So much for that parade we were planning after the first two preseason games. To be honest, there wasn’t a lot to take from tonight’s loss in Newark, and not only because it was a loss. Looking at the roster, it’s hard to find 10 players who will see the ice regularly this season. But we need to recap so here it goes…
- One thing I learned was how to say Michael Paloitta. Apparently it’s “pal-e-otta”. Good to know.
- Reportedly Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider were in the lineup tonight. Both made an appearance in the third period, Zibanejad with a goal and Kreider with a failed penalty shot, but otherwise I had no idea they were on the ice. Guess that means they are in midseason form.
- I was hoping Tuesday night was just getting the rust out for Dan Girardi. Unfortunately I’m not sure that’s the case, although he did get slightly better as the game went on. Not sure what the Rangers are going to do here.
- Continuing with the bad, Magnus Hellberg didn’t help his cause. Obviously he wasn’t fighting for a spot this year but the 30 minutes he played definitely weren’t his best.
- The special teams that had been so special in the first two games were anything but tonight. I won’t say it cost them the game but it definitely didn’t help.
- Okay, need to find some good. Brady Skjei bounced back playing over 26 minutes. Was it a perfect performance from the rookie? Of course not. But it was a marked improvement over his first game. Although I’m not sure it could’ve gotten much worse.
- J.T. Miller played his first game after returning from the World Cup. Can’t say I really noticed him but sometimes that’s not a bad thing for the young American.
- Same can be said for Jimmy Vesey. Other than a clear turnover that led to the Devils fourth goal, the rookie had a relatively quiet night which is never a bad thing for a new pro.
- Not sure if the three veterans fighting for roster spots (Michael Grabner, Nathan Gerbe and Max Lapierre) helped or hurt their causes tonight. Lapierre probably looked the worst, taking two penalties and looking extremely slow skating up and down the ice, but I can’t say I really noticed the other two at all other than when Grabner deflected Paliotta’s shot for the Rangers third goal. Again, not sure if that is good or bad for these type of players. Thinking it’s probably not great.
I’m honestly trying to not bash players playing in a preseason game but I really didn’t see a lot of good tonight. Seeing some of Vigneault’s comments after the game, it seems I wasn’t alone. But again, most of tonight’s roster won’t see regular time this season and the ones that do will be fine after a couple more games. I’m not worried. I’m just glad this was a preseason game so I don’t have to reference it again.
(Photo: Melissa Andus)