New York Rangers Pregame: Del Zotto Improves, Notes Before Frolunda

Sorry for the later posts the past few days guys. A crazy work schedule colliding with a crazy European schedule isn't working out. That should, hopefully, not be an issue from tomorrow on.

Anyway, onto some good news. Michael Del Zotto, who is one of the players currently fighting for a roster spot this year, has known he needs to step up if he wants to start the year with the big club. And he did that yesterday, notching an assist and playing an overall solid game in the New York Rangers 2-0 win over HC Sparta.

The Rangers are hoping that Del Zotto becomes a difference maker again this year, the way he was his rookie season. Although he hasn't had the strongest of camps, by all reports it seems as if he has gotten stronger since the team hit Europe.

Join me after the jump for more.

Just a couple of notes from yesterday and before tonight's tilt with Frolunda:

  • Martin Biron was the big hero yesterday, recording a shutout and making two or three brilliant saves (or so I assume from reports, since the game wasn't televised). The Rangers are going to want Biron to be a big time part of their plans this year, and if he stays healthy he should play in around 20 games.
  • Tim Erixon recorded an assist yesterday, and has also gotten stronger since the team joined Europe. That's no surprise, since he is used to the international sized rinks, but he is a guy I really feel is going to start the year with the Rangers this year, him playing well in these preseason games is vital for his chances.
  • Artem Anisimov, who is primed for a breakout year, scored a goal and also impressed last night. I have to tell you, he is one of the players I'm most excited to see this year.

The game tonight starts at 1 p.m. EST, so the open game thread will open at 12:30 p.m. This game will actually be televised on MSG, so for those of you home or on lunch, try to sneak in a few shifts.

See you guys there!