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New York Rangers Hockey Is Back

Chris+Kreider%2C+Mika+Zibanejad%2C+and+Pavel+Buchnevich+at+New+York+Rangers+training+camp.+
Chris Kreider, Mika Zibanejad, and Pavel Buchnevich at New York Rangers training camp.

Chris Kreider, Mika Zibanejad, and Pavel Buchnevich at New York Rangers training camp.

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New York Rangers Twitter

Chris Kreider, Mika Zibanejad, and Pavel Buchnevich at New York Rangers training camp.

Jenna Febbo, Health & Beauty Editor

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Well, an extra long summer for the New York Rangers and their fans has finally come to an end. Hockey is back. Praise the Lord.

It’s been a busy few weeks for the Rangers. The baby Rangers (prospects) played in the Traverse City Tournament and placed fourth overall. Jimmy Vesey, one of the Rangers’ most coveted free agent signings, showed up and stood out. He scored 5 goals and 2 assists in the Rangers’ four tournament games. Is this a good sign? Let’s hope. If Vesey wants to make the Rangers’ opening night roster, he needs to carry this impressive play into the pre-season. (He will not be in the line-up for the Rangers’ first game on September 27th vs. the New York Islanders). Other standouts included Robin Kovacs, Malte Stromwall, and Cristoval “Boo” Nieves. Kovacs and Stromwall will be in the line-up for the first pre-season game of the season while Nieves is day-to-day with an upper body injury.

While the baby Rangers were playing in Traverse City, several of the Rangers’ star players were playing in the World Cup of Hockey. Derek Stepan and Ryan McDonagh returned to Team USA hoping for a better outcome. Their hopes and dreams were crushed fairly quickly. They played, and lost, two games before officially being eliminated from the competition. They played a meaningless third game, which they also lost. J.T. Miller represented Team North America, the 23 and under team made up of the young stars from USA and Canada. Team North America quickly became a fan favorite, because they were so much fun to watch, but were eliminated through Russia’s win against Finland. Both teams posted a 2-1-0 record but Russia held the tiebreaker.

That left Henrik Lundqvist (Team Sweden) and Mats Zuccarello (Team Europe). After expecting to make the start in net for Team Sweden’s World Cup opener against Russia, Lundqvist sat due to illness. He played in Team Sweden’s next game and had himself a signature Lundqvist performance. His majestic-ness made 36 saves and shut out Team Finland 2-0. After losing to North America in overtime, Lundqvist and the Swedes set their sights on their semi-final game against Team Europe. Zuccarello and Team Europe prevailed in overtime and sent Lundqvist and Team Sweden packing. (At least Hank doesn’t have to play, possibly, three high stake games against impossible-to-beat Team Canada.) Team Europe will face Team Canada in a best-of-three finals. Good luck, Europe. McDonagh, Stepan, and Miller will not play in the first two pre-season games. Lundqvist will probably not play a game until late in the pre-season. Zuccarello will get some well deserved rest when he returns from the World Cup as well.

Training camp started last week and it has provided clarity and questions. Coach Alain Vigneault and the Rangers management strongly believe that defenseman Dan Girardi and Marc Staal will have bounce back seasons. It would be a shock to everyone if that happens. I think the most exciting thing to come out of training camp so far is the Chris Kreider – Mika Zibanejad – Pavel Buchnevich line that Coach AV has put together. They will be making their debut in the first pre-season game on Tuesday night and if they continue to blend well, we could continue to see them.

Training camp has risen questions about the other forwards, specifically the “extra” ones. Who stays? Who goes? Please let Tanner Glass go. Please. The first roster cuts will probably come later this week and will give us a better idea of what the coaching staff has in mind. For now, let’s just focus on the fact that New York Rangers hockey is back! Finally.

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