
Pavel Valentenko -Michael Sauer
Martin Biron, Chad Johnson
I don’t believe many papers are sending reporters to this game. I only know of Zipay being there. Reminds me of when our paper traveled full time and how I’d be alone at some of these road exhibition games.
Zip reports that Tortorella said he expects to make cuts down to a manageable practice number after this game, which makes sense with only one preseason game during the week (Detroit Wednesday), then a home-and-home vs. Ottawa with almost an Opening Night lineup next weekend. You want to start focusing on system once you get it down into the low to mid 20s.
Tortorella said there would be more than two players cut, and since he said that Evgeny Grachev was”up and down” in his first game, this could be the make-or-break game for him in this camp. Eminger and Rozsival are sitting it out, slightly banged up, for precautionary reasons.