First let’s start with the good news. As of now, everyone came out of the game healthy. I say as of now because you never know when symptoms will appear after your head gets slammed into the boards from behind. (More on that later.) But for now, everyone seems healthy. That’s usually the only thing I care about when the Rangers and Flyers play in preseason (or in general, to be honest).
The other good news? The Rangers finally made it to Philly in the third period. (Well, just the third period. We won’t discuss the 27 seconds of overtime the Flyers played.) To be fair, they practiced in New York this morning and then flew south for the game. Is it a far trip? Not at all. But it’s still not their usual routine and it showed. The boys started the game slow and took almost 40 minutes to find their legs. Although the referees didn’t help in the second period.
Actually, let’s discuss the refereeing. Yes, it’s preseason so they are working out the kinks too. But how does Jimmy Vesey get called for tripping when his stick is being held in the air and it’s the Flyer who was holding him who tripped Mason? That one call led to two goals as J.T. Miller took a high sticking penalty just 13 seconds into the penalty kill. (That was a penalty. It just wouldn’t have happened if the first call hadn’t been made.)
And before that, should Dylan McIlrath have been given an instigator for jumping Radko Gudas after he hit Vesey from behind? Probably. And that’s fine because I would want McIlrath to do what he did every time that situation arises. The issue I have is how Jakub Vorchek received nothing when he was the one who actually fought McIlrath. At least Gudas got thrown.
Which brings me to what I want to discuss more than the actual game and how the Rangers did.
When will it be enough, NHL? When will a continual predator finally be thrown from the league. You did it last year with Raffi Torres. It’s time to add another to that list. I’ve watched Radko Gudas play for years. He isn’t a hockey player. There’s no talent there. None. All he does is try to help his team practice their penalty kill. If his teammates are lucky, it’s only two minutes they have to kill. Many times it’s much more. The league says they want fighting out of the NHL because of the head injuries it causes. That’s fine, but can we get rid of the guys who actually try to take players heads off too? Maybe if you got rid of that crap, fighting would disappear on it’s own. Just an idea.
Anyway, no one came here to read about Gudas so what can I say about the Rangers.
Thank goodness it’s preseason?
This is why they play preseason games?
I don’t know. There were a couple of players who looked good as the game went on but honestly there’s still a lot of work to be done. I’m just hoping once the final lineup is set and guys get to work with their regular linemates/partners that things will fall into place. Otherwise it will be a long season. At least Henrik Lundqvist looked good for the 30 minutes he played, although that should come as no surprise.
After the game, the Rangers cut 8 players from training camp:
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) October 4, 2016
No surprises there. That leaves 39 players so expect a few more cuts tomorrow to get camp down to a reasonable number with only one preseason game to go. For those wondering who I expect to be cut, here was my prediction earlier.
(Photo: Melissa Andus)