Despite the ridiculous nature of 18 penalties in a preseason NHL game, the New York Rangers defeated the rival New York Islanders 1-0 in OT on a nifty Neal Pionk goal.
While Madison Square Garden was fairly empty, given the New York Giants playing Monday Night Football across the river, the Rangers displayed an energetic brand of hockey, with clean transition and breakout and a lot of speed exiting the defensive zone.
BLUESHIRT BULLET POINTS
1 – While Pionk got the incredible spin-o-rama OT-winner, the story of the game was young defender Tony DeAngelo, acquired as part of the Derek Stepan trade with the Arizona Coyotes. DeAngelo had a command of the puck and exhibited tremendous speed, living up to his hype. If he is able to maintain his composure, he could serve as the Rangers x-factor.
2 – First look at the new Adidas NHL jerseys? Not impressed. The large Adidas logo on the back above the name plate (which in and of itself is a tragedy) is obtrusive. That being said, the practice jersey logos are classic.
3 – Center Lias Andersson didn’t look out of place in his first NHL start, but it is hard to imagine him sticking. Strong on the boards, Andersson showed his strong NHL-potential, but it appears he may need time to adjust to the smaller NHL surface while also getting stronger in his upper body. However, he did find some chemistry alongside Pavel Buchnevich in what could be an exciting future pairing.
4 – The Rangers held the Islanders to only 17 shots on goal to their own 42. Granted, preseason is not a fair gauge, but the Rangers ability to control puck possession and manage the defensive zone was evident.
5 – Speaking of defensive zone, it’s a small sample size, but Lindy Ruff looked good behind the Rangers bench. His defense was stellar last night and hopefully a sign of good things to come.
6 – Cristoval “Boo” Nieves was good, but not great. New York will need more from him to justify him earning the fourth line center role. In other news with centers, JT Miller had a good night, showing hustle and smart two-way play that has often gone missing. Perhaps he is the answer to the third center position?
7 – Blueshirt Bulletin 3 Stars of the Game: No. 3 – JT Miller, No. 2 – Neal Pionk, No. 1 – Tony DeAngelo
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