Sunday, September 21, 2008

Rangers drop pre-season opener 3-2

Did the Rangers lose? Yes they did but it wasn't without positives and at this point, Ranger fans are only looking for positives since it won't be too long they will be looking for negatives. 
The best player on the ice was Brandon Dubinsky hands down. He scored both Ranger goals with the first one showing his speed and acceleration as he burst past a Senators defenseman and roofed a wrist shot past Martin Gerber. He later scored a shorthanded goal on a breakaway with another beautiful wrist shot. 
His linemate Ryan Callahan played very well. He was throwing his body around and made a very nice defensive play that allowed Dubinsky to go on the shorthanded breakaway. Hopefully he can get his offense going a bit more than it was last year. 
The first line of Drury, Dawes, and Prucha looked good as well. They seemed to know where each other were and there was not alot of defensive lapses in terms of which forward should be where. Naturally Prucha got rocked in the second period but kept on going. I have no idea how he does it. 
Valiquette played the first two periods and let in a soft third goal. He won't get to play that much this season but he really needs to play well when he is playing. Mikka Wiikman played well in the third period as he tries to solidify his position as the starter for the Hartford Wolfpack. 
On defense, Michael Del Zotto looked very good. He laid out a few guys and had a sound game overall but it is obvious that he will be heading back to juniors. Paul Mara played well last night being one of the veteran defenseman. Michal Rozsival didn't have a great game after giving up the puck to Jason Spezza who went and scored the second Ottawa goal. 
But overall, I was impressed with the way the team played. Definitely the weaker of the two squads hung in there with a very good Ottawa Senators team. The Rangers blue squad will play Ottawa Monday night at the Garden. 

More later

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