TheNYRBlog's 12-Pack: Lost Weekend Vs. Rivals

TheNYRBlog's 12-Pack: Lost Weekend Vs. Rivals


TheNYRBlog's 12-Pack: Lost Weekend Vs. Rivals


Over the weekend, the Rangers lost two uninspiring 2-1 contests to the rival Islanders and Devils. It’s really not worth recapping either game because they’re essentially irrelevant, however, there are some position battles that are heating up.

1. The fight for the final three defensive positions remains muddled. The play of incumbents Marc Staal & Nick Holden has not inspired confidence that they’ll be any better than this…

2. Meanwhile, Anthony DeAngelo and Neal Pionk have Rangers fans thinking offense from the blueline not seen since the mid 90s…

I also don’t mind the edge that DeAngelo has played with so far this preseason…

3. One player who will not factor into AV’s decision on the back end is Alexei Bereglazov, who was sent down to Hartford after getting just a single preseason game to prove himself.

Bereglazov’s struggles during the Traverse City Prospects tournament likely led to the organization’s decision to send the Russian import down to Hartford for some additional seasoning as he continues to adjust to the smaller North American ice surface. Seeing that Bereglazov didn’t take advantage of his out clause and head back to Russia, he likely agrees with the club’s assessment.

4. Another factor that allowed the Rangers to take their time in developing Bereglazov has been the play of Ryan Graves. After a solid game against the Devils last week, Graves set the tone early with some much needed physically play from the blueline against the Islanders.

Graves, one of the final cuts last season, seemed like an afterthought coming into training camp with the arrivals of DeAngelo, Pionk, Bereglazov and Pedrie, but he has once again impressed and could find himself on the roster come opening night.

5. While it’s obviously not happening this season, just seeing Skjei wearing a letter this weekend had me all sorts of fired up for the future of this franchise…

6. Not sure I’ve seen a shot like this from the point on the power play from a Ranger since the aforementioned Zubov…

7. The final few forward positions are still up for grabs as well with Andersson and Chytil playing well beyond their years. If nothing else, the two have likely earned the nine NHL games they’re allowed before the Rangers must decide on whether they’ll stick around or head back overseas.

8. Personality wise, Andersson and Chytil remind me of Toews and Kane. While Andersson is all business (Toews), Chytil seems to have much more flare to his game (Kane). Now if they can be half as good as the Blackhawks duo on the ice, the Rangers will be in very good shape going forward.

9. A darkhorse to possibly bump one or maybe both first round picks from the opening night roster is Boo Nieves, who put himself back into the conversation after a solid weekend. Here’s AV…

“It’d be safe to say he’s in that mix. Big, strong, good skater, plays in the middle. So he is definitely in that mix of guys right now that we’re looking at.”

10. Anyone else surprised Dejardins has a hearing with the NHL after this hit?

Penalty? Sure. But there was no malicious intent there. Eh, he wasn’t making the team anyway. Thanks for your service and good luck in the future.

11. Besides center ice depth, another big question mark coming into training camp was Ondřej Pavelec. And while he hasn’t had a ton of work this preseason, he’s made the stops when called upon, which is all you can ask from your backup goaltender. Not sure how I could have ever doubted Beniot Allaire.

12. So how’s that Shestyorkin kid been doing lately?

13. I know I said a 12-pack, but I doubt anyone will complain if I offer up a baker’s dozen. While it’s just the preseason and the lines have been completely scrambled, Rangers regulars have exactly three goals in four preseason games (Hayes, Kreider, Desharnais). Yes, no one should be panicking as there’s still two exhibition games remaining before they officially start to count, but don’t forget that the New York Giants offense looked anemic in the preseason and we all know how that’s been working out through three games.

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