Going into Tuesday’s dispirited 3-1 loss against the Devils the Rangers knew they needed to make some changes so that they could get back to last season’s winning ways. The Rangers then made a number of changes to the roster. First, they traded forward Mike Rupp to Minnesota for forwards Darroll Powe and Nick Palmieri. The Wild were looking for a big enforcer to protect their stars while the Rangers were in desperate need of some depth. Powe is a defensive forward who was second in the league last year in block shots. He’ll fit in. Palmieri is a prospect the Wild liked but developed a bad attitude and needed to be shipped out. Sometimes a change in scenery is all a guy needs so the Rangers hope they can straighten him out. The other move the Rangers made was calling up highly touted prospect J.T. Miller from the AHL. While the team did not play particularly well as a group against the Devils, Miller stood out as not being overwhelmed and even received some praise from Torts in the loss. The coach went on to say that if young guys continued to play well, some veterans might see their time reduced. The next game against the Islanders saw Brian Boyle benched (see below). Torts even said he had considered benching another forward who he would not name but said he had five goals. Translation: Marian Gaborik. As you may guest, the motivation was there for the Islanders. Miller scored is first career goal not even two minutes into the game and added another later. Gaborik sniped a beautiful goal in response to almost being benched. Rangers captain Ryan Callahan returned to the lineup and showed no signs of weakness. It was a great group effort by the Blueshirts and one that should give them a restart on the season. They have added depth and scoring, as well as holding veterans accountable to light a fire under the team. While many initially though Miller would only stay up for five games so as to not count against the salary cap, his play thus far makes it likely he’ll be up for much longer. The Rangers next four opponents are the Lightning, Bruins, Islanders, and Capitals.
Top Shelf Performers:
Marty Biron- As a backup goalie it is expected that by plugging you in the lineup that the team is still capable of winning without a sharp drop off in play. The Rangers won his game and he made a few nice saves against a high scoring Tampa team. What more can you ask for?
Chris Krieder – He returned from his injury and has two points in two games. He looks noticeably better and should start meeting some of the admittedly high expectations fans had of him this season.
Anton Stralman – Dan Girardi has a lower body injury that that while not serious, has caused the big man to miss some time. Stralman has seen his minutes increase in the meantime and is doing excellent job making sure the defense doesn’t suffer.
Brian Boyle – Give Boyle credit for saying he deserved to be benched and approaching it with the right attitude. But the truth is has not had a good start. He is pushed off the puck easily and pretty invisible when he’s on the ice. He badly misses Prust. I expect him to bounce back.
Rich Nash- I hate to put him here because he has been quite good, but the fact is he only has two goals on the season. He was brought in to add more offense and as good as he is, the puck hasn’t hit the back of the net yet. Former Ranger Artem Anisimov has four goals already for Columbus. I expect Nash’s luck to change soon though. He’s too good for it not too.
Highlight of the Week – Miller’s first goals as a Ranger
About the Author
Written by Eric O'Connell
Eric O'Connell is Junior at St. John's University in Queens, New York but hails from Connecticut. He has been a life long fan of the New York Yankees, Pittsburgh Steelers, and New York Rangers. Other interests include hanging out with friends, listening to music, having a good time, and Coffee Oreo Ice Cream. Follow on Twitter @EOCONN36 (opinions are mine and not Pro Sports Blogging)