Guest blogger: Manny … Rangers-Devils in review

167

Before everyone starts demanding trades, firing coaches and writing off the season as a total loss let’s remember that pre-season games are hardly must-win scenarios (a lesson Rex Ryan learned the hard way). That said, with 46 players competing for half that many roster spots, there is certainly an aspect of “must impress” for all of the youngsters and a few of the old guys too. For forwards such as Marek Hrivik, speedster Ryan Bourque and Danny Kristo, along with defensemen Justin Falk and Stu Bickel (who felt well enough to go and got the nod over “The Undertaker,” Dylan Mcllrath) the pre-season games will provide an opportunity to showcase their value against (mostly) NHL-level competition.

The Rangers’ bottom six forwards—along with a Prucha or two—are not anywhere close to set in stone. There is quite a battle at the forward position and it’s going to be really exciting to see if Jesper Fast(h), Danny Kristo, J.T. Miller, Oscar Lindberg, Marek Hrivik, Micheal Haley and others, such as Ex-Peterborough Pete Andrew Yogan, can crack the lineup in place of Arron Asham, Chris Kreider, Darroll Powe, Taylor Pyatt, Mats Zuccarello Aasen and maybe even Dominic Moore. On the defensive end, there are a few guys battling for a possible opening on the third defensive pairing and some of the aforementioned candidates—get excited boys and girls—might even have some grit, toughness and the ability to drop the gloves (attributes last season’s roster was severely lacking). Finally, an unexpected yet interesting, battle is shaping up between veteran netminder Johan Hedberg, incumbent Martin Biron and the youngster Cam Talbot for the honorable task of backing up the league’s No. 1 goaltender, Henrik Lundqvist, who will most likely start between 60-65 games this season. You can expect dollars and cap space to make an impact on that front.

Thoughts:New York Rangers v New Jersey Devils

1) We aren’t seeing the full implementation of the offensively heavy Vigneault system this early on. Safe is exactly what it is—safe. But we are seeing some changes, er, lack thereof. Line combos remained consistent throughout the game with a slight change on the third defensive pairing in the second period.

2) We have to assume at this point, based on his size, talent and chemistry with Nash, that the top line LW position is “The Kreider’s” to lose. Vigneault loves highly skilled players and The Kreider certainly is a good example of one.

3) Everyone’s favorite whipping boy, Brian Boyle, had a great night starting most of his shifts in the offensive zone and winning a remarkable percentage of face offs including 4/4 in the first period.

4) We all went nuts about the Brad Richards non-buyout and there is nothing that can change my mind that he has to be bought out at the end of this season. But, you have to like what you saw. Tentative early, he became more aggressive with the puck, shot more, followed his shots and went to the net on the PP.

5) Marc Staal, despite recovering from what some considered a career-threatening injury, looked like the Marc Staal of old. Maybe even a bit more offensive minded than before. Sporting a tinted visor that covers most of his face, Marc relieved a lot of Rangers fans by playing a solid, Marc Staal style game on the first pair, with Michael Del Zotto.

6) John Moore. Boy oh boy this kid can flat out skate. Another assumption would be that his spot on the first PP unit is his to lose. His ability to carry the puck coast to coast, enter the zone with speed and his above average wrist shot make him an ideal candidate for that role.

New York Rangers v New Jersey Devils7) We heard very little about the shallower goalie nets in the offseason, but, when you watch a big guy like Boyle work back there, you realize that it really does free up a lot of space for a sizeable player who can protect the puck to try for wrap-arounds. Can’t wait to see little speedsters like Hagelin try that move.

8) I expect Del Zotto to silence the critics this season and I think he showed some real confidence playing under a new coach. He was much more decisive with the puck and much more useful on the left side of the PP unit.

9) Nice to see Mashinter drop the gloves. He’s not going to make the team, but you have to enjoy rooting for the kid. But this rule that the NHL doesn’t want players to take off their helmets because they might fall doesn’t make any sense. First of all, these guys are getting punched in their faces/heads, and the NHL is worried about them falling? Second, Mashinter wears a visor which puts him in a really tough spot: if he fights with his helmet on, he gets a minor penalty for instigating while wearing a visor and, on the other hand, if he takes his helmet off he gets a minor penalty for removing his helmet. Sometimes I think the NHL just doesn’t think things through at all.

10) Say what you will about the PP, which didn’t score, but they were moving the puck with a purpose, getting guys to the net and, most importantly, shooting the puck. The defenders were very active with some low wristers and guys like Kreider, who we have been dying to see go to the crease, actually went to the crease and set up a screen.

11) Hybrid icing is stupid. Enough said. It’s stupid.

12) Danny Kristo looked like a very energetic kid with a heck of a lot of potential. Probably needs another season out of the NHL but looks like the Rangers got the better of that swap when they moved Christian Thomas to Montreal for Danny Kristo.

13) Stu Bickel, Dylan Mcllrath or Justin Falk absolutely needs to make this team. This squad absolutely needs a tough defenseman that can get out there, bang bodies, clear the crease and drop the gloves if necessary. Not playing favorites but Bickel made a nice outlet pass to Nash and played a defensively solid game.

14) Rangers’ first goal of the [pre] season scored by Dominic Moore. Great, great comeback story from an early candidate for the Masterton Trophy. Everyone involved in hockey is really pulling for him to make the team.

Manny’s Three Rangers Stars:
1. Dominic Moore
2. Michael Del Zotto
3. John Moore

Photos by Getty Images.

 

About Author

167 Comments

  1. Nice post, Manny. I loved that Moore got the goal on a nice backhand, good for him. Have a wonderful morning ‘Heads!

  2. Ths is a pre season post…..just trying to exercise my mind in order to be ready for season….sharpen my rapier wit….better focus my eyes….obviosly not there yet….but I feel good about getting this first post game comment off my chest…..Manny looks to be in mid season form…I guess that he didnt waste his off season YouTubing like me…nicr work Manny!

  3. I did not think Boyle was all that impressive. I thought he was the same as always. MDZ looked lost, not confident. Kreider spends way to much time chasing the puck, he needs to play a straight ahead game. I thought Richards continued to look slow. I thought Moore had some, wow this kid is going to be great moments, and some what the heck is he doing moments. the best thing about Kristo is, either he or the puck is always going to the net. but he looks small, and got knocked down a bit. first glance he looks like an AHL player.

  4. that post was much too positive; glass half full type of review

    where is the negativity? Where is the angst? Where is the complete and utter vitriol?

    can we get Eric to do a guest blogger spot?

  5. Can’t defend my boy Kristo. . . Direct TV decided to black out MSG. So no game for me!

    So I’ll have to read what you thought of him. Was he in the ice for the score?

  6. Good Job Manny!

    Nice post. Don’t listen to the negative back wash.

    Who gave up the goals. Did they get any past Henrik?

  7. Czechthemout!!! on

    Mdz 2 nd star? LOL!!!!

    Kristo needs AHL season? Um, no!

    Boyle played well, like a fourth line player that he is.

  8. Great job Manny!! This review proves that if you blog hard during the off season, you’ll turn some heads at camp, and earn your spot.

  9. Ross The Boss Rhea is Liev Schreiber. I’m proud to report that he actually gave his REAL name for his coffee. So they were like, “Latte for Liev. LIEV!”

  10. LMGO, C-Dubs. I know, Papa. My life!

    Sioux – Kristo looked very energetic and really involved when he was on the ice. He also looked raw, took a stupid penalty one minute in and wasn’t always sound in his on-ice positioning. First game though. He definitely was noticeable.

  11. Btw Manny, nice job on the post. But I realize though, I’ll need to work extra hard with you on Delzotto.

  12. It’s hard to convince me that there is a better option out there than Del Zotto. He’s 23, and has NHL experience. Lots of it. He is affordable at under $3M (essentially the same as PK Subban) and he’s shown he has the offensive ability (41 points from a D-Man is not a joke). And guess what, he’s actually SOLID defensively and physically engaged.

    But I’m open to all attempts to convert my position on said matter.

  13. Nice summary Manny. All I can see is PLEASE PLEASE no Bickel. He’s already proven he’s not an NHL player. So I’ll vote for McIlrath or Falk. Lets see what they can do. If they can’t hack it, then we have to go outside. I agree, we need a big strong d-man. Just not Bickel.

  14. Good morning, boneheads!

    Very well written, Manny! Thanks.

    I hope you guys all kidding about making any conclusions after one preseason game. Right?

    The only solid conclusions I can come up with, in that order, are:

    1. Mashinter can fight.
    2. John Moore can really skate.
    3. Kristo will be in the NHL one day.
    4. Kreider still thinks his main assignment is checking.

    Lastly, AV was thoroughly outcoached.

  15. Great recap Manny! Agreed on Moore and Kristo, in fact I can envision kristo staying if Cally isn’t ready to start the season. AV even kept him out there at the end of the game trying to tie it up.

  16. I couldn’t believe I was reading posters on here saying the rangers were doomed, probably missing the playoffs, etc…. This after the first preseason game and without a bunch of there starters. I think Eric is rubbing off on some of these posters.

  17. Great recap Manny. Watch out Carp, he might Wally Pipp you :-)

    This is taken from Larry Brooks in today’s NY Post:

    Martin Brodeur seemed to take a verbal poke at Henrik Lundqvist last week when talking about the reduction of the size of goaltenders’ pads.

    “There’s goalies — I won’t name names but they’re not too far — they have different padding that it’s not about protection,” Brodeur was quoted by The Record.

    Lundqvist reluctantly acknowledged on Monday morning that he was aware of the remark.

    “I know people have thought that I look big out there, but that’s never been an issue with me,” The King told The Post before surrendering one goal on 15 shots in 30:44 against the Devils.

    “I know I’m ‘not too far’ but I don’t know what he’s talking about.”

    Johan Hedberg, who was Brodeur’s partner with the Devils the past three years and is attending Rangers camp on a tryout, laughed as he heard Lundqvist address the issue.

    “If you’re not cheating, you’re not trying,” said A-Rod, er, Hedberg.

    My take: Very interesting statement from Brodeur. But what about the extra padding (i.e. spare tire) that “Fatso”, er “Uncle Daddy”, um Brodeur has been carrying?

  18. _Martin Brodeur seemed to take a verbal poke at Henrik Lundqvist_

    I’m glad it was just a verbal one! Thanks for being specific, LB

  19. Over abundance of Lefty D has MDZ a lefty playing RD now with McD, Staal and Moore as our top 3 Left D? Moore does make some questionable plays with puck in own end – too cute with the biscuit behind net leads to some bad turnovers.

    Have we seen the best of MDZ (WYSIWYG) or is it; he is only 23 and will perform better with age? Need RD banger (with Mash?). Calling the Undertaker, please come take your spot on the right side.

    Step was invisible last night

  20. iWicky "Frag Out!!!" on

    Morning all!!

    Nice work manny!!

    I know I’m in a very small minority here, but I’ve always thought the kreider was overrated, I have yet to see anything to change my mind.

    Need toughness on the blueline and team badly…mdz and/or Stralman must go.

    Liked mashinter dropping the gloves, be nice to see him make it on the club, but I think it’s a long shot.

    I thought Boyle did well.

    Good on Dom Moore!

  21. Gravy, Just Gravy on

    Kristo was noticeable and was on the ice for the goal, IIRC. The PP didn’t score, but did get some chances. Can we give Kreider a few preseason games…he’s shown flashes in the past and is going to get a real shot.

  22. “I don’t like Boyle and MDZ and thus I think they played badly despite their objectively not playing badly.”

  23. Matty "CLEANSLATE/FIRESATHER"boy on

    Manny, agree with most of your points. Kristo definitely needs a year or two in minors. Not ready for this level. A lot of energy, some speed, but all over the place. Needs a harness and some guidance.

    On Staal, I disagree. The ‘macro’ things he did ok, but his ‘micro’ play (knocking the puck down with hand or stick, trapping the puck with the stick, etc.) led me to wonder if it was timing or his eye isn’t working as it was. Something like this needs to be watched carefully by the GM and coach. Let’s hope its just timing. He’s a great guy to have on the team and is looked up to as a leader.

  24. Matty "CLEANSLATE/FIRESATHER"boy on

    To me last night, while the first pre-season game (so, really, who cares????), showcased 2 very different teams prospects.

    First, the Devils wouldn’t put up with a Richards scenario. Don’t perform, you’re gone.

    But moreover, the prospects they displayed were, in general, simply more talented and in many cases, had size, shot, puckhandling ability, and speed. They were also chosen smartly by the organization to fill a need. Gelinas and Urbom are impressive defensemen (both played their size, 6’4″) that can play physical and yet, have point shots. Tell me what we have that’s like them??

    I was also impressed by Pesonen and Boucher who have skilled hands and good shots, but are small.

    I was not overly impressed by any young Ranger, but it was obvious ‘THe Kreider’ is a thorobred. If he can get it together, he’s a real player. John Moore is a 5,6.

  25. Matty "CLEANSLATE/FIRESATHER"boy on

    We were handed Club Seats at 5 pm, and I decided to go with my 16 yo daughter who says she “is marrying Henrik, only he doesn’t know it yet”. We moved down behind the bench (there were very few people in the club seats).

    How great for her it was. Great view of the players, Ulfie, AV, etc.

    Let me tell you, the club experience at The Rock, for $189.50 a ticket (with complimentary food and drink) kills the ‘club experience’ at MSG for $250 a ticket and the opportunity to buy food at inflated prices, to boot.

    There also were new management people walking around asking the ‘clubbies’ what their thoughts were of the ‘experience’ and asking for ideas that would make it better.

    Hate to say it, but this new owner is going to be a plus for this team. Add Lou and you have some real potential.

    The guys across the river who directly benefit from demographics should wake up and check out what’s happening 8 miles away.

  26. Well at least he was noticed, and got an assist.

    That is what preseason is all about. Get some games in as see where everyone fits.

    Kristo has time to learn the NHL game, it isn’t going to happen in one preseason game. But the kid has a way of scoring, you can’t take that away from him.

  27. BTW – Kreider playing with Richards so he will need to generate his chances playing 4 on 5. One big issue is he rarely wins 1on1 battles for puck in the corner – needs to play his size and start rolling Dmen.

    Kristo looked OK, though too many times that line had all 3 forwards below goal line – can we get someone in front of net? Should open up the corners, no?

  28. Matty I had club seats at MSG and did the Delta 360 thing, I thought it was a great experience.

    But then again Bickel TKO’s Tostito right in front of me, and we laughed when they came back out looking for his teeth.

    After the shovels cleaned up the snow. Ha.

  29. _But moreover, the prospects they displayed were, in general, simply more talented and in many cases, had size, shot, puckhandling ability, and speed. They were also chosen smartly by the organization to fill a need._

    Matty, not you specifically, but there were a bunch of people loving the Devils prospects last night. Is there any D prospect who played last night for them that NJ wouldn’t flip to NY for MDZ? Seems to highlight the disconnect we have where we love other guys but not our own. Our objectively better asset is blasted here non-stop while lesser talents (now and future) are praised. Its weird.

    (And worth noting there’s less than a year of age separating all three of MDZ, Urbom and Gelinas.)

  30. Anybody else see the piece in the NYT that suggested Brassard is a very similar player to Larouche?? Lunacy.

  31. Hope Brass-hard doesn’t chain smoke as many cancer sticks in the locker room as Lucky Peirre did between periods

  32. CARP,

    Thanks for referring to him as ” The Kreider”!!

    A few of us still have trouble with this, but they’ll come around.

    It’s a matter of respect.

  33. Siouxperman, where do u live that u were blacked out? I was too in the Tampa area. However, fyi the replays of the game are available all day on 634/5.

  34. Good job Manny!

    So so so happy D-Moore got the goal last night! Really good guy off the ice too.

    Speaking of off the ice, I finally met my hero Henrik Lundqvist last night, and I think I might be getting a dry cleaning bill from him after I accidentally drew a line with my Sharpie on his suit. Oops!

  35. The optimist says the glass is half full. The pessimist says it is half empty. The realist says that the glass is twice the size that it needs to be.

    That said, we all have fun (as it should be) playing the evaluation game. I respect and consider everyone’s slant, but here’s mine, subject to correction.

    – One (prelim) game does not a season make.
    – Win or lose, we’re evaluating talent, not fighting for points.
    – Hard to not like Bickel because of his enthusiasm and toughness, but he got a lot of minutes because he’s on the bubble as to his future with the organization.
    – DelZ was his usual mediocre self, but still needed.
    – If Richie were a 23 year old, million dollar prospect, I would applaud his performance last night. As things are, I’m not impressed.
    – Strange that Biron is being challenged other than to cut payroll.
    – Ash, at 35, will be replaced by someone at half his salary. Sorry to see him go.
    – The kids always have a tough row to hoe mentally at this stage, because the uniformed “core” naturally do not root for them to replace buddies.
    – Our D, while last night not flip-flopping on the ice, still won’t play the man.
    -

  36. the question on Kreider is not does he have the talent to play in the NHL, but whether he ever figures out how to use it. with his size, skill, speed, and shot, he should score 20 by accident. if he figures out how good he can be he could score 40. last night he just kind of ran around.

  37. Yes, I thought we were a little short on ruckus bringing last night. I don;t see many guys who can regularly shoot the puck in such a way that the goalie can’t stop it before it goes in the net and lights the red lamp and causes me to jump up and spill my box of nachos and cheese all over some kid who is only at the game because his old man knows someone who knows someone

  38. Sioux,
    you asked about how Kristo played last night, here is my opinion.
    Kristo was noticeable pretty much every time he was on the ice. he goes to the net hard, and puts the puck toward the net. the goal that was scored was because got to a lose puck, and got a quick shot on goal.
    my negative about him is that he seems small. he got knocked down a few times. not sure how he is going to handle NHL sized Dmen. doesn’t look like he is going to scared. thats for sure.

  39. Watching The Krieder last night and even last year, he seems to defer to the veterans. He made a pass to Nash in front of the net when he just should have ripped it. I think he needs to be “the man”, maybe playing with others his age would/might help. Just play hockey, smash somebody and get engaged in the game. Certainly a line of youngsters would be a defensive nightmare but so is putting him out there with BR and Nash.

    Kristo on the other hand wasn’t tentative and went to the net and took shots, good attitude, good skills, wish he came in a bigger package.

  40. Matty "CLEANSLATE/FIRESATHER"boy on

    Mister D @11:46, good point!!

    I didn’t see a player the likes of MDZ last night on the Devils. Gelinas was impressive for what I saw of him and he can clear the crease and boom it from the point.

    No doubt we all overlook MDZ. This is HIS year, with the Torts handcuffs off. Would love to see him excel.

  41. Matty "CLEANSLATE/FIRESATHER"boy on

    SeaDubb, that’s an interesting point on Kreider.

    He had a takeaway and a nifty pass up ice to Nash in the third (I think). I saw a couple of checks from him, not full intensity, but pretty good checks.

    Hey, if I was a kid playing alongside Nash, I’d defer, I think. You make a really good point!

  42. We have McD and Moore who should be un=handcuffed. Tired of seeing DelZ play mediocre (and sometimes blatantly bad) defense and then blast slap shots off the glass at the other end.

  43. _Watching The Krieder last night and even last year, he seems to defer to the veterans._

    That’s it. Tentative isn’t the right term, its deferential. Whose job is it to fix that? AV telling him to drive and fire, vets to tell him to let it go to The Kreider needing to just do it?

  44. Wow MDZ=Sanchez That is a great comparison. Can you butt fumble a puck?

    Bickel looked like he was skating in quicksand. Dont think he has a chance to make the big team.

    We got the wrong Justin Falk. He literally stood there and watched as the devils scored their first goal in front of Hank.

    Richards for sure had a lot more jump in his skate last night. Time will tell.

    Boyle looked stronger on his skates and the puck last night.

    Really liking what I see in John Moore. He can really move the puck. Staal looked good last night as well. He had to lead the Rangers in shots taken.

  45. Too early to rail of young, strong Falk, but that #44 looked a bit too familiar a few times out there last night.

  46. From THE 'VILLE on

    Hey Sioux-per-man, I also have Directv with MSG package in KY and the live game was blacked out but the rebroadcast at 10:00 was on. Same goes for tonight’s game. Check that out on your D-TV schedule.

  47. MDZ = Sanchez might be the peak of everyone being ridiculous. Sanchez came into NY with higher expectations and has failed to the point no team would take him. MDZ, if placed on waivers tomorrow, would be picked up by every team with cap space (and probably most without who would find a way to make it). C’mon.

  48. Stranger Nation on

    Put Brassard between Nash and ‘The’ Kreider – enough of the BRich BS

    2 thoroughbreds playing with a crippled jockey

  49. _Of course MDZ would be picked up on waivers. What would they give up in trade is the question._

    An asset that has value. Pretty sure everyone except a sub-section of NYR fans knows this. MDZ is still a positive asset, Sanchez is a total anchor.

  50. Also worth remembering: There’s a subset of Jets fans who thinks Kane is overrated and they’d love to dump him. We can look at those fans and know how and why they’re wrong.

  51. Next year, DelZ (who now makes 3 mil) will be looking for McD money or McD money plus. Unless he jumps up and finally realizes his potential, he’s trade bait. Hope he picks up the oar.

  52. I’m not worried about Kristo’s size. He isn’t any smaller than Stepan or Callahan, but he just has a nose for the net. He is always around the scoring. You will see, it doesn’t matter if it’s at MSG or Hartford, he will put up the points.

  53. Coos I agree. So you have to wonder who comes in behind him that is going to pick up the 40-50 points he will put up this year. One would like to think Moore has the skills.

    Del Zotto will also have the highest trade value come the deadline, so it would be interesting what type of top end talent we would get in return. Never know it could be a win/win type of trade.

    Personally, I think Del Zotto is going to shine in AV’s system this year.

  54. Bull dog it’s not that simple. Cap’s gone down $10M this year.

    DZ took the gap contract, and Step will be here before the start of the season on the same type of contract.

    Sure would be nice to have Richards $ to make it easier.

  55. watching the game again right now, and I have to adjust a few of my thoughts. MDZ, was not lost, but a little confused. he seems stuck between what he used to do last year, and what is being asked this year. Kreider was better than I thought. John Moore was a lot better than I thought. and a guy nobody mentioned, was actually pretty good, Hrivek. I also liked Falks game a little.

  56. The hatred of Boyle and Del Zotto reaches epic proportions at times. Like, after the first pre-season game where Del Zotto actually looked like a different player. Did you guys forget that he was our most physical D-Man in the playoffs?

  57. To improve, IMO, Kreider needs to:

    1) battle hard in the hot zones,
    2) take the body consistently,
    3) protect the puck better
    4) continue to use his speed but cut to the net more off the rush
    5) shoot the puck at every opportunity

    Not saying that he wont, but If he doesn’t grow into a hungry player, he will become just another highly skilled, talented underachiever.

    He has a great example in Callaghan to watch and learn from.

  58. Gravy, Just Gravy on

    Think it’s time for the first WBM(c) of the season:

    0) Boyle
    1) Richards
    2) MDZ
    3) Bickel
    4) Falk
    5) Kreider

  59. Nothing can make you change your mind about Richards? Real objective…

    You know, not everyone appreciates fighting, right? Just checking since you made no mention of that after you expressed your dismay about the helmets.

    Why is hybrid icing dumb? Are you a fan of games with no action? Elaborate, please.

  60. Richards is, and remains, a major disappointment
    Fighting is wonderful
    Hybrid icing impedes action, doesn’t enhance it

  61. _The Flinch by Del Zotto is the best part, The Doctor. Thanks for that._

    Not just the flinch, the flinch and the face. Kills me.

  62. _Nothing can make you change your mind about Richards? Real objective…_

    I’m sure some will disagree, but there’s a pretty easy argument to make that Richards’ 2013-14 success and whats best for the franchise have an inverse relationship. If he puts up a point a game, awesome, but if that means he’s not amnestied, you may have just traded one good year (in arrears) for six bad ones. Or 2 + 5 or 3 + 4 or whatever, but it could really hurt if Sather thinks he’s been reborn.

  63. You can’t reach any conclusions based on one preseason game.

    There needs to be an investigation performed by the Rangers that concludes that McDonagh is the top U.S. born defenseman.

  64. As good as McDonuts has proven himself to be on defense, his offensive talents have yet to be fully realized.

  65. At the risk of getting Micheletti all lathered up, McD has a lower body worthy of Olympic Speed Skaters.

  66. Perhaps some here should stop judging MDZ’s value and performance through the prism of silly rotisserie league-stat colored glasses.

  67. We have Moore and McD as potential offensive weapons. What we need is one or two young, $700 grand Dmen who stay at home and arrogantly clear the crease

  68. Hi Everyone! Anybody know what the secret code word is for the Chase presale tomorrow for Rangers home game tickets????

  69. Bull dog, re: the MDZ debate, I freely admit in my assessment, there is minimal value afforded his point and stat lines.

  70. Stranger Nation on

    MDZ has skating and shooting problems which IMHO are intractable, however, he was the squad’s most “complete” Dman season before last IMHO; stopped the home run passes/icings, played more physical in his own zone, jumped into play at right times. His play in Sens series was very impressive.

    Last season, he wasn’t playing on same level defensively and was starting to make some bad choices with and with out puck. Possibly looking forward to ‘bonding’ trip to Ibiza with his lucky charm? Who knows…

    Fact is he doesn’t have a solid D partner and we have too many Left handed D-men. Strahlman is a bargain and has played better each season, but has no brawn and, for some reason, gets little PP time.

    Who would get rid of out of McD, Staal, MDZ and Moore?

    My guess is Staal if the return is comparable Righty D-man given age, contract size and injury history.

  71. I’m certainly on the stat guy side of things, but not roto stats. Mine is more of a macro “look at every other team and tell me that somehow MDZ isn’t a decent-2nd-pair-at-worst-with-upside-for-more option that every team would want”.

  72. So far, it’s a pleasure to listen to AV instead of that megalomaniacal, pugnacious, Musky mouthed, vertically challenged, two-bit bully.

  73. _“Decent” doesn’t equate with $5 million per, long term._

    Then its a good thing we’re paying him half that and have no obligation to go to that level in the future, huh?

  74. Julie wrote:
    Hi Everyone! Anybody know what the secret code word is for the Chase presale tomorrow for Rangers home game tickets????

    According to a poster over at the Blog d’Andrew Gross, it is SEASON. It is located in his Philadelphia game blog entry.

  75. But seriously Coos, if I were to endlessly rail on Hank this year then say its because I think he might ask for $9.5MM per and man is that a lot, you’d call that poor justification, right?

  76. Afternoon all,

    Manny: For a meaningless game in middle of September, you certainly provided a wealth of analysis.

    Nicely done.

    Furthermore, guest bloggers are part of what makes Rangers Report so cool.
    I’ve been fortunate enough to get that gig a number of times here and hope to do so this season as well. Its really a great way to create and sustain relationships with your readers.

    Carp does a superb job of that.

    ‘Nuff said.

  77. I don’t cotton to sophistry, with all due respect. We have Delz this year and I’ll root for him.

  78. Del Zotto is entering his 5th NHL season. Both high prized NJ defensive prospects mentioned before are less than a year younger than him, and both are entering the last year of their ELCs. They played zero NHL games so far, couldn’t make a team with defensive line up that more than questionable after departure of Paul Martin

  79. NICE job Manny!

    wasn’t able to watch last night
    but
    i still think they should just go to
    European style icing….maybe NHL doesn’t
    want to do it because they consider it
    Europansy Icing
    ugh!!
    would actually allow more time for actual hockey plays

  80. as far as Bickel…
    no one’s really discussed
    how messed up he is
    after he originally joined the team
    i recall that he started off
    with assists in his first few games
    and seemed as if he’d be our
    crease-clearing d-man
    then
    something happened
    and that ability hasn’t returned

  81. looks like Stepan is asking for 3.5 mill. same as what Duchenese got on his bridge contract. Rangers offering a little over 3.

  82. Jeff in South Dakota on

    So one preseason game and some people are saying there’s dookie on the slate? Say it ain’t so…

  83. I agree with Seee.

    Certainly, there are folks here who blame the cigar chomper for this. And I understand their side of the story.

    However, its not entirely on his shoulders. The player and his agent are at fault as well. And the timing of this holdout couldn’t be worse. An entirely new coaching staff and new system are being implemented simultaneously. A player who is not in camp from day one and is being counted on to play big minutes and produce some big numbers is falling futher and further behind.

    Yes, Step should take the deal and get into camp.

  84. Call it want you want, Bull Dog (#18 was a real solid player).

    But Step needs to step up, take the millions the Rangers are offering and lace ‘em up.

  85. Za'rat "The OTHER GUYS Greed" Jones on

    Happy about: D Moore got a goal. Kreider (maybe in crazy) looks like he got taller? Richards finally shooting at the correct net. Should’ve had two goals, but man oh man. Hank looks ready as usual. Staal looked just fine. Talbot is for real.

    Not happy about: Nash looked like he checked out during warm-ups. Hope his attitude changes FAST. MDZ didn’t do anything with the puck, or on the PP or anything. Kristo, Hrivik, Bourque, or O’Donnel looked like they were lost.

    Very unhappy about: devils had a 1 1/2 year vet as their most experienced forward playing, Henrique . We had Kreider, Richards, Nash, and (more or less) Boyle as our seasoned vets on offense. One goal? Seriously? One stinking goal off a rebound? Really? Our prospects looked like garbage which is acceptable if the devils had their top players there. But NJs prospects, like it or not, skated circles around our guys. Thank Hank. Otherwise the game is an embarrassment.

    Worst part of last night: that Cory Schneider is gonna be a problem for us.

  86. Za'rat "The OTHER GUYS Greed" Jones on

    I mentioned Kreider as a seasoned vet by mistake. But he’s our future as far as I’m concerned. The kid plays smart and fluid.

  87. Za'rat "The OTHER GUYS Greed" Jones on

    After last night, Stepan is already probably pricing out some nice yachts for his future summer home in bora bora. Now we have to pay. He’s worth it. No doubt. But the cap is gonna take a lickin’

    His agent was smart to keep him holding out.

Leave A Reply