Rangers-Devils in review



1) Right off the hop, Sean Avery drew a penalty. This is a huge camp and preseason for Avery, assuming he wants to play beyond this season, because his contract’s up and he’s never going to see another contract like the last one. And he might not get any contract at all if he has a season like last year. He’s going to have to do a lot with a lesser role this season. Or sit a lot.

2) That said, how does he draw just a hooking penalty there, when the Devils player was whacking him relentlessly, and then dropped his gloves after the hooking penalty was called? How is that not, at minimum, two for hooking and two for unsportsmanlike conduct? Oh, right, because it’s Avery.

3) Liked what I saw from Tim Erixon, from Ryan Bourque, from Carl Hagelin. Maybe some nerves early. Otherwise, looked just fine to me. Christian Thomas, McColgan and Dylan McIlrath, too. Though I still wonder if, other than Erixon, there’s room on the big club for another rook.

4) Didn’t mind the work of Dale Weise, either, and that was before the fight and the goal. The Rangers are going to need call-up guys during the season, and based on what Weise and Kris Newbury did last year, they’d be fine in those roles again. And from what I understand, both worked extremely hard and came to camp in superb condition.

5) Nice game for the Block Ness Monster, Dan Girardi. (ps, and not making a big deal out of this, I always said I like him better away from Marc Staal; they’re too much alike).

6) Speaking of that, I’m off the Monster kick (except for Block Ness and Ryan McMonster) this year because I found out last year that Pierre McGuire uses it. So my new thing is going to be Beast. Unless somebody has objections, or a better term.

7) McIlrath=Beast.

8) Not a big fan of the Albany arena (had a bad experience there during hoops last March, though I did get to meet Julie and her mom). But it sure looked good to not have boards covered in ads, didn’t it?

9) Maybe it was because this was the first exhibition, and because the Devils didn’t have much of their lineup in there, but they weren’t as boring as usual, were they? Or should I say, “DeBoaring?” (Editors note: I wrote that early in the game. I take it back; they were boring).

10) Deveaux was pretty monst … um, er … beastly, too.

11) Guess which Rangers big-shot front-office guy admitted to me that he reads the blog.

12) Boy, it’s fun doing this again. Been a while. Don’t know how many of these I’ll get to see with the football season and the Yankees looking like they’re going to go deep into October. Might have to enlist some guest reviewers.

13) Good job by equipment manager Acacio Marques putting together Weise’s shirt, which was ripped open in the fight but back in one piece for the game-tying goal.


AP photo, above.

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  1. I was not as impressed by Erixon as most. I thought he was pushed off the puck with ease, and the speed of the game seemed to make him a little confused. It was just his first pre season game, and he did show some flashes, so I do think he is going to be alright. last night, not so much.

  2. I thought that Bourque and Havgelin were solid, and I thought Thomas did some good things. 2 rookies really stood out for me, Miller, and McIlrath. Miller is stronger than expected, made some plays at full speed, and he showed poise in his own zone on 2 plays along the boards. last night we saw the reason the Rangers drafted McIlrath. he was tough in front of the net, had a few good hits, and when there was a scrum in front of the net it ended when he arrived. he still made a few mistakes that led to chances for the Devs, but all in all I was impressed by him.

  3. onecupin72yearsandcounting on

    I think if there were any takers Avery would be a goner.

    Carp dropping the monster tag.. I wish people would drop the “That being said ” and the “that said ”
    I just hate it.. ok drop the puck.

  4. on Avery and Christensen.
    if the Rangers are going to start the season with its best team, then Avery should be on the team. I know I will have to read an entire season here of Torts doesn’t like Avery, and Avery should be on the first line, but I think he is one of the top 12 or 13 players up front. Christensen I do not see a role for. his days are numbered.

  5. As for which front office guy reads the blog…perhaps it’s not a coincidence that Carp slid that question in at #11…just sayin’…

  6. Good morning everyone! I was at the game last night. Avery made a couple of good passes from behind the net. He looked pretty good. I’m hoping he makes the team, which I think he might. If he keeps working hard like last night, he shouldn’t have a problem.

  7. Honestly I think Avery should get a shot playing with Gabby and Richards – I think the mucking he does in the corner and then all those centering passes he makes would work just fine, plus I think he is friends with both of those guys and that connection might be advantageous as well.

  8. Peter,
    that is why the Rangers signed Richards, so Avery can feed Gabby from behind the net with blind passes.
    I take back what I said earlier, I will not be able to take a full season of Avery should be on the first line. he needs to go.

  9. To whomever our Ranger Front Office reader is (Mess, Schony, Jeff, Gordie, Slats, Gravy, etc):

    I’m loving this team right now, lots of youth, great work ethic, good drafting and no more Bobby Holik moments.

    My one wish: please can you market Ranger games to an international audience? I have to pay NHL Gamecenter 113 Euro for 29 teams i dont follow and 1 i do.

  10. Great to see hockey last night. I thought the Devils were boring as usual. I hate losing to the Devils even in the pre season.

  11. onecupin72yearsandcounting – yeah, that saying is rather annoying. That said, it does have it’s uses!


    And Carp – yeah, nice to see your ‘top ten’ format again….

  12. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. So nice to settle into my chair at work and see a “Rangers and ________ in Review.”

    I have to agree that I saw a lot of good things from some of the rookies. They did seem to have some nerves early on but hey, it’s their first “professional” game. Also love that Ray Bjork was challenging Kovalchuk to try that junk on him. Especially since he did it in a “pick on someone your own size” sort of way in defense of his son.

    Loved Avery drawing a penalty EARLY. Set the tone. Liked Dale Weisse. Happy he put on some muscle and lost some body fat. At least he knows he has a chance to be more than a punching bag at the NHL level if he works hard.

    Once again…Where was Gaborik? Invisible in the first game! It was like he wasn’t even there………….

  13. “Beast” is just fine, Carp. One syllable too!

    Again, Erixon is the only rookie I see making the team this year. Hagelin I believe will start Whale’d and be a callup. The other forwards will probably be returned to junior.

    Also, Del Zotto did not look very effective. Like I said, the 6th D slot is Erixon’s to lose.

  14. I was surprised to find an online feed of the game last night. I think there are a couple of spots that can open up for a younger player. Avery needs to go. Weise can do what Avery does and he’s younger. I think another guy that can play PK and be a two way player can sneak into the lineup. A guy like Bourque, maybe.

    And, I would like to see Stepan and Zuccarello tried on the top line and see if either of them clicks.

  15. I have to second Bull Dog that JT Miller looked like one of the Rookies that could knock Christensen or Avery off this roster this year.

  16. i see del zotto still mking same mistakes. tha would suck if he doesnt make it. i would really worry about his future after such a good first year.

  17. rangers played ok for their first game considering the lineup they had, ami right? that being said, some of the bubble guyslike del zotto and avery/ec are not doing enough. and bourque is prob gonna get one ofthe forward spots and erixon is gonna outplay dz for the 6th spot. i mean 5th. emngers 6th i guess. if we et 2 rooks make the lineupthats great. but damn dz what is goin on with you!! i thought he was over the stupid stretch passes that dont connect aymore.

  18. yeah, grabby, none of the offense played. I cant wait until the reg. season. I think the offense will be consistently good this year, and with our growing and maturing defense, if Staal is back sooner rather than later, special team we’ll be watching. We have to be careful with Staal though, he’s a franchise defenseman.

    RIP Troy Davis

  19. I think it’s very crucial to remember that Torts has said he wants to find a way to get these rookies onto the team. I think that means Weiss, Erixon, Bjork, McllRath and Miller all have a legit shot to take spots.

  20. I thought the Devils put out a team very comparable to what we’ll see in the regular season. Accounting for the injured Zajac, we saw most of their top 6 forwards, probably guys that will rotate on their 4th line (Janssen, Boulton, Clarkson) and few other guys that will see time on the team like Josefson and Palmieri. On defense they had probably 4 of their 6 guys in there.

    By contrast the Rangers had 2 of their top 6 forwards, 1 of their top 4 D and bunch of guys that most likely aren’t going to see the NHL this year and possibly be returned to juniors.

    It’s a pre-season so this game means little in terms of gauging regular season performance, but I’d hardly be encouraged if I was a Devils fan that they iced an A-/B+ team and had to rely on a terrible giveaway by the Rangers 6/7th D to escape with an OT win.

  21. Christensen is useless and can’t be allowed to take a spot with talent waiting in the wings. I’d be happy to see Avery gone as well.
    I thought Borque played wel last night and I can see McIlrath developing into a valuable player with a lot of toughness.

    I’m so glad it’s hockey season again!

  22. Boom Boom Bathgate on

    Anyone who can apprise me as to which is the best internet deal to watch the Rangers this year, that would be appreciated. Had a baseball subscription a couple years ago and the New York teams were blacked-out. Just want to see the Rangers any and every time they play, regardless of my geographical location upstate, New York, and all that red tape. Thanks.

  23. Barry, Zotto looks awfully careless with his passes for a guy that was sent down last year for the same reason.

  24. Yup. His passing was pretty careless. Almost reckless at times. He threw the puck into 3 devils trying to get it through. Maybe he thinks he can make it happen and therefore is overestimating his skills. I am not sure. I know that at one point Del Zotto showed incredible promise. It was only one game. I want to see some more of his play before I make proclamations.

  25. He just needs to learn from his mistakes. No proclamations. He has a lot of talent, as he displayed in his first year. Just needs to learn when to put the puck deep or squeeze a pass, when to pinch in the offensive zone and when not to. Id like to think that Torts will straighten him out sooner rather than later or not at all.

  26. I think you might see McIlrath make the team, then get his 10 games in and be shipped back to junior for more developing. Then Staal rejoins the lineup….

  27. Carp,

    I looked for you in the press area and didn’t see you at all. I was sitting right next to press area. I saw Andrew Gross, Jim cerny, sather, torts and Ray bourque. And who was that absolutely beautiful blonde right in the middle of press box?

    For everyone bashing Avery. He was the best player on the ice with the exception of Dubi and Talbot. Avery was all over the ice showing good speed and tenacity on the puck. He was clearly a distraction to the devils all night as well. Maybe it didn’t come across on tv but he was heavily involved all throughout the game.

    Talbot was outstanding in net. I think he has to be looked at as birons replacement after next year…if he plays at this level consistently.

    Out of all the kids I think hagelin is the only one with even a remote chance at making the team. Bourque and Thomas chased the puck and showed a good effort, but neither did anything of substance with the puck at all. Thomas really looked out classed while bourque just appeared to maybe have a bit of nerves or just a step behind speed of the game.

    Del zotto was far from impressive. I felt like this was his chance to shine as #1 d-man for a night and he showed nothing.

    Erixon does show good smarts and decent skill…maybe nerves but he goofed on some pretty basic plays at blue line.

    Mclrath was solid. Nothing special at this point. However, twice I saw two devils attempt to hit him and literally just bounced right off him. I see a lot of upside with him.

    I’ll stop here…but if anyone has questions from the game on a certain player, just ask.

  28. i only liked what i saw from two guys last night talbot who wont be a factor for this team and the 2nd is dubi. you could dubi worked on his skating.

    mdz i have no patience for preseason or not. hes a bust.

  29. Doodie Machetto on

    Carp, I mostly agree with what you said.

    I disagree on Deveaux. To me, he looked like what Avery remarked about French-Canadians while in LA. I think he’s a wimp to play his type of game with a visor on, even more of a wimp to not take it off before fighting, and I think he didn’t do all that well in the fight against a much, much smaller opponent.

    I also disagree about the Devils being a boring team last night. I thought they pressed the action, forced turnovers, and played a good game in transition. Honestly, if it wasn’t for Talbot’s great play in the 2nd half of the game, the Devils could have easily scored four more goals.

    Petr Sykora is making that team. They had him playing center for a reason. He is going to be the replacement for Zajac to start the year. Lou loves bringing back old players of his (Rolston, Shanahan, Arnott, etc.). Sykora is next. Stralman is going to make the team too.

  30. As far as the crowd…I would estimate it was at least 60/40 in favor of the rangers.

    And I was very amused when many fans did attempt an a cappella goal song after weise scored.

  31. Doodie Machetto on

    “Del zotto was far from impressive. I felt like this was his chance to shine as #1 d-man for a night and he showed nothing.”

    I thought he was more decisive with the puck, deciding and acting quickly to shoot or pass, especially on the PP. I think that’s important with him because he got in a lot of trouble last year when he would hold it for too long. He also generally made the right decisions. However, I thought his actual execution was poor.

  32. Carp,

    maybe I misread what you meant about meeting Julie and her mom. I took that to mean lastnight. Did you meet her at the basketball game?

  33. With all the above being said…

    Graves was the last to wear 11 before Mess after Kisio
    EC\Avery = goodbye lets move on.
    Del Zotto has to show more – if not he will be whaled.
    Liked seeing the kids just the first scrimmage and they have a ways to go.
    Erixon = 6th D
    Chico = Horrible
    Weise has to stay.

  34. While Del Zotto was far from impressive, it’s also up to Eminger to show he deserves to be in the lineup as well. If it wasn’t for the fact that his competition for the 5th or 6th D is 1 rookie and a defensively challenged 21 year old, he’d be pounding the pavement looking for a job the same way that Paul Mara is.

  35. Good morning Carp! So great to see THIRTEEN comments on last nights game again!

    BTW, it has to be Graves that reads the blog? Am I right? If so, hi Adam!

  36. Bull dog,

    if he can stay in control and play like he did lastnight, then I see him as a solid third liner with the potential to join gabby and Richards on the top line. I think his top line minutes would be based on many factors…his ability to produce while not hurting the team with bad penalties…his potential chemistry with Richards…and the good chance that there will be nights when wolski and others aren’t producing in that spot. So he can rotate throught the top 9 IF he commits to playing hockey and not being a detriment to the team.

    I love Avery, but I cannot ignore or deny that at times he goes off the rails and is no longer effective in his role.

  37. I am with you, Joke. I really like Avery but can’t ignore his lack of effectiveness last year. Maybe he would have more luck if he put on a visor and tinted it blue. Or better yet, had his entire visor made by Ray-Ban.

  38. Carp =

    Have to disagree with you on Exerion – I did not see him play well enough to justify a 3rd pair D – he coughed up the puck a ton, and was pretty non-existent on some of the Devs and their Neutral Zone clog style – ‘thought they were gonna really be offensive minded this year – I still see the trap.

    Del Z was not much better either – and I was right in there on the Rangers goal song – sat across from Slats and torts (who were in front of the press area). Both of them at times seemed very dis-interested, that is until Tina won the hula hoop competition between the second and third periods.

  39. Boy, it’s nice to see Carp’s game in review again…

    Considering two thirds of our team was essentially Traverse City roster, I think we are overanalyzing it a bit. What I mainly liked is that they maintained the same work ethic and intensity as they showed last year. We forgot that it was a totally different team one year prior. I agree with most of your points, I just don’t see anyone, but Erixon, making the team. And I really hope they don’t rush McIlrath this year, even though he might be close. The guy could be special.

    Avery showed enough last night to warrant his spot in the lineup.

    I also liked the game of Mitchell and Bell. Those two could turn out to be nice surprises, if need to later this year. This team is deep, folks, we have a nice problem.

  40. Carp

    I do not like “Beast”! It does not sound as good as – Monster! I propose we use “Frankenstein” instead of “Beast”

    Is Avery on the first line yet?

  41. I have to agree with Joke and Eric. Dubinsky and Talbot stood out. I was at the game and Dubi made something happen every time he was on the ice. Talbot made some amazing saves. The save on Kovalchuk was amazing.

    As for Del Zotto, he coughed up the puck in overtime allowing the Devils to keep it in and then Emminger coughed it up again allowing them to score. To me, MDZ was at fault for that goal for failing to clear it. Not a fan of MDZ.

    The kids were all OK, nothing spectacular. Miller and McIlrath were probably the best with Hagelin, Bourqe and Erixon next in terms of effectiveness. Erixon did seem nervous, but he seemed to adapt as the game went along. Thomas is too small at this point and is over matched.

  42. Looks like Avery, Christensen, and Erixon aren’t going to make the team. The afternoon practice lineup:




  43. good morning all! I missed the game cause of work (oh the irony) but I’ll agree with ilb.

    Hello front office man!! LGR! Nice catch Adam Z :)

  44. Graves was the last 11, not the exec (though he might read it).

    Problem with Frankenstein (among others) is the misconception that Frankenstein was the monster. Frankenstein was the doctor who created the monster.

    I thought 33 was Rozsival.

  45. Jeez, if Mike Richter is 45, how freakin’ old am I?

    Oh, right, 26.

    Having said that, Josh, 26 was with me at the meeting at Mr. Green’s office yesterday.

  46. Wicky(grating PIBG)© (The she/it on our D is sofa king SOFT!!!) on

    morning ILB and all!!

    great to see the top 10 (plus one) back! Thanks Carp!!

    Nice view on French Canadiens, how about you and I step outside and we discuss it further d-bag, I don’t wear a visor, but I would be happy to let you wear one!

  47. I actually like @CCCP’s@ idea that we use Frankenstein. I would propose an amendment to that which would allow for the use of other monsters such as, but not limited to, Dracula, Headless Horseman, Nightwalkers, etc.

  48. Ha! Missed the French Canadiens comment, just read it. That wasn’t the smartest thing said by Avery. I remember Ian Laperriere’s response to that comment:” I’m his guy, right here”

  49. wow Carp…you know your Frankenstein! But when people see the word “Frankenstein” they think of a monster…so it kind of works.

    How about a “Centaur”? Half man half horse! True beast!

  50. On a g(j)ibberish note ( a substitute for “having said that” :-), mrs and I visited three towns in the West Bank territories and it was a wonderful and very safe experience.

  51. Wicky, I don’t share that view. It was more an expression of how I was unimpressed by Deveaux.

  52. While only 20 men, Avery is in a different group skating with Mitchell and Weise. Not good for him. Christensen in same group with Thomas and Hagelin. Defensemen include Erixon, McIlrath, Valentenko, and Kundratek.

    All in all, not a good sign to be in that group.

  53. Wicky(grating PIBG)© (The she/it on our D is sofa king SOFT!!!) on

    fair enough. I retract my invitation to step outside! You can keep the visor though, I hate those things! And frankly I agree with you on the group that avery is in (as well as the 4 d men you referenced)…not a good sign!

    I didn’t get to see the game, but I thought the bahama bomba did alright in the fight (watched it at hockeyfights.com…sorry carp)!

  54. Wicky, he didn’t get thrashed or anything, but while Joe said Clarkson was giving up 20 pounds, it was actually 40. And I think Clarkson still did better, once the referees got out of the way.

  55. Christensen and Avery will both likely make the team, but as spare forwards. The former deserves it due to his frequent dispassionate play and the latter just because he’s a nob.

  56. I’ll be disappointed if V-Tank can’t make the team. He’s now waivers-eligible, so going to CT will likely see him stay there the whole year or end up with a different team.

  57. Avery was 2nd best forward after dubi. Some very good passes coming out of zone and was strong on puck.

    McBeast making the team would be great. Miller is way too raw – they need a first line winger, so if he can play there, keep him over Wusski

    Roster decisions for forwards are EC or Zuc or Aves – I like Aves for 4th line, the other 2 for SO option

    MDZ looked like…MDZ

    3rd D pairing – McBeast/Erikson or MDZ/Ems – like the first pair

  58. EC: CCCP, don’t kill me, please!

    CCCP: I ain’t gonna kill you.

    EC: Oh Christ, thank you! Thank you!

    CCCP: [CCCP looks at Manny] Manolo, shoot that piece of carcillo!

  59. Christensen should be on the team because he’s the 3rd best offensive player we have on the team. Does that mean he actually plays like it? Absolutely not, and that’s been his issue his whole career.

    However other than Gaborik, he’s the only player that can snipe the top corner with a quick release and a hard shot and completely fool the goalie. He has the skill, it’s just a matter of him using it. When he gets on those hot streaks, it’s worth having him as a 13th/14th forward.

    Avery WILL make the team as a spare forward. He’s another player that can be used in spurts because as with EC, when he’s hot and on his game, it’s also worth having him to insert in the lineup.

    I’d much rather have EC and Avery be Prucha’d than Hagelin, Thomas, Bourque, or even MZA. EC and Avery aren’t going to grow anymore in regards to their play. The kids are better served being Whale’d and getting top 6 minutes so we can progress them through the system.

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