If you were wondering where most of the Islanders roster was against the Flyers on Tuesday night, they were a few hours up I-95 playing a game against the Rangers. Unfortunately for them, their outcome wasn’t much better as they dropped a 5-2 loss to their cross-town rivals. Like we’ve seen in most preseason games, special teams were the deciding factor with the Rangers striking twice on the power play and getting solid performances from a few of their off-season acquisitions.
Both teams went with pretty different rosters, as the Rangers played a lot of young players and went with a blue line composed mostly of rookies and AHL-ers while the Islanders dressed more of a veteran forward corps. The main exception for them was that their first round pick from last year, Mathew Barzal, got a look as the first line center in between Andrew Ladd & PA Parenteau. How did he do with the increased minutes? We’ll look into that along with some of the Rangers top performers.
all data is five-on-five unless noted otherwise.
It’s interesting how most of the Islanders passing plays came from the middle of the ice because the same thing was true for their B-squad in Philadelphia. This team was more skilled & had more success with getting through the Rangers defense, so they predictably generated more shots. Rangers ended up with the territorial edge but the Islanders were able to expose their defense at times, even though they couldn’t score as much as they would have liked.
Rangers made up for it by making short work of their power plays with Clendening, Pirri & Zibanejad doing most of the damage. Clendening was constantly setting up the two forwards for one timers from the center point and it’ll be interesting to see if Clendening can keep it up because these plays won’t come as easily in the regular season.
New York Rangers Shots
Clendening & Zibanejad did most of their damage on the power play but Pirri was just as effective at even strength, creating three scoring chances and being a pretty big nuisance for the Islanders defense. Pavel Buchenvich was also very good at creating offense, riding shotgun with Kreider and Zibanejad on the first line.
New York Islanders Shots
Barzal turned in a great performance on the first line, showing lots of creativity in the offensive zone and getting a nice assist on Nick Leddy’s goal in the third period. He s going to see tougher defenses as the preseason goes on, but he didn’t look too out of place in this game.
General reminder that Nick Leddy & Chris Kreider are great players.
Rangers Pass Zones
Kreider was the Rangers most effective and dynamic passer by a wide margin, at least at even strength. I’d imagine these would look different if I included power play time.
Islanders Pass Zones
More impressive stats from Barzal, as it shows here that he was making plays in dangerous areas of the ice. Really nice to see from such a young player even in the preseason. Also, I know next to nothing about Kyle Schempp but he also made some plays happen while being on a line with Eric Boulton & Steve Bernier. That counts for something.
Easily the most offense I’ve seen in a transition for a preseason game this year. Was a little refreshing to watch even if the defensive play was a mess at times.
This third line for the Rangers is pretty intriguing since all three members of that line are pretty different in terms of style, but they were doing some good things in the neutral zone. Hrivik in particular looks like he has some skills here.
Not a lot ti dive into here except that it looks like the Leddy-Hamonic pairing is already in regular season form.
Rangers Zone Entry Defense
Mat Bodie caught my attention with how aggressive he was playing in the neutral zone, constantly stepping up at the line or making plays with this stick to break up entries. Not sure what his NHL potential is but he was noticeable this game.
Islanders Zone Entry Defense
Calvin de Haan somehow went the entire game without being targeted on a zone entry. Let’s just say I’ll be double-checking my numbers again to make sure I didn’t screw something up.
Rangers Zone Exits
Again, Mat Bodie has my attention now.
Islanders Zone Exits
Nick Leddy does what he does.