The New York Rangers' prospects are 2-0 in the first two games of the Traverse City Tournament. It was a much more complete hockey game from both sides, with the Rangers walking away with a 6-2 victory.
More than a few players really impressed today, and we'll get to individual reviews after the jump, but I want to talk about the past two games from the team perspective.
Offensively, this team has truly impressed. The team has scored 11 goals in two games, and of those 10 goals there were eight different goal scorers. That's moving the puck around pretty well. And on the power play, the Rangers were dominant, pure and simple.
Defensively, the team did what they had to do. They controlled the corners and passed out of pressure well. They also got great goaltending when it was needed.
Join me after the jump for individual player reviews.
- Ryan Bourque: A few weeks ago when Bourque said he wanted to be like Ryan Callahan I don't think too many people took him seriously. Well after two games in Traverse City, I don't think anyone is questioning him now. Bourque did everything in the win, including scoring goals, setting up teammates, hustling everywhere, laying out big hits and even making a few very smart defensive plays. One of the highlights was in the second period when Dallas had a two-on-one down low and Bourque slid to the open man with the puck and stopped a scoring chance. I've been very impressed with his overall game, and if he continues playing like this he's going to have a real shot to make the big club in the future.
- Dylan McIlrath: McIlrath didn't have the best game yesterday, but he turned it around today. His positioning was better, his defense along the boards was superb and he used his physicality when he had to. When he deemed the other team was taking liberties, he dropped the gloves with Dallas' tough guy without blinking an eye. He also beat the crap out of him, it wasn't even close. If he does that on Broadway, he will become a fan favorite after about three minutes of ice time. Good to see him progress, now I want to see him keep it up.
- J.T. Miller: Miller played well today, including scoring the opening goal. He laid a few big hits, imposed himself along the boards and was good in the corners. Aside from a strong first and second period, his name wasn't mentioned too much, and that wasn't a bad thing. He did all the little things right (not a Chris Drury reference) tonight, and got on the scoresheet as well.
- Andrew Yogan: I called out Yogan yesterday for missing a few open chances. He responded today with a goal, and played well in all three zones. I'm not going to say he dominated, but he played much better.
- Tim Erixon: The young defenseman had a goal and an assist in the win over the St. Louis Blues. Although he didn't score a goal today, he was very effective both offensively and defensively. He made more than a few great plays in the defensive zone, keeping Dallas' playmakers away from the dangers portions of the ice. In the offensive zone, it was more of the same. Fluid passes, smart and dangerous point shots accompanied by good puck movement. I like what I saw out of him these past two games, and if he plays this well at camp no one is going to beat him out for a spot on the team.
- Christian Thomas: The young sniper wasn't able to notch a goal, but he recorded an assist and was dangerous around the net all game. I thought that Thomas played a solid game tonight, not outstanding, but he played well.
- Blake Parlett: Another great game, with the defenseman notching two assists. That's five assists the past two games.