by Patrick Hoffman on 09/24/10 at 10:46 AM ET
Good morning folks. Unfortunately, I was not able to watch the New York Rangers vs. New Jersey Devils pre-season game last night because I had a hockey game of my own to play in.
However, it was nice to come home and see that they won 4-3 in overtime and apparently got strong efforts from Marian Gaborik and Alexander Frolov, a combination that team head coach John Tortorella will more than likely have play together to start the season.
Gaborik finished the night with two goals, including the overtime winner, while his linemate, Frolov, finished with a goal and two assists. Certainly not a bad start for what could be a dynamic duo for the Blueshirts.
The team also got a solid effort from prospect Derek Stepan, who is doing everything he can to show the team that he belongs there as team web site beat writer Jim Cerny reported the following in his game recap last night:
Stepan logged over 18 minutes of ice-time, playing on both specialty teams as well as at even strength. He won 50 percent of his faceoffs and fired four shots on goal, just behind Frolov and Ruslan Fedotenko, who each had six, for the team lead.
It’s important that these prospects play well in pre-season because they need to show Tortorella and Sather that they can be relied upon in the future, which Torts acknowledge in the post-game recap on the team web site:
“Last year I think we all could put people into spots and maybe there were one or two guys that were in a little bit of a fight,” said Tortorella. “This year, in all positions really, there are going to be some tough decisions.”
The above also referred to defensive prospect Ryan McDonagh and Brian Boyle, who also apparently played well in last night’s tilt against the Devils.
I know it’s only the pre-season and it doesn’t mean much but it’s nice to see some newcomers are standing out and having a solid impact already. Hopefully, this will continue through to the regular season.
The team will be back in action tomorrow night at the Prudential Center when they take on their Hudson River rivals once again in a pre-season matchup.
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.
For questions, comments and hip checks, feel free to e-mail Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org.