The power play was an issue for the Rangers all last year, but it was not a problem for the Rangers' prospects last night. The Rangers moved the puck with ease when they found themselves on the man advantage last night, and a lot of that had to do with Tim Erixon.
We heard about his ability to run the point, and that he wasn't a flashy hockey player, but was wildly effective. Seeing it in person was special. Erixon only notched a goal and an assist, and I say "only" because he could have had a lot more points. His passes kept the movement of the power play fluid, and his shots from the point were dangerous and well-taken.
If Erixon plays like that again today, I would be thrilled.
More analysis after the jump.
- Ryan Bourque looked fast and hungry. He made a few impressive hustle plays, and scored a pretty goal. He just needs to keep his motor running all game.
- Andrew Yogan looked good as well, but he probably should have scored three goals yesterday. Sometimes that's a good thing, in Yogan's case it wasn't. Yogan missed a few blatant chances, hopefully he finds the net tonight. Still, he created chances, and that's something you definitely want to see.
- Dylan McIlrath had a rough game. Very rough. He was out of position more than once, took a few bad penalties and looked like he was trying to do too much when he was on the ice. It looked like nerves got to him yesterday, so hopefully he makes the adjustment today. I will say, his shot from the point is a laser, and if he can learn to place it, he might be dangerous on the power play one day.
- Jonathan Audy-Marchessault looked good in the offensive zone. For those of you who can't understand why a 95-point player in the QMJHL didn't get drafted, remember that the league is incredibly high scoring. There's also more to hockey than just offense, but yesterday, Audy-Marchessault looked good all over the ice.
- Carl Hagelin had a great day as well, and showed off his shot by riffling a goal top shelf early in the second to break the tie. I liked the way Hagelin moved the puck yesterday, and I really liked his vision around the net. On more than one occasion he found a teammate in a lethal position around the net. He impressed tonight for sure.
- Christian Thomas walked into the tournament with people drooling over his shot. We he showed us what he can do when he dishes the puck as well. Thomas made a new jaw-dropping passes yesterday, and set up his teammates all game. I can't wait till he pots one in this tournament.
- J.T. Miller was on and off. For a few stretches yesterday he was invisible, and then for fleeting shifts he was pretty dominant. Consistency is the name of the game for a guy like Miller, who does a little of everything, but it wasn't there last night. Let's hope he got the nerves out of his game yesterday and comes out today like a man on fire.
- Yesterday, I highlighted how excited I was to see Michael St. Croix play. I honestly can't remember seeing him do much of anything yesterday, in fact, I don't think I heard his name called once. Now, it's only the first game of the tournament, so maybe he just needed a game to adjust; but I want to see more from him tonight.
Remember that tonight we will have an open game thread! There were over 300 comments yesterday, which is awesome, so I hope those of you who couldn't make it last night can for today's game.
Also, remember that the game starts at 6 p.m. tonight. The game thread will open at 5:30 p.m., hope to see you guys there!