The New York Rangers are back in action Tuesday night for their second preseason game in as many days following their 4-1 win over the Islanders on Monday.
This time, the second group of players highlighted by Adam Fox and others will be heading up to Boston to play the Bruins at TD Garden. As always with some roster spots still up for grabs, Tuesday night will be an opportunity for some to show they belong in the major league club.
It’s also the chance for fans to see new additions play in a Rangers uniform for the first time before the real games begin in two weeks.
Here are three names to watch heading into tonight’s contest.
The top free agent acquisition of the Rangers off-season will be playing in his first game as a member of the Blueshirts. Trocheck does a little bit of everything, and tonight will be the first chance to see him in action.
Whether it’s face-off wins, on the powerplay, penalty kill, or just straight up making a play, Trocheck has the complete skillset to be a player to watch throughout the season. Artemi Panarin won’t be partnering up with Trocheck today, so it’ll be a good opportunity to see if the former Hurricane can create his own offense on his own.
The Rangers were excited to bring the talented center into the fold this offseason, and tonight’s the first time fans get to see him.
4th Line Battles
Most of the top lines for the Rangers are filled with top players that other teams would be lucky to have. The fourth line though is the one group that isn’t set in stone to this point yet.
Jimmy Vesey, a PTO brought in before training camp scored a goal in last night’s contest, and Brennan Othmann was named the first star of the night in the win for his performance.
As the second game rolls closer, the performance of other potential fourth-line players like Ryan Carpenter, Dryden Hunt, Will Cuylle, and even Gustav Rydahl will also be one to watch throughout the contest tonight.
Head coach Gerard Gallant has repeatedly mentioned that unless he is blown away with a particular player, the roster is very close to being complete. That means the rest of the fourth-liners in today’s game will need to stand out even more if they want to impress their coach and make the Rangers’ final roster.
When Alexander Georgiev was traded to Colorado, the Rangers made it clear they weren’t looking to pay a premium for Igor Shesterkin’s backup.
The front office was correct with this notion. With players like K’Andre Miller, Alexis Lafreniere, and others needing contract extensions shortly, paying top dollar for a backup goaltender is ill-advised: the Islanders are learning this lesson now.
With all that being said, Jaro Halak is a seasoned veteran of 16 years in the NHL and can make quality spot starts when he needs to. The Rangers were smart to bring a goalie like Halak in and it will only help them later on in the year if Shesterin were to need a rest.
Halak can’t be considered a player that will dependably start for over a month like he used to, but he’s the quality backup the Rangers need and at a relatively respectable price.