1) Boy, Slats with that Borsalino was awfully tough on Derek Stepan in the taped interview on MSG. “He’s going to get paid, just not today.” Suggested he was “a fool” for listening to his agent. Classic old-school stuff. And I get it, that it’s playing the CBA and being the hard negotiator. What bugs me is that the sides will compromise, most likely, by opening night. Too bad they can’t do it without that Oct. 3 deadline. And where’s that tough negotiator when an unrestricted guy like, oh, Donald Brashear, is available? Or Chris Drury? Or Brad Richards?
2) John Moore. We saw it once last year, too. And I just love it when a guy who can play, who can skate, throws hands like that. It’s also the kind of hockey fight I like, not staged, between two hockey players, not hired thugs.
3) That Curtis Glencross goal, there were more than a few mess-ups on that play, including Michael Del Zotto being a quarter mile out of position. But ultimately, Rick Nash had a chance to prevent it, and didn’t. They were saying on MSG that he was unhappy with that play, so I guess his self-assessment was more harsh than that of his playoff performance.
5) Am I imagining things, or didn’t Del Zotto almost lose an ear to a skate earlier in his NHL career? I know a lot of you guys would sooner have grubs and puddle water for dinner than admit Del Zotto played well, but I thought he played well after the 1-0 goal, before and after the ear injury.
6) Not going to make a big deal out of Danny Kristo’s failure to recognize the big foul-up by Justin Falk and Stu Bickel on the second goal. Overall, I thought the kid looked fine. But I think he’s behind Marek Hrivik, Oscar Lindberg and Jesper Fast so far, and there’s not much chance three of those kids make it to opening night, either, unless there’s a trade, or Ryan Callahan really isn’t ready and Derek Stepan is still unsigned. And I’m not sure Brandon Mashinter is out of that contest, either.
7) Bickel cannot take soft penalties like the one he took early, but geez, is that a call they really have to make? And then when the same play is made against Hrivik on a breakaway, it’s not a penalty?
8) PS, Hrivik—a big kid—would have been on the team last year at some point. John Tortorella loved him while scouting during the lockout. Only problem was he was concussed by that fine player and human being Zac Rinaldo before he could get the call-up.
9) How’s that puck-possession, up-tempo game working out so far? That’s supposed to create offense, no? Even if it works, can they do that and defend enough?
10) That was some silly skate save by Henrik Lundqvist, on his belly, kicking the skate upward.
11) I sure need to see Brad Richards skate better than that before I’m ready to declare him better than last year.
12) Hey, was that a power-play goal? I always liked Marc Staal’s instincts to go to scoring areas on the power play. … when he’s healthy and playing. I don’t think what he did there was any different than what he’s always done when he’s been able to get on the ice during a power play. Scott Arniel=genius.
My Three Rangers Stars:
1. Marc Staal.
2. John Moore.
3. Jesper Fast.
Photos by the Associated Press.