Some morning news and notes for you guys:
The Hockey News talks about how defensemen are making all the difference for the Rangers.
On ESPN.com, E.J. Hradek has a look at the early Calder candidates. You have to be an ESPN Insider to read the whole thing, but they do preview the most important one:
Michael Del Zotto, D, New York Rangers
The 19-year-old Del Zotto is the latest young defenseman to emerge from the talented class of 2008 (selected 20th overall). He earned his way onto the Rangers' roster with an impressive training camp. A strong skater with excellent puck skills, the Ontario native has been a big early-season help to a power play that struggled to score last year. Through Tuesday's games, he led all rookies with four goals and nine points. The Rangers' coaching staff has been careful not to overexpose their kid defenseman, keeping him to a reasonable average ice time of 15:25. So far, he has not looked out of place in the NHL.
Andrew Gross was at the Lester Patrick Ceremonies last night, and had some thoughts from Mark Messier and Brian Leetch:
Leetch on Gilroy:
Brian Leetch, naturally, is a big fan of both rookie D Matt Gilroy and Michael Del Zotto, both of whom have drawn comparisons to No. 2. Leetch said he saw Gilroy play last season at Boston University and knew his game would translate to the pro level and whether Gilroy was with the Rangers or Hartford (AHL), he was going to play the same way. Leetch is very impressed with Del Zotto’s confidence and the way he’s made an impact at such an early age. Leetch added he hopes Del Zotto breaks his team record for rookie scoring for a defenseman
Jess over at The Prospect Park takes a look at Ranger prospect Max Campbell: (click link for full story)
A 2 goal, 2 assist weekend is not a bad way to get one's season going and that is exactly what Max Campbell (2007 5th) of the Western Michigan Broncos this past week. Campbell a junior at WMU was a big part of why his Broncos were able to earn a 2 game weekend sweep of Mercyhurst and thus earning our Prospect of the Week honors.
The runs being taken at Henrik Lundqvist has been talked about alot, but we're not the only ones worried about our goaltender. The Miami Herald talks about how the protection of goalies has become a hot topic.