||09-24-2011 11:26 AM
Couple of things...
I thought Callahan had an OK game. He didn't play like Cally to me, but seemed more reserved which is to be expected. It's the pre-season. But... in particular, he didn't jump in front of shots like he does. That was actually smart though considering he has hurt himself on numerous accasions doing so. I thought one thing needed mention though. Kudos to Mike Rupp. Earlier in the game Boulton took a Ranger player. It was near the blueline and I think it was Cally but I had no sound and play continued. Looked knee on knee to me. Anyway late in the game Rupp went looking for it which is not like him. I think this was due to the hit earlier in the game by Boulton. Rupp plays the game like his size suggests. He threw the most hits of any Rangers player. Actually more than double of any other Rangers player. And...he makes them count. He is so big and his is very good for a big guy. If the Rangers make the playoffs, I am looking forward to having a guy like Rupp than can wear down a defense over a 7 game series. Guys are not going to want this monster throwing the body over an extended period of time.
On the top line I thought they were very good together. I am NOT a Wolski fan, but he had a good game. Not great, but good. He fit in. Richards and Gaborik thought had very good chemistry for game 1. Don't want to overanalyze it, but they looked like great together. Richards has the kind of creativity that I haven't seen on the Rangers since guys like Gretz and Leetch were here. Again, its only 1 game, but you can tell early on that he is offensivly gifted.
On Boyle, im not ready to count him out of the top 6. I think last year he 100% earned the right to at least get a good look up there, however I am not so certain that he is fit for the Left side. I think he's a better fit on the right side. And while we know he isn't going to outplay Gaborik, I think he deserves a good look on the 2nd line and up front on the Power play.
On the D...McDonough and Sauer were ok. Not great just OK, but I don't they were out of place. Just need some icetime to get into thier groove. I agree on Bell and on Del Zotto. Bell got beat early in the game, but he made up for it as the game went on. He was steady, his and he looks like he belongs out there. One thing was missing from both of thier games though. Nobody playing overly physical, while the Devil forwards were. Nobody played equalizer. Agree on Erixon too. This was the first game I thought he was not playing with confidence. On V-Tank, while he wasn't a stand out I don't think he had a bad game at all. One thing I liked was, on the giveaway in the offensive zone. He anticipated well, and did a great job of getting back to negate an odd-man rush. He saw that play develop, and reacted exceptionally well.
Wasen't impressed with Zuccarello, despite his plus +2 rating. He showed aggression in the offensive zone so that was aplus, but where is the great creativity he is supposed to bring to the table?
Wasen't impressed with Newbury and to be honest I am not so sure why he keeps getting a look. He loogged more icetime than Weise did, but he didn't throw 1 hit in that time. If you are fighting for a 4th line position you have to make yourself noticed on every pre-season shift.
Weise only logged 7 minutes, but he managed 2 hits, and 2 shots on goal. He also drove the net well on one play. I like him, and I think he is making a statement so far in the pre-season.