The Rangers weathered the proverbial storm in the first period against HC Slovan, and came out on top of the Slovakian team 4-1 in Bratislava. Let’s get to the bullet points.
- Mats Zuccarello had another strong game. He already solidified his roster spot, but he may be a dark horse to wind up on the top line if Wojtek Wolski falters.
- Stu Bickel looked pretty good, despite his penalty. I am going to call him Pickle at least once per game this year though.
- What a play by Brandon Prust on Artem Anisimov’s short handed tally. Prust knocked down a Slovan behind the net, took the puck, and dished it to Artie in front of the net, who pretty much had ten seconds to bury it. The goal was Artie’s, but the work was done by Prust.
- The first powerplay unit of Brad Richards, Marian Gaborik, Brandon Dubinsky, Ryan Callahan, and Michael Del Zotto looked pretty good. Richards had a nice play to get the puck to Zuc for his goal.
- The second unit had some fancy passing too, and was a pretty nice surprise. Dan Girardi made a nice pass to Brian Boyle in front of the net for his chip in goal.
- Despite the win, the Rangers looked very sloppy in the first period. They were getting out skated, out shot, and out performed in every aspect of the game. They were lucky to only be down 1-0 after the first.
- This is the second straight game where the Rangers took way too many penalties against inferior opponents. That needs to stop.
- There is one more preseason game in Switzerland before the Rangers open their season in Sweden.
Also, Dale Weise was placed on waivers today, which confirms that he was not on waivers yesterday. It’s still unknown why the Rangers waited a day to waive him. I’ll assume they were trying to trade him, but couldn’t find any takers.