Oilers 5 - Rangers 3: Points Per Game

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Things To Like About Tuesday's Game

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MATT: While no team would be happy going 1-for-5 with the man advantage, I saw plenty of positives Tuesday night for the Rangers on the power play, especially with the Mats Zuccarello — Derick Brassard — Benoit Pouliot trio up front. The Rangers controlled the puck in the offensive zone, put shots on net and had net-front presence, something Alain Vigneault has said throughout training camp that he wanted to institute this year. Last year, the Blueshirts struggled to get into the offensive zone, but that doesn't appear to be the case, at least thus for in the Vigneault era. The glaring issue, of course, was allowing a shorthanded goal to Ben Eager, but that came immediately following the Rangers nearly scoring themselves, so I give it a pass — especially in the preseason. With two NHL-caliber units on this power play in the regular season, I expect a big improvement with the man advantage.

JIM: I am usually a Glass Half Full kind of guy, but I am going to take a different tact here, and it has little or nothing to do with the power play. It's about the kids, specifically Danny Kristo and Oscar Lindberg--and it's not a terrible thing at all, but more a realistic one. It's looking more and more like both rookies will need some time grooming their games in the AHL with the Wolf Pack after some up and down play during the pre-season. And if that is the case, it is far from a problem. Most young players do require that development time. It's just that expectations were raised quite high after their dual big-time performances in the Traverse City Tournament, and the fact that both are coming off big-time seasons---Kristo in college and Lindberg in the Swedish Elite League. However neither has recorded a point in three pre-seasn appearances, and last night Kristo was a minus three while Lindberg was a minus two, and it seemed as though both struggled a bit with the pace of the game---which is what Alain Vigneault was alluding to after the game. I'm neither a scout nor a coach, but that's what I see---though I also see extremely bright futures for both of these young forwards.