Don’t look now but is it possible the New York Rangers have found the answer to their power play?
Okay, I’m getting ahead of myself. It was one game. But Mika Zibanejad, Brandon Pirri and Adam Clendening made it look easy tonight. Too easy. Which probably means most of them won’t make the final roster. (I’m honestly not sure if Pirri and Clendening have a spot but Rangers might have to find ones for them.)
I don’t like to do play by play recaps of preseason games because…well, they’re preseason games. Guys are still trying to figure things out and usually lines aren’t close to what they will be when camp begins. So some things I noticed as the Rangers beat the Islanders in their first preseason game:
- I already mentioned Zibanejad but he and Chris Kreider definitely had chemistry. I’ve seen a lot mentioned of the entire line with Pavel Buchnevich but I’ll honestly admit I didn’t notice Buchnevich as much. But that line was in the offensive zone all night and noticeable each time they were on the ice.
- I had heard so much about the Swedes, Robin Kovacs and Malte Stromwall, so was intrigued to see them play. Stromwall was more noticeable to me but you can see the chemistry there. That will be a fun duo to watch every night in a couple of years.
- I was on the fence with the Pirri signing because I know he’s bounced around a lot the past few years. But he had a good game tonight. We’ll see if he keeps it up and can earn a regular spot in the lineup.
- On defense, even outside the power play Clendening had a good night. Made some strong plays in both the offensive and defensive zone. Also noticed Mat Bodie a bit but unfortunately I don’t think he has any chance of making the final roster.
- On the returning defenseman, I fully admit to not noticing Marc Staal at all. I take that as a very good sign considering he played almost 22 minutes. Dan Girardi, on the other hand, we’ll just hope he needed to get the cobwebs out after five months off. (I know no one will believe that but I’m holding out hope.) Brady Skjei didn’t look great either but I’m sure he’ll get a pass cause it was only one game. Dylan McIlrath was up and down but his goal was an absolute rocket.
- In net both Magnus Hellberg and Mackenzie Skapski looked good, Skapski getting a little more work than Hellberg did. The future was bright for Skapski two years ago when he was called up while Lundqvist was hurt. You can tell the future is quickly becoming the present and this kid is going to be good for a long time. And he will be just as much of a fan favorite as the current Rangers goalie is.
And on a separate note, I have to give a shoutout to the Rangers for their epic troll job in game 1. There was no question that Girardi and Staal would have A’s tonight but the question was who would have the third one. I assumed Kreider. I was wrong as the team went with Tanner Glass. Good job, Rangers!
(Photo: Melissa Andus)