Rangers-Oilers in review



1) Unrelated to this game, but there was a lot of chatter about helmets and fights and head injuries this week, and Gary Bettman talked about “player safety” again, and it always makes me wonder. Why in Holy Hell does the league allow players to wear their chinstraps down around their waists? And why don’t GMs, coaches and trainers demand that their own players tighten those things up so that helmets don’t come off so easily. I mean, what is the freakin’ point of those dangling straps that just about every player wears? Oh, right. It looks cool.

2) And of course, I maintain that if or when the NHL really wants to get serious about player safety and head injuries, suspensions will stop being these stupid wrist-slaps they’ve been for years. (not even going to get into the joke of a suspension to Phil Kessel; they practically did him a favor).New York Rangers v Edmonton Oilers

3) Back to hockey. I’m guessing Alain Vigneault will have most of his opening-night lineup for one of these last two games, probably in Las Vegas. No? Gotta be some cuts coming. The preseason ends Friday, the NHL regular season starts Tuesday and the Rangers open next Thursday, and I still have no idea what their roster is going to look like. Which might be a good thing. Or might not.

4) Man, those white uniforms are going to be worn out by Oct. 28.

5) When talking yesterday about the kids trying to make the team (Mark Hrivik, Danny Kristo, Oscar Lindberg, Jesper Fast, et al) I forgot about J.T. Miller. I thought his hamstring injury was going to set him back and maybe cost him a chance to be on the opening night roster. But maybe not. In fact, in the early summer, we (I) were saying that one way the Rangers could improve this year is if a kid like Miller makes the jump. So we’ll see. (Honest, I typed this before he scored the goal).

6) I really do like the D-men joining the play, again, especially Marc Staal because he’s got such good instincts about when and where to go. But I think the forwards and the other D-man need to be a lot more cognizant when a D goes deep, or there are going to be breaks the other way like the late first-period goal by Perron.

7) Nice, also, to see most of the Rangers in their own zone remaining on their skates and not sliding around like seals. I think they’ll get some odd-man chances by blocking shots with their shinpads while still upright, you know, like all the other teams do.

New York Rangers v Edmonton Oilers8) Martin Biron looked pretty sharp, I thought, until the SHG. Three deflections. Plenty of chances to hear Pitbull sing the Oilers’ goal song. Dale’!

9) The 5-on-3 looked OK, but both units had four left shots. Need some right shots out there. It’s preseason, and they’re just rolling lines, I know. Ditto for the 5-on-4s, which were pretty good. They talked on MSG about getting a man in front being a big thing with Vigneault, and that’s great. But the thing I noticed is the puck movement and the players without the puck moving to open ice. It really isn’t that complicated, is it?

10) Boy, that’s a nice sheet of ice they have up there in Edmonton. And a nice bunch of young talent. When will that team arrive?

11) So glad the NHL is going to force-feed us more non-conference games and more games with no playoff implications, and therefore more games that have the fire and emotion of preseason games.

12) Up next, Torts vs. AV in B.C. Thursday. Before that, we’ll have a Live Chat Thursday at noon. Be there. Or else.

******************************************New York Rangers v Edmonton Oilers

My Three Rangers Stars:
1. J.T. Miller.
2. Marc Staal.
3. Dan Girardi.


Photos by Derek Leung/Getty Images.


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  1. what? first? I don’t even have twitter on. I must be time to quit working.

    I wasn’t too impressed with the Rangers, I did see a lot of Oiler’s high draft picks playing.

    Staal and Miller impressed me.

    Richards was invisible.

  2. Wow! our defense and powerplay scored again? Long may that continue!

    Ive not seen the game but good to hear Miller played well, he’s really been outside the discussions this week with everyone assuming that hamstring injury would mean him starting the year in Hartford.

  3. Looked to me like another off night for Richards…he sure was invisible out there. Just kidding….he definitely played better than Monday. BTW-sure glad no one is blogging about my workday efforts almost daily! I ‘m not making enough fishnagels to take those hits. More impotantly…can u identify Norton’s public school? Hint: It’s in Oyster Bay!

  4. Is A. V. fired yet? (jk) these late night games are killing me, I see about 5 minutes before I fall asleep. Can’t wait till they come back to the east coast.

    Right handed shot…..calling Derek Stepan….

  5. after a shaky 1st period, I thought Kreider was all over the place the rest of the way. man if ever figures it out he is going to be a beast.

  6. Sather presumably thinks Dallas Eakins is extremely lucky to end up behind the bench of an Oilers team loaded with young talent, but that he’ll end up being an extremely crappy GM in 20 years’ time.

  7. Looks like AV will be sending a few back to the farm today. Possibly 9.
    I’m guessing that Kristo, Miller, Lindberg, Fast, Hrivik won’t be among them?

    Will he send down any veterans like Powe or Asham? (or Pyatt?)
    Who sticks around to compete for the #7/8 d-spots?

  8. Good morning, boneheads!

    Nice review, Carp.
    Apparently we do have D-men who can shoot from the point, eh.
    Yes, Carp, we all forgot about Miller. If he can stay healthy, he will be in the lineup this year. I thought most of the other young guys last night showed that they still need some time.
    Kreider is starting to use his speed and his body better. They need to teach him to get into position to use his other main weapon- quick puck release.
    I’m starting to like what I see in Pouliot.

    Conor Allen is a good looking young defenseman. I don’t think he is going to challenge anyone this year- their D-pairs are pretty much set.

  9. uk,
    Pyatt is not going anywhere. I could see Kristo being sent down today. he is lost in own zone. Asham, or Haley, or Asham, and Haley need to be on the team.

  10. Stranger Nation on

    Like Ass-ham with the big kids last night, line had some good board work

    Love Staal playing like an All Star

    Need Righty DMan – trade MDZ/Boyle/Bag of Pucks for a Righty Dman!

    The Lindberg Baby was missing in action last night

  11. I think the opening night line-up may look something like this as far as the forward combos:

    Nash Richards Hrivik or Fast
    Kreider Miller Kristo
    Poilet Brassard Zucc
    Pyatt Boyle Asham

  12. Stranger Nation on

    Between Haley, Ass-ham and Monster Mash – you need to keep 2. The kid gets sent down probably and we get pushed around

    The answer to all our problems…STU BICKEL!!! Can throw, right shot, plays D or forward. Multi-dimensional player

  13. Kreider looked lost very often yesterday. I really hope he figures it out.

    He took penalties yesterday with no shots or points, he looked like he belonged alright, but not on Ranger ice.

  14. Pouliot was a #4 overall pick. His highlight reel makes him look like a real hot shot.

    Of course he’s been all over in a few years, for some reason. Lets hope AV can tune him in with his laissez-faire approach.

    I wonder……………

  15. I’m hopeful for some of these kids. I’d rather see asham and Bickel stay than Haley…and hope to see either powe or pyatt removed, we shall see…

  16. tomb,
    Kreider had an assist on Millers goal, and was awfully good from the middle of the 2nd thru the 3rd. pretty sure he had a few shots on goal.

  17. dc62,
    why Bickel? Haley played a very nice game last night. thru the body, and killed penalties.

  18. I think Bickel stays because he can be the spare forward too – albeit a pointless 4 mins a night 4th-liner who can drop the gloves.

    The only reason I mention Pyatt is he seems to be the only one not mentioned in any quotes of praise or possible line combos? Also figuring that the 4th line is going to be possibly 3 from Boyle/Moore/Dorsett/Pyatt/Asham – that’s quite a lot of dollars tied up there, when Lindberg/Fast/Hrivik combine to approx $2.3m

  19. 2) Investigate. Place the blame on the authorities, rather than on the players, the ones committing the illegal acts.

  20. And either Dorsett or Asham.

    although, in all honesty, Dorsett hasn’t impressed me in the least.

  21. Haley was pretty effective killing penalties last night. And he can skate. We all know he is a good scrapper. I think he earned a spot.

  22. Hard to pick line combos when you have an entire line (arguably your #1 line) all out.
    I’m wondering whether AV will shuffle players from other lines to fill those spots or will he give the youngsters a few games on a line with Step (if he’s signed) or Richards while Cally and Hags recover?

  23. Sioux, I think your boy has looked good. Got a nose for the puck. Some here disagree. If I’m picking of the rookies, he stays.

  24. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    I’m gonna get some pipe hitting bruthas, a blow torch, and some pliers and go mid evil on his assen. YOU HEAR ME TALKIN HILLBILLY BOY?

  25. Really have to hope that all 6 D that have regular NHL experience stay healthy this year. The gap between the 6th and 7th D at this point is pretty alarming.

  26. Rocket Richards having dinner with Torts tonite:

    BRich: So why did you bench me and make me the scape goat? I was just starting to gain my stride. Even Nasher said I was playing ‘good’.

    Torts: Because Slats told me to. He writes my checks and I have a lot of dogs to feed.

    BRich: Then why didn’t they amnesty me? Why did they bring me back?

    Torts: Hell if I know. Sometimes, smoke gets in your eyes…

  27. With the way the offense has looked you could say they’ll be playing in a lot of one goal games too.

  28. if Miller makes the team where does he play? on the wing, or at center. and who would he play instead of?

  29. iWicky "Frag Out!!!" on

    Not to mention I really haven’t been overly impressed by any of them, they aren’t terrible by any stretch, but I just don’t see the the “amazing factor”

  30. I’d keep Miller at center if Stepan is out. Like it or not Richards will start the season as the first or second line center. Who knows who his wingers would be though. Only line I can see as being good to go for the regular season is the Pouliot/Brassard/Zucc line.

  31. While sather was battling health issue the past few years and left the team with the rangers assistant GM, things were looking much better but now that sather’s health issues are behind him and is now back as the rangers GM, all I can say is….. THE RANGERS ARE IN TROUBLE!!!!!!

  32. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    The path of the righteous man is beset in all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. ……And those that attempt to destroy my brutha….

  33. so far, sather decides to go into another direction with a head coach and system, check, than decides not to buy out Richards, check and the results so far are……. The rangers still struggle to score goals but give up more goals a game because they are opening things up, feeling a little nauseous right about now and it couldn’t be possible, could it? Richards looks worst than last year. I think I’m going to puke.

  34. Keep in mind, Powe and Asham have already cleared waivers. By sending them down, they clear like $900k off the cap. I really doubt either of them stay up.

  35. If Derek Dorsett uses his stick on Sydney Crosby the way Kessel used his on Scott does he get the same suspension?

  36. That was last year.

    This is a new year and they would still have to go through waivers, not sure on the what amount of their salary gets cut.

    Might need it for Steps deasl. Perhaps that’s the delay in signing him.

  37. Vancouver shutout last night = they already have Torts’ system down pat

    I am worried that we may not win the Cup this year either

  38. Kristo to Fast on Banfff golf course: ‘Who’s the dopey-looking guy in the Borsalino? Is that Dolan?’

  39. I think they need to clear again before the season cap goes into effect.

    Bull dog, it’s not so much that I think Miller is better equipped to be a center (longer term he’d be behind Stepan and Brassard and I’d hope he can play above the 3rd line) but by default he’d probably be the best player to play 3C in the event Stepan isn’t signed by next week. He currently reminds of Dubinsky when he first came into the league, a bit more polished and perhaps better upside. I’d be thrilled if he put up a few 40 point seasons to start off his NHL career like Dubi did.

  40. Dubi is an interesting comparison. Miller is a smoother skater than Dubi, and Dubi may be a little tougher, but they are similar.
    the 3rd line centers role is changing in the league CT. it is no longer a checking centers role. 3rd line centers now have to be able to pop in 15 to 20 a year, and be capable of being the checking center. it is a much more versatile position now.

  41. AV, having long planned to keep everyone for the road trip, after consulting Slats, is sending a cadre of fringe players home early. Think Slats wants to beat Torts much?

  42. iWicky "Frag Out!!!" on

    I’d rather send them all to htfd and sign latendresse and keep miller and Haley. Of course it depends on how long cally and hags are out for. I’m so sick of this small line up that does produce!!

  43. Kreider is looking like a joke. Holding onto him instead of getting Nash before the 2012 playoffs probably cost us a trip to the Finals, and possibly a Stanley Cup.

  44. Rob in Beantown on

    _Kreider is looking like a joke. Holding onto him instead of getting Nash before the 2012 playoffs probably cost us a trip to the Finals, and possibly a Stanley Cup._

    Are you forgetting that Kreider scored 5 goals in those playoffs? There’s a good chance without Kreider the Rangers lose one of those seven game series before the ECF. But I’m sure Nash would have done equally “good”

  45. Gravy, Just Gravy on

    In 2005, Latendresse posed topless for Montreal’s gay magazine “La Voix du Village” (the Voice of the Village), creating a mild controversy and raising questions about his sexual orientation at the time. Latendresse’s agent, Pat Brisson, stated that his client was unaware of the nature of the publication he was being interviewed and photographed for, and that he is heterosexual.

    Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

  46. Once Kreider starts putting up some points he will be just fine. You would think he would put up 20-30 points this year. He has everything you look for in a prospect, size, speed, skill, …… now if he would score. He will stay.

    Kreider and Miller had a nice goal of the boards last night. That has to help both of them.

  47. The Kreider with Miller and Kristo. High Energy Kid line. No pressure.

    Let them go for the first five games see what the got.

    Just make sure Girardi and McD or Staal are on the blue line when they are on the ice.

    I like it. Anyone else?

  48. Miller and Kreider did look good, maybe try them with step at center again.

    Torts tried it last year, worked pretty good, so he changed it up.

  49. Kristo: ‘They’ve sent me to Hartford.’
    Kreider: ‘I still have four round trip tickets left, want one?’

  50. Hrivik & Miller look to have the most experience and best chance to help the club at the start of the season.

    Poulitt & Dom Moore look to have there ticket stamped as well.

    Step will be signed by then, so I’m thinking Lindberg & Fast will get use to the ice size in Hartford.


  51. that means there are 2 extra spots open because of cally and hags rehabbing and not ready to start the season so that leaves 5 cuts remaining, yes, no?

  52. CTB @ 1:15 – Agreed. Their games aren’t identical, but when Miller is really involved, it looks like how good Dubinsky used to look.

  53. Still a PROOCESS to the big leagues.

    I still think Kristo, Lindberg, Fast have top 6 potential. Nothing wrong with a little seasoning first.

    All our boys went through the Prooess. Cally, Dubi, Girardi, McD, Hags, Miller, Kreider, & even Del Zotto for a year.

    The only one that jumped and stuck was Step, and he’s not here yet.

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