Thursday, September 17, 2009


There are a lot of things to say about the Rangers –Devils game last night, a 3-2 shoot out pre-season loss – but here’s our headline:

Matt Gilroy accomplished 3 things:

He made an impact on the game
He made a statement with his play
He made the Rangers final roster

Gilroy was here –there and everywhere on the ice last night. He defended well, moved with the puck well, skated well, scored a pretty goal, and looked like the best parts of defenseman and forward at times. He rang the buzzer twice – once on a stunning backhand that got plenty of lift in a very short distance – and again in the shoot out. In short – the rookie – although a 25 year old rookie – showed that he belongs on the Rangers this season.

Okay – that’s the headline. Now on to the Bright Side – Dark Side recap:

The Bright Side

After losing game seven to the Caps 2-1 and losing earlier this week to the Bruins by the same score – it sure felt good to get a second goal and tie a game 2-2. At least until we lost later on…

Gilroy – as we mentioned was a one man show last night

Goalie Chad Johnson took over for Hank at halftime (not that the NHL has half time – but that’s another story) and after the very first shot beat him – settled all the way down and looked like a seasoned pro from then on. He stopped the next 19 shots – standing tall – eliminating rebounds – and doing some nice work with the glove hand.

Conditioning – again we seemed to get stronger as we went along.

Mike Del Zotto played another strong game and looks like he could be part of our defense rotation this year.

That’s the Bright Side - But there is also the Dark Side

Another loss. I know these don’t count – but since game 4 of the Caps playoff series we’ve been pretty much starved for a victory

And Again- Special Teams are killing us! Our powerplay was shut out again going 0-6 on the night. We had an off-season to address this – but no improvement so far. And what used to be our strength – our Penalty Kill – let up a pair of goals that were the difference again. Someone explain to me why there is no place for Blair Betts on this team? Of course – a little Marian Gaborik in the mix might help here.

Next up:

Before we head to Detroit and take on the Red Wings Friday night – the Rangers will be planning to travel light. That is – they plan to cut about a third of the Training Camp roster – down to about 30 players – probably today. The guys left aren’t on the final team yet – but they still have a shot.

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