September 23, 2015

After 2 Exhibition Games here’s the latest on the battle for the bottom six for the NYR

Lindberg congratulated after scoring in his 2nd consecutive preseason game (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Miller in action (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Miller in action (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Before the exhibition season began, I wrote on 5 things to keep an eye on this training camp. You can read that here, but let’s see where we are after 2 exhibition games.

The Battle for the Bottom Six

I wrote that Emerson EtemJ.T. MillerJesper FastTanner GlassViktor StalbergDominic Moore, Jarret Stoll, and Oscar Lindberg are the 8 names vying for the 6 spots (and a reserve for a total of 7). After 2 preseason games I still believe that Etem, Miller, Fast, Moore and Stoll are a lock to make the team.

oscar lindberg

oscar lindberg

Of the other three names mentioned above, Stalberg and Lindberg have had a really strong early showing while Glass is who Glass is. However, will it be enough to bump the veteran and a locker room favorite off the team?

The fact that Lindberg (2 GP: 2G 1A +4) would be surely lost on waivers if he were to not make the team and the fact he has 2 goals in 2 games makes me think it is highly possible. Stalberg (2 GP: 1G 1A +2) has also impressed with his size and speed. He can be used as either a 4th line checker or a third line energy guy. That certainly makes him more versatile than Glass who is a 4th line grinder and enforcer at best.

Of course, when it comes to Lindberg, where will he slot in? He certainly looks comfortable at center and has won 8 of 13 draws for 61%. Still, you have to assume that if Stoll makes this team (he won 9 of 17 draws for 53% against the Flyers) he will be a center. Dominic Moore looks fairly cemented as the 4th line center, so could Lindberg hack it at the wing? Certainly a concern and one that will need to be monitored as the preseason continues.

Who Else is Making Noise?

Gibbons scores in the preseason 9/21/15 (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Gibbons scores in the preseason 9/21/15 (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

While the focus is justified on all the names mentioned above, you can’t disregard what speedsters Brian Gibbons (1 GP: 1G 2A) and Jayson Megna (2 GP: 2G) have done. Against the NJ Devils, Gibbons was a standout and scored a goal on a wicked shot. Megna has also been highly noticeable as MSG color analyst, Joe Michelletti pointed out how Megna “knows how to use his speed…”

Brian Gibbons is certainly a guy who could threaten players security like Jesper Fast, Emerson Etem and J.T. Miller if they for some reason slump badly. A start in Hartford is likely for both Gibbons and Megna but they should be first in line for call ups during the year.

So Who Does The Fighting if Glass is Gone?

Enforcing by committee is most likely the answer here. We are all aware that fighting is not only frowned upon today but in decline. Guys like J.T. Miller, Chris Kreider, Emerson Etem will certainly have to get their noses dirty from time to time.

Still, if you are looking for a candidate to throw more fists look to defenseman, Kevin Klein. Optimus Klein can certainly handle himself and step up should their be a Ranger being overly abused. Dan Girardi can also answer the bell, but Alain Vigneualt and fans know their real value is on the ice and not in the box

Is This The End of Tanner Glass?

Glass (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Glass (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

In short, yes. There simply is too much going against Glass this season to make the Rangers. Look for GM, Jeff Gorton to try and find him a new home before the season starts. Possibly a team like the Florida Panthers or Arizona Coyotes that have a lot of kids that could use protecting.

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