A Look at A Week’s Worth of Locals Games

  1. The Rangers have lost two games so far and in each one, the Blueshirts were, by far, the better team. “Still,” says Henrik Lundqvist, “every loss is tough when you feel you should have won.”
  1. That should tell you that Alain Vigneault’s sextet will go far this season; especially once the defense tightens up a bit.
  1. The Maven built a Chris Kreider Bandwagon on opening night and it’s rapidly filling up to capacity.

Rangers Kreider Away 072216

  1. The trick in evaluating Kreider is having patience. CK is a slow bloomer but what a goal-flower he’ll become.
  1. I give the World Cup points for entertainment value. But I wonder if it’s done any good for an ace such as John Tavares. I believe the Islanders‘ captain would have been better served had his WC time been used to work out more often with Andrew Ladd.

Islanders Tavares Road Stock 102116

  1. Credit Devils general manager Ray Shero — and his European scouts — for discovering rookie defenseman Yohann Auvitu.


  1. Based on early viewings, the native of Ivry-Sur-Seine, France looks like the ideal replacement for Adam Larsson.
  1. If I’ve said it once I’ve said it a thousand times, shot-blocking has gotten out of hand. Goalies get paid to stop shots; not defensemen and not forwards.
  1. Nick Leddy speeds out of his own zone as smoothly as any backliner I’ve seen since Red Kelly. Okay, okay, Paul Coffey.

Islanders Leddy Road 102116

  1. It was nice to see old pal, David Maley — the ex-Devil and Islander — visiting with the Sharks media contingent. Dave was among Lou Lamoriello’s early heroes, helping New Jersey to its first playoff in 1987-88.
  1. Another buddy of yesteryear now working as Sharks goalie teacher is Johan Hedberg, one of The Game’s all-time nice guys.
  1. Heddy tells me that Evgeni Nabokov is working with San Jose’s young goalie prospects; no doubt teaching them the secrets of doing good post-game interviews.
  1. Many old-time Rangers were on hand to celebrate the club’s 90th birthday but the one who I hardly recognized was bespectacled Barry Beck.
  1. The big guy has been coaching hockey in China and is best remembered as the constant target of broadcaster Bill Chadwick. SHOOT THE PUCK, BARRY; SHOOT THE PUCK was The Big Whistle’s endless mantra.
  1. I predict that this season will result in an upward spiral for a pair of young defensemen whose styles are similar — Damon Severson of the Devs and Calvin de Haan of the Isles.
  1. Why the Panthers gave up on Brandon Pirri still perplexes me. Florida’s loss is the Rangers gain on the attack; 5-on-5 or the power play.


  1. Pirri is rapidly adapting to the Rangers’ speed game. “We’re fast,” he says. “With the speed and skill, we have if we play solid defensively we’re going to be tough on the opposition.”
  1. First-week scouting report on rookie Jimmy Vesey who already has his first goal: He’s smart, unafraid to go to the hard areas to score and tough.
  1. AV’s first-week X-Ray of his stick handlers: “I like the way we’re playing. We’re not giving up much to the opposition and we’re generating great opportunities.”
  1. Goalies would be a lot better off if they stayed in their crease instead of playing defenseman.
  1. King Henrik disagrees despite the fact that Detroit’s winning goal on Wednesday resulted from his wandering. “I help the defensemen with the way I play the puck,” Lundqvist insists.
  1. The Islanders’ fourth line hasn’t missed a beat minus Matt Martin. It’s been consistent right from the get-go.
  1. The chemistry between Ladd and Tavares will develop with time, but not overnight. In this case, patience will be a virtue.
  1. It looked as if the Devils had two points in the bag on Thursday night in Boston. But two quick Bruins goal ruined what could have been a nifty night in Beantown.
  1. Jaroslav Halak, Johnny Boychuk and Dennis Seidenberg came up big for Isles on Friday night at Barclays Center. I especially like Seidenberg’s comments in my post-game interview with him. He’s solid, folks, solid.