Here we are my friends, the final preseason game of 2014. The Rangers' next game is October 9th against the St. Louis Blues and the result of that game will be the first one that matters since we saw the Los Angeles Kings lift the Stanley Cup and overcome the Rangers in five games. As far as preseason games go, this one is about as important as it gets. This will be a huge test for any and all of the kids that are playing as well as for the veterans that are fighting over just a few roster spots.
My not-so-bold prediction: J.T. Miller is a lock for this team. How impressive was he last night? How impressive has he been this preseason? I had my worries about him being our third line center but Miller has put a lot of those worries to bed in this preseason. Let's just hope he can keep it up.
Let's just hope that the Rangers finish their preseason with an above .500 record and make a statement against the Devils after dropping the first game of the preseason to a last minute (literally) goal. The Duke and Haggerty are both playing tonight, perhaps competing for the same spot on the Rangers' third line? Keep an eye on the kids tonight.
Full 2014 Preseason Schedule (3-2-0)
Monday, September 22—vs. New Jersey 7:00 p.m.(Losers) Friday, September 26—at Chicago 8:30 p.m.(Winners!) Monday. September 29—vs. Philadelphia 7:00 p.m.(Winners!) Tuesday, September 30—at Philadelphia 7:00 p.m.(Losers...) Friday, October 3—vs. Chicago 7:00 p.m.(Winna!)
Saturday, October 4—at New Jersey 7:00 p.m.
Mike's Player to Watch: Matthew Lombardi
Matt Lombardi is playing tonight against the Devils and he is playing for a lot more than just a roster spot for the Rangers. Lombardi has had an underwhelming camp (getting hurt hasn't helped) and he is playing to prove that he belongs in the NHL after spending a dominant season in the Swiss League. If Lombo doesn't turn things around and impress AV and the Rangers' coaching staff tonight against the New Jersey Devils, he will likely be going on waivers and probably end up playing in Hartford with the kids. That is not what we were expecting when we heard the Rangers signed him to a two year deal worth $1.2 million. Lombardi should be fighting tooth and nail for a spot on the fourth line or for the role of the team's 13th forward. The fact that he can play center should help his cause but right now it isn't looking very good for the speedy veteran.
Let's go Rangers!!!