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:
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
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
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
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
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 Acquistion Coming? >
Contact Paul Mara's Agent As Concern Over Staal Grows >
Preseason Game #1 Preview: This Team Isn't Messing Around >
here for our full Summer 2011 Archive >
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