Sunday, September 26, 2010

Pre-Season Game 2: My Thoughts

  • Once again, a win versus the Devils is always a good thing, especially when it's a come from behind victory. Yeah, even if it means nothing in the standings.

  • Gotta love the patience that Del Zotto showed on that OT winner. Instead of just ripping the puck on net, he took his time and roofed it when he knew the goalie wasn't going to be able to reach it.

  • Avery pisses everyone off, even me sometimes. Once again last night I think he sould've dropped the gloves with Clarkson. Clarkson has wanted a piece of Avery ever since the "Avery Rule" fiasco in the playoffs a few years ago. But, you know what, I am convinced that it's 100% psychological now. The Devils were winning this game and Sean Avery threw them all off. Clarkson went berserk a few times trying to fight him, as did Kovalchuk. In the mean time, Avery kept his cool and helped screen the goalie for a goal and draw a penalty that lead to another goal.

    The theory that Avery is afraid of Clarkson to me is complete BS. He's fought him before. Yes, in their previous fight Carkson got the edge, but it was by no means the ass whipping that some would have you believe that Clarkson is going to deliver if Avery ever obliges him.

    If Avery fights Clarkson now, then Clarkson will probably forget all about him again once the regular season starts. But, with Avery refusing to fight and continuing to taunt Kovalchuk, this is royally screwing with the minds of the Devils. Avery is clearly in their heads and heading into the season where they meet the Devils at least six times, that can only be a good thing.

  • Once again Leblond wanted NOTHING to do with Derek Boogaard. Listen, I can't blame him, Boogaard is an absolute beast and I wouldn't want to be within 50 feet of him when he's angry, nevermind on the receiving end of his punches. But, Leblond continued to run his mouth consistently on the bench, wanted to get in the middle of every ruckus when Boogaard wasn't on the ice and even was man enough to challenge Artem Anisimov. He's the team's heavyweight, you wouldn't think if after these two games against the Rangers.

  • Which makes it laughable that Chico Resch had the nerve to call out Avery. Like I already said, I understand why people (especially Devils fans) get so annoyed with Avery. It's all part of his act, all part of his style and as far as I'm concerned when Avery is playing like this he's at his best. Yet, Resch sits there and says it's ok for Leblond to refuse to fight Boogaard because of the size differential. We get it, Boogaard is a big big man, but if you're going to get in everyone's face or push players around, you better answer to the new sheriff in town :)

    After the last game I ripped on Micheletti for making too many Minnesota references. Well tonight Joe I'm giving you a pat on the back. I usually like Chico, but tonight he said a lot of stupid $hit in my opinion and Micheletti called him out on it every time. I couldn't believe it. Good for you Joe!

  • Gilroy and Del Zotto played very well .... from the 3rd period on. Prior to that, I thought they were pretty bad. But, it's the first game they've played in so I'll give them a pass.

  • For the first two period Pavel Valentenko was by far the NYR best defenseman in my opinion. I heard a lot about this kid before tonight but never actually saw him play before. He seems to have the mean streak that I've read about and boy does he like to step up to throw the body. I friggin love it! If he doesn't make the Rangers roster this year then he's one hell of a defensive prospect to have in the system for years to come.

  • Eminger was awful. Exelby seemed to be running around a few times, and was badly caught out when Andy Greene lobbed a pass down the ice that Rolston got to and ripped past Lundqvist. He'll be given another game to prove himself, but if it's not a major improvement he'll be released from his tryout at camp. Which brings me to Semenov. He's been nothing special but to this point he's been the best defenseman out of the three veterans (the other two being Eminger and Exelby). If Sather wants to go into the season with seven defensemen then at this point Semenov has to be the favorite to get that role.

  • As mediocre as Fedotenko was in the first game, I thought he played very well in his second game. Could this have earned him a contract for this season? He had a goal and two assists (the first assist which was an absolute beauty). I wasn't in favor of signing him but if he can help provide secondary scoring and play on the second PP unit, he might not be a horrible addition. Then again, it's only one game.

  • The Rangers are depending on Artem Anisimov to play a much more prominent role this season. He had a strong second half to his first pre-season game. Todd White, who the Rangers acquired from the Thrashers as part of the Donald Brashear salary dump trade, was pretty insignificant in his first game of the pre-season. He'll get another shot to show himself off, but after last night he's certainly a long shot.

  • One of the top young forwards that was speculated to make the team this season is Grachev. You wouldn't know it based on last night's performance. He was invisible. He made one really nice pass late in the third period that led to a shot which was deflected up into the netting. Prior to and after that he did nothing. Can't make a decision after one game but he has to show something special in his next outting if he wants to avoid a quick demotion to Hartford.

  • Weise and Byers are big boys who can throw the body and may be able to contribute offensively on the odd occasion. But, this season they'll both be doing it in the AHL. They would be battling it out for a fourth line role and to me there are too many guys ahead of them in the pecking order.

  • Ryan Callahan was the best (or at least one of the best) Rangers forwards. The assistant captain leads by example pretty much every time he steps on the ice. He blocks shots in the pre-season like it's Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals.

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