Last night one half of the Rangers' 62 man training camp roster took to the ice at MSG to play the New Jersey Devils. Tonight the Rangers will be going toe-to-toe with another bitter division rival; the Philadelphia Flyers. This offseason the Flyers invested in superstar winger Jakub Voracek who is under contract for eight seasons after 2015-16 at a cap hit of $8.25 million. The Flyers also brought in Michal Neuvirth on a two-year deal to push and compete with Steve Mason to hopefully help keep more pucks out of their net. There are eight defensemen on Philadelphia's roster that are not on ELC deals which means that there are a lot of guys battling for roles with the team and ice team including former Ranger Michael Del Zotto who signed a two-year extension this offseason at a cap hit of $3.875 million per season. It will be very interesting to see who takes to the ice tonight in the orange and black in the Rangers' second game of the 2015 preseason.
- The Rangers' Preseason Schedule
- The Rangers' Training Camp Roster
- Etem and Stoll Making Their Rangers' Debuts tonight!
- SB Nation's Flyer's blog- Broad Street Hockey
- No matter what happens, we'll be seeing some 3 on 3 OT after regulation.
After tonight's game Alain Vigneault and the Rangers' coaching and management staff will make their first wave of cuts. If Dylan McIlrath is in the lineup tonight this very well could be the most important ice time of his career. Dan Rosen recently wrote a piece for NHL.com that suggested that this could be McIlrath's last real chance to make the Rangers and, perhaps, an NHL roster. If McIlrath can play with controlled aggression, show that he can reliably stay in position, and use his size and strength to make life difficult for the Flyers tonight he should earn more appearances in the preseason and a longer look at training camp.
The Flyers are a team with a lot of key roles up for grabs in the preseason and training camp. The Flyers have already made their first cuts from their training camp roster and plenty of roster spots to fill outside of their top six forward group. As I mentioned earlier, there will be a lot of focus on their defensive pairings that should be worth keeping an eye on. I would expect to hear plenty of profanity after the whistles tonight and see a game that has a lot more edge to it than most other preseason games might have. There will be a lot of stinky, sweaty hockey gloves rubbed into people's faces... which is just the way it should be when these two teams take the ice. The puck drops at 7:05.
Hopefully we'll get to see a performance similar to last night's 6-3 stomping of the Devils.
Let's go Rangers.