(Editor’s note: Anybody interested in doing reviews of the Sunday or Monday games? If so, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Another round of cuts coming today for John Tortorella. As I’ve said all along, there really aren’t a lot of spots available for new guys. The Rangers still need to keep some extra bodies around with two more preseason games and the season opening in Europe, in case of injuries or whatever.
IMO, Sean Avery and Mats Zuccarello are going to be on the roster. So, my predictions (no big revelations here, I don’t think) …
Forwards: Richards, Gaborik, Wolski, Dubinsky, Anisimov, Callahan, Fedotenko, Boyle, Prust, Rupp, Stepan, Zuccarello, Avery. Bubble: Christensen, Bourque, Newbury. Out: Hagelin, Mitchell, Weise.
D-men: Staal (IR?), Girardi, Sauer, McDonagh, Del Zotto, Eminger. Bubble: Erixon, McIlrath, Bell, Bickel. Out: Partlett.
Goalies: Lundqvist, Biron (emergency backup first two games: Stajcer).
1) That was just a very cool day all around for alternate captain Henrik Lundqvist, not to mention Joel, and their family.
2) I don’t have much doubt that Ryan Bourque could play in the NHL right now. But the question is, where does he play if he stays? Because if it’s fourth line and no special teams, then he’s better off going back and playing major developmental minutes.
3) Not sure I agree with the commentators that all of these guys are still around because of the way they’ve played. I’m certain some of them are around only because of four games in five nights in Europe, after three North American preseason games. You can’t have Gaborik and Richards and Callahan playing every game.
4) On Tim Erixon, I can see what they’re talking about, that the kid has a very good head on his shoulders and understands the game. But I’m not sure if he’s an NHLer at the moment, and if he isn’t, and if Michael Del Zotto is still going to be feeling his way around, the Rangers have some problems on the third pair. Toss that in with the HUGENORMOUS question mark on the first pair with Marc Staal’s absence, and now Mike Sauer’s ailments, and the Rangers sure look like a team that needs to make a deal for a D-man band-aid. Unless they think one of these other guys, Brendan Bell or Stu Bickel can hold the fort for a while.
5) … Though I wonder if there will be a temptation to keep Dylan McIlrath around for a while.
6) That play Del Zotto made on his goal, that’s the kind of play that’s going to be there with Brad Richards on the PP point, and the other point guy is going to have to be capable of making the play MDZ made. I don’t think the Rangers have anybody who can do that better than Del Zotto, unless they use a forward there.
7) Said this before, I think Kris Newbury and Dale Weise are going to be spending a fair amount of time on the Merritt Parkway between Hartford and New York this year, and neither one will ever hurt the Rangers.
8) A lot of us are/were taking a wait-and-see on Brian Boyle coming off his breakout year. Well, so far—and I know it’s a small sample—I think he looks better than last year.
9) Is the politically correct name for Frolunda Indians “Frolunda Native Swedes?” Sorry. I’m just so mixed up with all this PC stuff.
10) Totally unrelated to everything, here’s an idea for Bud Selig: Hey, on a day with a bad forecast late in the day, schedule the game to start at 8:40. Idiots.