When: Monday, October 3, 2:00 p.m.
Opponent: EV Zug
UPDATE: Sean Avery, Wojtek Wolski and Mike Sauer will be scratched today. Marty Biron will be in net. (12:40 p.m.)
EARLIER: The Rangers seemed caught off guard on Sunday when HC Slovan
Bratislava came at them with NHL-level speed and physicality during the first
period of the team’s
second-to-last exhibition game.
New York’s early morning flight from Sweden surely didn’t
help matters, but the Blueshirts will be in the same situation Monday when they
fly into Switzerland to take on EV Zug of the National League A in the final
tune-up before the regular season.
The biggest concern surrounding the organization right now
is the health of three key players: top defenseman Marc Staal, second-pair
stalwart Mike Sauer and first-line left wing Wojtek Wolski. Staal probably won’t be ready for the start
of the season, but both Sauer and Wolski are day-to-day and at least Sauer
could play tomorrow. The Rangers desperately
need him to return to the lineup without missing a beat after suffering a
shoulder injury last Monday against the Philadelphia Flyers.
Sauer’s potential return would be the big story of the game,
but the Rangers will also continue to monitor the play of Brendan Bell and Stu
Bickel, who could be forced into the lineup in Staal’s absence, and Sean Avery,
who should get a final shot to impress the coaching staff after Erik
Christensen played today.
Those will be the key personnel issues the Rangers will look
to address in their final preseason action, but the team also has plenty of
other problems to sort out.
The Blueshirts have taken far too many penalties lately,
which they won’t get away with against the high-powered offenses of the Los
Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks this weekend. New York also must tighten up its own zone play, find a rhythm on the
power play and generate some confidence heading into the season.
The Rangers have gotten by with some subpar play because they’ve
faced less-talented opponents and because the additional space provided by the
bigger European rinks has given the team more time and room to operate.
EV Zug features ex-NHLers Josh Holden, Glen Metropolit and
Jussi Markkanen but doesn’t have the same history of being a powerhouse as HC
Slovan. Still, the Rangers shouldn’t
take their opponent lightly and should treat this game as a final opportunity to
work out any kinks in advance of Friday’s opener. New York won’t be able to use a difficult
travel schedule as an excuse when the season begins, so they’d do well to take
tomorrow’s game seriously and deliver a full 60-minute effort.
For more from training camp:
Camp Roster And 6 Battles To Watch >
Camp Opens With "The Test" >
Injury Overshadows Encouraging First Scrimmage >
Lines Provide Strong Clues To John Tortorella's Thinking >
Condition Growing Worrisome: Is A Veteran Defenseman Acquisition Coming? >
Contact Paul Mara's Agent As Concern Over Staal Grows >
Game #1 Preview: This Team Isn't Messing Around >
21 Training Camp Quick Hits >
Fall 2-1 In Underwhelming Preseason Opener > (9/21/11)
Weise May Be Ready, But Is There Room For Him? >
Lines May Reveal Where Everyone Currently Stands > (9/22/11)
Game #2 Preview: Debut Of The Big Guns > (9/23/11)
Outlast Devils 4-3 As Offense Gets Warmed Up > (9/24/11)
Announce First Round Of Cuts > (9/24/11)
Fret If Youngsters Don't Make The Team > (9/25/11)
Game #3 Preview: Leaving On A Jet Plane > (9/26/11)
And Avery Hurt In Loss To Flyers > (9/26/11)
Game #4 Preview: Back In Action Overseas > (9/28/11)
To The AHL Makes Sense > (9/29/11)
Game #5 Preview: Return Of The King > (9/29/11)
Saves Rangers In Return To Gothenburg > (9/30/11)
Cut 8: What It Means > (10/1/11)
Game #6 Preview: Evaluation Period Over; Now It’s In The Details > (10/1/11)
Struggle Early But Score 4 Unanswered To Beat HC Slovan >(10/2/11)
Preseason Game #7 Preview: The Final Tune-Up > (10/2/11)
here for our full Summer 2011 Archive >
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