Let’s run it back with Our Hated Rivals.
The Matchup: The New Jersey Devils (2-2-0) at the New York Rangers (2-0-0; SBN Blog: Blueshirt Banter)
The Time: 7:00 PM EST
The Broadcast: TV - MSG, MSG+2
The Last Devils-Rangers Game: The two teams just played each other on Thursday and the Devils lost 1-3. I thought it was a disappointment for a number of reasons. I explained them in my recap of the game. The other side of the game, the Rangers side, was more pleased. Particularly with the play of Brandon Pirri (two goals), John Gilmour (one goal), Jimmy Vesey, and Nathan Gerbe. That’s what I gleaned out of Bryan Winters’ recap at Blueshirt Banter. Should you want further perspective of Our Hated Rivals, Joe Fortunato has this one listing who’s stock went up or down on the other side of the matchup.
No Cuts Yet: I anticipated that the Devils would make their first set of cuts in training camp on Friday. Nope, they’ll happen later today. We’ll have a separate post up when it happens.
Devils now say no roster cuts to be announced today. Now expected tomorrow.— Andrew Gross (@AGrossRecord) September 30, 2016
Likewise, information about the Devils’ roster for this game will come later today. We may see Cory Schneider and Kyle Palmieri get into the lineup. With games on Monday and Wednesday, missing this one wouldn’t be too bad; but I’m sure John Hynes and his staff would like to get their tactics in order that would involve either. I doubt we’ll see Reid Boucher (hip flexor) and Devante Smith-Pelly (upper body injury) due to their respective injuries. Hopefully they can make an appearance in the final three preseason games next week.
The Other Side: Steve Zipay Tweeted out the Rangers’ roster on Friday afternoon. The big news is that J.T. Miller will be in the lineup. Miller participated in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey so this is his first preseason game. Here’s the rest:
So vs. Devs, Raanta/Hellberg in nets; on D: Clendening, Girardi, Paliotta, Gilmour, Skjei, Bodie and up front....(more)— Steve Zipay (@stevezipay) September 30, 2016
Kreider, Zibanejad, Vesey, Fast, Gerbe, Grabner, Jensen, Brown, Lapierre, McRae, Gropp— Steve Zipay (@stevezipay) September 30, 2016
and Miller in Newark...
Antti Raanta played a little over half of Thursday’s game. I suspect he’ll get at least that much tonight. Speaking of repeats, the Rangers will put out a good number of players from that night. Jimmy Vesey, Nathan Gerbe, and John Gilmour both played well on Thursday. Maxim Lapierre and Jesper Fast were OK. Nicholas Jensen and Michael Grabner were just kind of "there." Given the large number of forwards in New York’s camp, I would think this is a good opportunity for those players to continue to make a case to stick with the NHL roster. It’s a fairly strong lineup with a somewhat better defense on paper. It won’t be an easy matchup for the Devils, especially if they don’t change much from Thursday’s performance.
I will specifically point out that between how the team attacked the net on Thursday and Chris Kreider being in the lineup, I do hope the Devils’ goaltender is ready for a lot of up close and personal action.
A Hope: One additional thought I had from Thursday’s game is that speed (as in speed speed speed) really only works with the puck (or the puck puck puck). Hopefully John Hynes and his staff understands that and communicates that to the players.
10/1 Morning Update: This morning, Andrew Gross reported plenty of information for tonight's game at Fire & Ice. The full lines are there and it's a strong lineup. Surprising to me (in a good way) is that it looks like Reid Boucher and Devante Smith-Pelly are good to go tonight. By my count, the only ones in the line rushes that aren't mortal locks to make the NHL roster are Blake Speers, Pavel Zacha, Yohann Auvitu, and Brandon Gormley. And Gormley may not play at all. Palmieri, Schneider, and recent signing Kyle Quincey will play tonight. Gross tweeted that Schneider will play the whole game. Quincey is slotted on the right side, we'll see how that goes.
Your Take: Without much information ahead of the game, there’s not much to preview. Again, when cuts are made, we’ll have a post up about that. What do you think the Devils will need to improve upon to have a better performance against the Rangers? What do you think of the Rangers’ lineup? Please leave your answers and other thoughts about the game in the comments. Thank you for reading.