Rangers Fall to Devils, 2-1, in Preseason Opener

Talk about a boring, bland, vanilla game. Sure, it was the first of six pre-season games with many prospects and a few guys we’ll never hear form again sprinkled into the mix, but this game was just not fun to watch. Some bullet points followed by some quotes courtesy of the great Andrew Gross over at Rangers Rants, who I had the pleasure of exchanging some pointless tweets with during the game.

  • Henrik Lundqvist looked good in his 30-plus minutes tonight. The goal by Peter Sykora just had eyes, and Hank didn’t on the play. He made some pretty saves throughout, and looked to be in good shape. The Devils had their three best offensive players in the game tonight in Ilya Kovalchuk, Zach Parise and Patrick Elias. No slouches there.
  • Dale Weise could make it difficult for the coaching staff to send him to Hartford after his performance, including the Rangers’ only goal late in the third period. I still like Sean Avery as a third-line winger, but Weise brings a toughness and some offense. I do think Avery will make the team, with Weise being the first call-up. I think this team just has too many inexperienced players, and Avery’s time in the NHL will help him out.
  • Erik Christensen was invisible, and I couldn’t be happier. Simply put, I don’t want this guy on this hockey team this season. I don’t even have anything else to say.
  • Christian Thomas was pretty transparent as well tonight. I think I only heard his name once or twice. A little disappointed there.
  • Very nice to see Brandon Dubinsky and Dan Girardi wear As, albeit in a preseason game. I would have liked to see Dubinsky receive the letter for good this season, but it didn’t happen. I still think his hold out two years ago hurt him with coach John Tortorella.
  • I was pleased with the play of Michael Del Zotto. He just missed a goal on one of the Rangers’ many awful power plays, and was sound in his own end. I was glad it wasn’t his bad pass that lead to the overtime winner.
  • I can’t wait for Dylan McIlrath to make it to the NHL. The kid just seems like a tough guy to play against, something the Rangers have lacked for the better part of a decade.
  • J.T. Miller has a pretty attractive mother.
  • Very strange not seeing any advertisements on the boards.
Dale Weise: “I think I showed I can do a little more than last year in  spot duty. Ten games last year was a real good experience. Obviously, it feels good to play with Artie (Anisimov) and Dubi. I’m not strictly a one-dimensional, fourth-line guy. I can play any situation. It’s something I like showing. That experience was huge. It’s one of the most underrated things. Now I know the guys and I know the system. There are no nerves anymore. I felt comfortable out there.”
J.T. Miller on his first “NHL” game: It was different. I got better as the game went on.” “In the first period, I had a few good shifts. The second period was abysmal. In the third period, a lot of our shifts were in their end.” “I want to give the best impression possible. I’m not ready to jump into anything yet. As of now, I want to go to Plymouth (his junior team) and try and dominate there. It would be great if I could play again in a preseason game. I’ll work my hardest for that. Next year will be a different story, I’ll try and make the team. Hopefully things will be a little easier.”
Carl Hagelin: “It was an OK game, not great but it was good to get it out of the way. It was fun to play for sure.” “I hope I get another shot. It’s tough to say (if I will). They look for a lot of different things. Hopefully I did something right. I’m not going to give myself a five out of five, maybe a three out of five. It was nothing special.”
Tortorella said “not much was happening there with him” when asked about Christensen’s play. He did call say Avery was part of the best line of the night. As a whole, he said the ice was terrible.
Follow Matt on Twitter @MattCalamiaTHW

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