Rangers make third round of cuts, Staal and Girardi to debut in Jersey
As Vigneault said, the Rangers continued to make their roster cuts, reducing to just over six forward lines, 12 defensemen and three goalies. With just three preseason games remaining, we’re in the final stretch of roster decisions.
The Rangers assigned five players to the Wolf Pack training camp. Marek Hrivik, Brett Bellemore, Adam Tambellini, Tommy Hughes and Jeff Malcolm all reported to Hartford for their camp.
This will be Tambellini’s first season in the AHL, and he’s one of my favorite prospects. I’m excited to see how he does this season. I’m also happy that Bellemore wasn’t cut from the roster completely. He was pretty good in the preseason game, and has some NHL experience, so it’s nice depth to have.
The Rangers will play their fourth preseason game tomorrow, taking on the Devils again, but this time they’ll be in Newark. With the “final audition” taking place for players, this is where we will really see the bottom six depth forwards begin to battle for the few roster spots, as well as a defensive battle for the seventh defenseman role.
This is the expected lineup for today’s matchup against the Devils:
Forwards Defensemen Goalies
JT Miller Dan Girardi Henrik Lundqvist (expected to start)
Tanner Glass Marc Staal Antti Raanta
Kevin Hayes Chris Summers
Luke Adam Dylan McIlrath
Jesper Fast Raphael Diaz
Chris Kreider Mat Bodie
Dan Girardi and Marc Staal will be making their preseason debuts, with both of them seemingly healthy following surgeries this offseason. Both of the veteran defensemen had procedures for ankle injuries sustained during the playoffs. They’re massive parts of this team, and having them healthy will be extremely important and beneficial for the upcoming season.
Another thing to take note of is the fact that Oscar Lindberg is playing his fourth consecutive game, the only Ranger to play in every preseason game. He has been really good so far, both with the puck, without the puck, on defense, at center or on the wing. He’s super versatile, and the organization knows that other teams are waiting to try and claim him off of waivers if it reaches that point. Lindberg will have every opportunity to make the team, and I really expect him to at this point.
Dylan McIlrath will look to continue a successful preseason and try to take the seventh defenseman spot from Raphael Diaz, who was assumed to be a lock for the spot heading into camp. But solid performances from McIlrath and Skjei could make Vigneault’s decision much more difficult. McIlrath is also on a one way deal, and this could be his last chance to make the Rangers roster.
Recently, AV said that Tanner Glass does not have a guaranteed roster spot. Which totally makes sense, because guys like Stalberg, Etem, Megna, Gibbons and Adam are all proving to be better and more effective than him. He’s fighting for a roster spot, as are all of these other players, and the next few games will be extremely important.
Vigneault also stated that for this game, Kevin Hayes and Dominic Moore will play on the wing. This is probably being done in order to see who fits best in what spot. Jarret Stoll and Oscar Lindberg are also centers, and are really being considered for a roster spot, so AV is trying to what works best, and who will play the third line center. That decision can impact how the rest of the roster shakes up.
There are a lot of interesting story lines heading into the game tonight, so be sure to watch on MSG at 7 PM.
Posted on September 26, 2015, in Game Previews and tagged Antti Raanta, Brady Skjei, Brian Gibbons, Chris Kreider, Devils, Dylan McIlrath, Emerson Etem, Flyers, Henrik Lundqvist, Jayson Megna, JT Miller, Kevin Hayes, King Henrik, Madison Square Garden, Magnus Hellberg, MSG, New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers, New York Rangers blog, NHL 2015, NHL preseason, NYR, Oscar Lindberg, Rangers, Rangers backup, Rangers backup goalie, Rangers blog, Rangers preseason, Raphael Diaz, Tanner Glass, Viktor Stalberg. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.