What’s up everyone and welcome to another blog here on BlueCollarBlueShirts.com
As I mentioned in the last blog, (which you could and should read here:
BlueCollarBlueShirts.com Is Here: Getting Ready For the 2015-16 New York Rangers Season, My Summer, Looking At NYR’s Future, Cup Aspirations, MSG & Much More in this Monster Return Blog
DL: http://doinow.com/bluecollarblueshirts-com-is-here-getting-ready-for-the-2015-16-new-york-rangers-season-my-summer-looking-at-nyrs-future-cup-aspirations-msg-much-more-in-this-monster-return-blog/ ) due to work, these blogs won’t be as frequent as timely as last season. In fact, I’m doing this whole blog off of my phone and hopefully this comes out formatted ok!
As stated in yesterday’s blog, when I get the time, I’ll do my usual deep manifestos. Today, is just a quick thoughts type of deal.
Working in NYC, 8 avenues from MSG, I was able to snipe Stubhub. I wound up getting Delta Club seats. Holy fucking bougias Batman!
What an experience. I could never afford these seats during the regular season, hence being the blog written by the “Blue Collar Fan for the Working Man” tagline. However, this being a preseason game, I was able to walk in for $90!
It was fun seeing how the other half lives. Free top of the line food, drinks, anything you want. Plus, you get to hang out by the MSG studio and see the players come out of the locker room. Just an awesome experience. It must be nuts during the regular season. I wish I had off today so I could’ve really indulged!
As far as the game itself, it is preseason. I enjoy watching the young blood come up and see what’s going on with NYR’s top prospects. Two guys I particularly followed were Skjei and Lindberg.
This was a split squad game with Wolfpack players skating along the Rangers. The big names on the ice for NYR included Stepan, Kreider, Klein, Stalberg, Glass, Yandle and Moore. Raanta and Hellberg split the net.
The Rangers got off to a quick 2-0 lead with goals from Gibbons and Megma. Megma got another goal, later in the game. I don’t know if he cracks the roster this year, but I liked what I saw. Beating Devils netminder, Corey Schneider was fun to watch.
As far as the young bucks, I thought Skjei skated well on defense and even added to the offense. Gibbons, Megma and Lindberg also played well. I’m still not impressed with Bourque though.
Dylan McIlrath seems like a lost cause at this point. He takes too many dumb penalties, as he did in this game. He’s a relic from an era where teams needed goons. Now, players like him seem like dinosaurs. He is not great offensively and will take a penalty when he’s beat. I just don’t see him in the organization by even the trade deadline.
Klein and Diaz picked up 5 assists between them. If Klein can bring the offense, like he did before the injury last year, he will be a big asset for this team. I rolled my eyes seeing Diaz take number 33, the number of the legendary Cam Talbot! You gotta figure Skjei to break in, needs one of these guys to go down or maybe even take Dan Boyle’s spot. It just won’t be McIlrath. If it is Diaz that goes, he will surely be picked up on waivers.
For a first game, to get things going, the Rangers played a great team game, winning 6-3. It’s only one game, a game used to shake off the summer rust, but Coach AV may have some tough roster decisions before the season kicks off in Chicago.
It was just so fun having hockey back and sitting so close. You get to see and feel part of the game more. You miss so much on tv, so it’s always great to be at the rink and watch how players play away from the puck, which you rarely see on the tube.
Oh, and if you take the LIRR home from the games, beware. I thought the gay parade was last night based on the people I saw on the train. Then I remembered that the Islanders play in Brooklyn and they will be getting on our train at Jamaica. Heed caution!
Pictures from me and official notes from NYR below:
Official post game news/notes from BlueshirtsUnited.com:
– HOME COOKING – The Rangers have won eight of their last nine preseason contests at Madison Square Garden (8-1-0), dating back to Sept. 21, 2009.
– PERFECT 10 – Ten different Rangers recorded at least one point in tonight’s game, while five different players notched a goal. In addition, four different Blueshirts registered two or more points.
– FAST START – New York tallied the first goal of the game in tonight’s contest. In 2014-15, the Blueshirts registered the first goal of the game in 50 contests and posted a 41-6-3 record in those games.
– FIRST IN SCORE – The Rangers outscored the Devils, 2-1, in the first period of tonight’s game. Last season, the Rangers posted a plus-30 goal differential in the first period (84-54). New York led the NHL in first period goals and tied for fifth in the NHL in first period goals against.
– PICK SIX – New York tallied six goals while recording 23 shots in tonight’s game. In regular season and playoff action, the last time the Rangers have registered at least six goals in a contest in which they recorded 23 or fewer shots was Dec. 12, 2010 vs. Washington (seven goals; 20 shots on goal).
– HOT AT THE DOT – The Rangers won 54% of faceoffs they took in tonight’s contest (30-for-56). Two Blueshirts posted a faceoff win percentage of 57% or better in the game.
– HITTING MACHINE – The Blueshirts registered 28 hits in the game, as 11 different Rangers recorded at least one hit and eight different Rangers were credited with two hits.
Three Stars on Broadway
– Brian Gibbons tallied three points (one goal, two assists), recorded two shots on goal, and posted a plus-two rating in the contest. Gibbons, who was signed by the Rangers as a free agent on July 1, 2015, split last season between the Columbus Blue Jackets in the NHL and the Springfield Falcons of the American Hockey League (AHL). He tallied five assists in 25 games with the Blue Jackets in 2014-15, and posted a plus/minus rating of even or better in 21 of the 25 games.
– Jayson Megna registered two goals, recorded three shots on goal, won nine of 17 faceoffs (53%), and posted a plus-two rating in the game. Megna, who was signed by the Rangers as a free agent on July 1, 2015, established AHL career-highs in games played (63), goals (26), assists (13), points (39), plus/minus rating (plus-18), power play goals (five), and shots on goal (134) with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in 2014-15. In addition, Megna skated in 12 NHL games with the Penguins last season, recording 40 hits and eight blocked shots.
– Chris Kreider tallied a goal, was credited with three hits, and posted a plus-one rating. Last season, Kreider established career-highs in games played (80), goals (21), assists (25), points (46), plus/minus rating (plus-24), power play goals (seven), game-winning goals (five), and shots on goal. He is one of five NHL players who have registered at least 40 goals, 80 points, a plus-30 rating, and 150 penalty minutes since the start of the 2012-13 season.
– Kevin Klein notched three assists, posted a plus-three rating, and was credited with two blocked shots in 21:12 of ice time. In regular season and playoff action, Klein hasn’t recorded three assists or three points in any NHL contest in his career. Prior to suffering an injury on Mar. 11, 2015, Klein led Rangers defensemen in goals (nine), points (26), plus/minus rating (plus-24), and game-winning goals (four) in 2014-15.
– Viktor Stalberg registered the game-winning goal, recorded three hits, and posted a plus-one rating. Entering the 2015-16 season, Stalberg has tallied all 62 of his career NHL goals at even strength. He is the only NHL player who has notched at least 60 goals and has recorded all of them at even strength since the start of his rookie season in 2009-10.
– Raphael Diaz recorded two assists and posted a plus-two rating in 21:18 of ice time. Entering the 2015-16 season, Diaz is one of seven Swiss-born defensemen who have skated in at least 200 regular season games in NHL history.
– Oscar Lindberg tallied a goal, led all skaters in faceoff win percentage (64%; 7-for-11), recorded two shots on goal, and posted a plus-two rating. Since he began his professional career in North America with the Hartford Wolf Pack of the American Hockey League (AHL) in 2013-14, Lindberg leads Hartford in assists (54) and points (100) and ranks second on the team in goals. He made his NHL debut with the Rangers on Feb. 24, 2015 vs. Calgary.
– Derek Stepan recorded an assist, registered three shots on goal, was credited with two hits, and posted a plus-one rating. Last season, Stepan was one of only two NHL players who ranked tied for fifth or higher on his respective team in all of the following categories: assists, points, game-winning goals, plus/minus rating, shots on goal, power play goals, power play assists, power play points, shorthanded goals, shorthanded assists, and shorthanded points (along with Jonathan Toews of the Blackhawks). In addition, Stepan tied for 11th in the NHL in assists (39) from the time he made his 2014-15 season debut on Nov. 8, 2014 until the end of the 2014-15 regular season.
– Brady Skjei tallied an assist and registered a plus-three rating in 19:50 of ice time. The 21-year-old defenseman registered 10 points (one goal, nine assists) with the University of Minnesota last season, helping the Gophers capture the Big 10 Championship. Skjei also recorded three points (one goal, two assists) in 15 playoff games with the Hartford Wolf Pack of the American Hockey League (AHL).
– Ryan Bourque tallied an assist and posted a plus-one rating. Last season, Bourque made his NHL debut with the Rangers on Apr. 9, 2015 against Ottawa. In addition, he established an AHL career-high in assists (20) with the Hartford Wolf Pack.
– Antti Raanta stopped 11 of 12 shots he faced and earned a win in the contest. Entering the 2015-16, Raanta has posted a 14-0-3 record, along with a 1.59 GAA, a .942 SV%, and 3 SO in 19 career NHL appearances at home. Over the last two seasons, Raanta is the only NHL goaltender who has appeared in at least 10 home games and has not posted a regulation loss. In addition, he leads all NHL goaltenders (min. 10 home appearances) in save percentage at home since the start of the 2013-14 season.
Alain Vigneault, New York Rangers head coach
On the Preseason… “Exhibition for coaches and management, it’s more about player evaluation and trying to put our style of play on the ice. Exhibition, the veteran guys are trying to get their rhythm, get their timing, and the other guys are trying to impress us and show us they belong here.”
On Oscar Lindberg being a two-way player… “We’re a four-line team, four-line league, there is no way to have success without getting contribution from four lines. Sometimes that contribution can be more defensive style, but I think all players on all lines have to be able to spend some time in the offensive zone. Chip in offensively – the answer is he needs to chip in offensively.”
On the goaltending tonight… “Antti didn’t have a lot of work early on and then had a couple good saves to make. It’s never easy for a goaltender to come in at midpoint. I thought both of them stood their ground tonight.”
Chris Kreider, New York Rangers forward
On tonight’s game… “I wanted to get shots on goal. To be honest, I didn’t get as many on goal as I would have liked. The first period was very helter-skelter, kind of all over the place. I guess that’s to be expected in the first preseason game, but I think as a group we like how we all settled down. A lot of guys played pretty well.”
On playing in the preseason… “I just want to be generating those chances, getting touches, and putting yourself in spots where you are getting a feel for the pressure again and for physical contact. It (preseason goal) doesn’t really matter in the big scheme of things, but you certainly celebrate it like it did.”
On the play of Brian Gibbons… “In college in particular, (he was) the best player I played with. You see the poise, and he’s so fun to watch. He’s electrifying, high in skill, he’s dynamic. He’s a game changer and he sees things other people don’t.”
Brian Gibbons, New York Rangers forward
On his start in tonight’s game… “I was able to get a good bounce early. They turned one over, the shot went in and I think that got some confidence going. I did some good things, but there are still some things I need to work on and get better at. It was a good place to start, I guess.”
On playing in the preseason… “I think every time you get the chance to show the coaches you can play at this level, that they can trust you on the ice in different situations, I think that’s all I am looking to do – to show I can play at this level.”
On his game… “I like to give it my all every shift, use my speed which is one of my assets, and try to buzz around the ice and create turnovers…get in on the fore check, play solid defense and chip in offensively.”
Brady Skjei, New York Rangers defenseman
On tonight’s game… “It was a quick game for sure. Obviously it’s the first game of the year so you can’t expect a ton from everybody. We’re kind of knocking the rust off a little bit. It was definitely a high-paced game. It was fun to be out there to get my first game here.”
On playing at Madison Square Garden… “It was everything I could have dreamed of. I was getting pretty excited before warm-ups to get out there. The fans here are pretty cool so it was a great experience and a lot of fun.”
On if he feels he’s building momentum … “I think so. I think there was definitely room for improvement. I can reflect on things that I did well, keep learning from the good things and the bad things. I’m excited to keep working and I’m going to do my best to continue.
LET’S GO RANGERS
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