Who knew Brian Boyle had hands like that?
If his performance in the Rangers 4-3 OT win over their arch rival New Jersey Devils tonight showed anything, it’s that roster spots are up for grabs.And certain Blueshirts are willing to battle for them whether it be at training camp or a preseason game on a Thursday night at the Garden.
The fourth line center acquired last season came out strong with some monster hits early and a scrap with Adam Mair that got the Garden rocking. But his fancy moves to fly by Devils D-man Eric Gelinas and then beat Martin Brodeur showed he can use his size to his advantage and bring some offense to the table. The goal gave the Rangers a short-lived 3-2 lead before the Devils winger Zach Parise tied it up.
Rookie Ryan McDonagh can give Wade Redden and/or Matt Gilroy a run for their money if he continues to play hard. He didn’t show up on the stat sheet but showed strength with some smooth passes in the offensive zone, some key defensive blocks and big hits.
Prospect Derek Stepan out of the University of Wisconsin (like McDonagh) looked right at home centering Marian Gaborik and Alexander Frolov in his first game at MSG notching an assist under his belt and taking four shots on goal. He wasn’t too shabby in the faceoff circle either.
Frolov had a great debut in the red, white and blue as well netting a goal off a nice takeaway and two assists.
Gaborik (who else?) scored two goals, including the game winner in OT. He played more like a million dollar man (make that a more affordable $100 million man) over the Devils superstar Ilya Kovalchuk. The chemistry between Frolov and Gaborik is looking good…so far.
It is just one game. One hard fought win. If it’s any indication of what’s to come, the future is looking pretty bright for the Rangers. But again, it’s only September. One preseason game down. Eighty-two regular season games left to go.
Preseason showdown two between the Devils and Rangers kicks off Saturday night at the Rock in Newark.
About the Author
Written by Margaret DeJesus
I'm a recent college graduate looking for a dream job covering hockey. I've been watching the New York Rangers since my grade school days of VHS and Gordon Bombay's "ducks fly together" speech. While studying journalism at Boston University (COM '10), I wrote for the Daily Free Press, the student newspaper. I worked two summers at the Staten Island Advance, my hometown newspaper, writing city news and features. I've also written CD reviews for Music-Reviewer.com. One of my favorite gigs was interning for hockey analyst extraordinaire Stan Fischler covering the Boston Bruins and attending all their home games in the 2009-2010 season. (Yes, including the crushing defeat against the Flyers in the Eastern Conference playoffs.)