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.
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.