To be fair the officials were on both teams last night as far indiscretions go. It was one of those games where it was fairly obviously that in order to have a fighting chance, we needed to stay out of the box. We didn’t.
Read the official recap here.
Now before we get started. I know this is only pre season. I know half of these kids won’t make the team. I know our biggest offensive players weren’t on the ice last night. That being said, to watch these two teams go at it last night, it felt like the post season and some of those penalties I think were more than justified. What? Were there preseason boarding workshops added to the Flyer’s camp this season? Much respect goes to Dman Stu Bickel, who looked more like Travis Bickel, when he went Taxi driver on the player that blind sided and boarded his teammate, Devaux, with a late hit. Bickel wasted no time in tearing in Sestito and that’s what Ranger fans had been looking for in years past when guys not versed in fisticuffs, were left to fend for themselves against knuckle dragging meatheads. That one incident, set off a melee and gloves and helmets flew.. and rangers and flyers fans alike drooled at the thought of the winter classic and seeing similar carnage on an outdoor rink.
We came from behind 3 times, which was a symbol of our resiliency but also evidence than we didn’t seem to grasp that we needed to stay out of the box. Errant sticks and guys trying to set picks put us at a deficit of defensive players while, new flyers and roaming cannon for hire Jagr, just circled looking for vacancy where they could set up and unload on one timers. His free wheeling days over, a player like Jagr is happy to be forgotten about on the ice so he can net some easy goal without having to shake off half a team first. This was recipe for disaster on our penalty kill. I’ll go out on a limb and say in a game like last nights, it probably showed the coaching staff more when a young guy managed to stay out of the box when everyone is getting called, rather than getting over excited and committing that crucial penalty.
As it was, after the last goal was scored against us, the team finally became conscious of penalties and then became snake bitten as they coasted for the last few minutes hoping to catch a break or a gift goal. It was a little backwards. Maybe in the back of their minds, some of the kids mulled over that they might not be making the trip overseas and their prospects of making the team as guys like Prust and Staal looked closer to suiting up, would be dwindling. The exception for the new guys was Jon Mitchell who didn’t seem at all gun shy and was aware of the fact you’ll miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.
As for the vets, Brian Boyle continues to impress and be the bridging influence between the majors and minors for some of the prospects. Avery showed he still has the ability under the opponent’s skin, Dubinsky still plays with attitude and Christiansen still plays like the team needs him rather than the other way around. The team caught a plane to Europe after the game last night.
Till Next Time Ranger Fans,
P.S. – Does anyone else think that the next time Dale Weise gets the urge to fight, he should just pull his own jersey over his head and flail till he gets punched/and or taken down? It would save a lot of time.