- Brady Skjei played in his second preseason game of the year and continued to look like he could easily belong in the NHL. I really do believe if Skjei started the year in the NHL he'd be able to handle himself as he figured things out. In Minnesota Skjei didn't play on the power play all that much, but so far (granted it's the preseason) he hasn't looked out of place at all. He has a nice shot and his ability to move the puck to space is underrated. I'm positive Skjei won't make the team just to be the 7th defenseman but I'm still not sure the Rangers would be worse for wear to have him make the team. Alain Vigneault said the team had "a week" to see if he belongs in the NHL. High praise for him for sure.
- Oscar Lindberg continued to tear through the preseason. He didn't score Thursday night but he was a monster defensively and continues to play well in transition. Not sure what more I can say about Lindberg at this point other than he has to be a lock to make the team. I can't imagine he doesn't, which brings us to ...
- Here's what I said about the Tanner Glass fight with Zac Rinaldo last night:
Glass protecting a teammate is great but enforcers don't deter anything and they take the place of skilled players.— Joe Fortunato (@BlueshirtBanter) September 25, 2015
P.S. I don't hate Glass the person. I hate the enforcer role in general, which he currently employs for my favorite hockey team.— Joe Fortunato (@BlueshirtBanter) September 25, 2015
After the game Glass told the media he let Rinaldo know that if he continued to take runs at the Rangers there would be consequences. What happened next? Rinaldo took a run at Tommy Hughes, Glass jumped him and took a penalty. Enforcers don't deter anything, and if the above sequence isn't proof of that I don't know what is. "Answering the bell" doesn't do anything, either. And more likely than not it hurts your team more than the guy who "answered the bell."
- For the first time I really don't think Glass is going to make the team, and it's simply because of how much talent is waiting in the wings. I'm assuming Jarret Stoll is going to make the cut, and I can't imagine Lindberg doesn't. But Ryan Bourque was fantastic last night all around, and he could easily be fighting for a bottom-six role if Lindberg wasn't such a better option offensively.
- Same goes for Brian Gibbons, who I think has really impressed this preseason. Gibbons does have the advantage of not being a prospect, so him hanging around as the 13th forward wouldn't hurt him or the team, but he's really making a case for one of those bottom six spots. Has he been better than Lindberg? No. Has he opened eyes? Yes.
- Dan Boyle returned to the team after taking time away for a personal matter and subsequently had two assists and an awesome shootout goal. Boyle, I think, never really recovered from getting hurt last year and really never found his footing. I'm expecting so much more from him this year.
- He's also a really, really smart player. In the 4-on-3 OT power play Boyle was at the point and he moved to the right point to find a shooting lane. As he did it he stopped Derick Brassard from moving down low with the other two forwards and directed him towards the left point. Then he ripped a slapper that just missed the corner and rattled around the boards, where Brassard was able to keep it in the zone because he wasn't in the middle. That's the type of intelligent power play movement you get with Boyle. All good things.
- Rick Nash is going to be a MONSTER 3-on-3.
- Mats Zuccarello. What more can you say about him? A goal and an assist to go with his smile to be back on the ice. The Rangers missed him in a lot of ways last year, but he's such a good distributor.
- The big guns look ready all around. Henrik Lundqvist included.
- I liked Adam Tambellini's game. I think he might have a shot to turn into something but it's not going to happen this year.
- We missed it yesterday but: