How far will the Rangers get this season?

This Team Isn't Messing Around
The Rangers will take on the Devils on Wednesday night in their preseason opener

Henrik Lundqvist will be in net for the first game of the preseason

Henrik Lundqvist will be in net for the first game of the preseason

When: Wednesday, September 21, 7:00 p.m.

Opponent: New Jersey Devils (0-0-0)


Here are the anticipated line combinations for tonight's game:







Del Zotto-Eminger








This team isn’t messing around.

That’s the crystal clear message coming out of Rangers’ camp these days as the team prepares for its first preseason game tomorrow night against the New Jersey Devils.

New York will dress a lineup that includes: Henrik Lundqvist, Michael Del Zotto, Dan Girardi, Brendan Bell, Steve Eminger, Tim Erixon, Dylan McIlrath, Sean Avery, Brandon Dubinsky, Dale Weise, Andre Deveaux, John Mitchell, Erik Christensen, Artem Anisimov, J.T. Miller, Christian Thomas, Ryan Bourque, Shane McColgan and Carl Hagelin.

In other words, only players that either have NHL experience, or top youngsters, most of whom are on the verge of breaking through.

The Traverse City Tournament was for evaluating Randy McNaught, Collin Bowman, Matt Rust and Jordan Hickmott.  Camp and the preseason this year are for determining which lineup gives the Blueshirts the best chance to win now.

Coach John Tortorella explained that he wants to see “six or seven kids” in preseason games, mainly those that have a legitimate chance at cracking the roster, but the majority of the players at training camp may not sniff the ice during the preseason as Tortorella meticulously combs through his very best bodies to see who can really help the team right now.

This team isn’t messing around.  It’s the message that has emerged from the Rangers’ handling of the early camp injury issues of Artem Anisimov, Mike Sauer, Marc Staal and Brandon Prust.  Anisimov was in no pain, but doctors discovered an issue during his physical and the Rangers immediately sent him for an MRI to make sure everything was OK.  Sauer tweaked his knee over the summer and was held out of scrimmages until the team was absolutely sure he was healthy.  Prust underwent shoulder surgery at the end of last season but is still being held away from contact because the Rangers know he can’t avoid playing his teetering-on-the-edge style and don’t want to risk anything until it counts.  Staal experienced a concussion last February and even though he’s twice been cleared by doctors for contact, the Rangers plan to keep him out for much of the preseason, at least.  And the Rangers aren't even willing to wait and see with Staal, they're already hunting for another defenseman.

The Rangers’ brass are well aware of the raised expectations facing this club, but the expectations may be even higher within the organization.

This team is taking training camp very seriously and the preseason as strictly business.  It’s plenty early, but the unspoken message from Ranger-land is being trumpeted loudly, this team isn’t messing around.

- Tim Erixon is obviously the most important youngster at camp and is living up to his billing, but it’s also obvious that the team is thrilled with rookie Shane McColgan.  Director of Player Personnel Gordie Clark heaped praise on him at Traverse City and he’s been noticeable again at camp.  He’s going to get a look in the first preseason game when the Rangers are dressing their true best players.  McColgan won’t touch New York this season, but that day may be coming sooner than later.

- Tortorella repeatedly affirmed that he has to trust Staal regarding his concussion.  He obviously wants Staal back on the ice, but Tortorella knows the Rangers must treat this issue delicately.  Still, you get the feeling Torts expects Staal to be out there opening night.

- Tortorella also raved about Carl Hagelin’s skating, which continues to be the key to his game.

- The Rangers plan to cut a significant number of players following Friday’s game, also against the Devils. 



For more from training camp:

Training Camp Roster And 6 Battles To Watch >

Training Camp Opens With "The Test" >

Staal Injury Overshadows Encouraging First Scrimmage >

Scrimmage Lines Provide Strong Clues To John Tortorella's Thinking >

Staal's Condition Growing Worrisome: Is A Veteran Defenseman Acquistion Coming? >

Rangers Contact Paul Mara's Agent As Concern Over Staal Grows >

Preseason Game #1 Preview: This Team Isn't Messing Around >




Click here for our full Summer 2011 Archive >

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Posted by Kevin Baumer | September 21, 2011 at 11:59 am

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New York Rangers VS Chicago Blackhawks
Wednesday, October 7, 2015

  1 2 3 OT F
Rangers 3 0 0 - 3
Blackhawks 1 1 0 - 2

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