Rangers Defeat Blues, 5-2, In Traverse City Opener

Well, that is surely how you want to open up a tournament. The Rangers really just seemed to have their way with the St. Louis Blues prospect team last night. They controlled the puck, forced penalties and capitalized on their opportunities. Here are some of my thoughts from last night’s game.

  1. Jason Missiaen is one big guy.He stand 6-foot 8 inches tall, and is just a monster between the pipes. That begin said, he went 10-33-8 last season in the QMJHL, so the size doesn’t help much, albeit in an offensive-oriented league. He had a strong game though.
  2. The power play last night moved the puck very well, and like the broadcast team said several times, it didn’t look like a team that had been together for one practice. They cycled the puck and looked for the open shot while having some traffic in front. The big squad could take something from it.
  3. Really liked seeing Dylan McIlrath be given the “C” for the tournament. He is the type of player who appears to be a born leader. He’s still a kid, but you can tell what type of force his on the ice and in the locker room. I think he handled himself well out there.
  4. Ryan Bourque can fly. I’m still not sold on him being anything past a Nigel Dawes type player because of his size and non-elite scoring, but the kid can skate. His goal last night happened purely because of his legs.
  5. The team spread the wealth on the scoresheet. Carl Hagelin, Tim Erixon and Jonathan Audy-Marchessault  each had a goal and an assist each, while Blake Parlett had three assists.
  6. Speaking of Erixon, the kid just seems so poised on the ice every shift. At times, it looked like a man playing with children out there, and that is thanks to his time spent in SEL. I don’t think he’s a lock for making the team out of camp, but he’s the closest thing to that.
  7. Chrisitan Thomas has some nice hands, and it isn’t hard to believe how he scored 54 goals last season in the QMJHL. He’s a guy I’m also worried about his size, or lack there of, but unlike Bourque, he’s a natural goal scorer. I don’t think he’s going to make the Rangers this season, but that isn’t a bad thing. A year of playing in the AHL, which is a lot closer to NHL competition than what he’s seeing in Quebec will do him some good.
  8. Really enjoyed having footage of what head coach Ken Gernander had to say in between periods. It would never happen, but I’d love to see that with John Tortorella.
The team takes the ice again tonight at 6 p.m. against the Dallas Stars.
Follow Matt on Twitter @MattCalamiaTHW
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