In their second preseason game, the Rangers lost to the Flyers 5-3. The story was the play of Mat Bodie and Oscar Lindberg. Bodie tallied twice and Lindberg had a goal and an assist. While Lindberg solidified his chances with a second straight good night, Bodie opened some eyes.
“I remember him a little bit from last year and there’s no doubt there’s progression on his part,” Alain Vigneault said of the young defenseman in a article that appeared on the Rangers site written by Jim Cerny. “He’s got a real good stick and knows how to use it defensively, and when he’s got the puck on his stick most of the time he makes the right play with the puck. He had a string game tonight. He’s gonna deserve another look.”
Signed out of Union College as a college free agent last year, Bodie had a good first pro season with Hartford putting up five goals and 27 assists for 32 points in 75 contests. He added three goals and four helpers in the AHL playoffs.
The 25-year old from East St. Paul, Manitoba is listed at 6-0 175 pounds. Not the biggest defenseman, he makes up for it with good speed. A fast skater, Bodie would be a good fit in Vigneault’s system. The only problem is there’s a logjam on the blueline. None of the starting six are going anywhere and vet Raphael Diaz was brought in to be the seventh defenseman. Bodie also is competing against Brady Skjei and Dylan McIlrath. Both have an inside track to the eighth defenseman if Vigneault so chooses to keep eight on the roster.
There wasn’t much else positive to take away from the game. The Rangers again took too many penalties and allowed three power play goals. An identical amount as they had Monday against New Jersey. Vigneault said he wasn’t concerned due to most of his penalty killers not being available. I’m sure it’ll get corrected as they make cuts. The first round was announced today with no surprises. Six players were assigned to their junior teams including Brandon Halverson and Ryan Gropp. Twelve players were assigned to the Wolf Pack training camp including Mackenzie Skapski and Calle Andersson.
In his first appearance as a Blueshirt, Emerson Etem struggled. His turnover led to a Flyers goal. Diaz also had a rough night taking three penalties and caught out of position on a couple of goals.
Following regulation, they held a five-minute overtime featuring 3-on-3. The Rangers had a 4-on-3 power play with Kevin Hayes playing the point. He played with J.T. Miller during the game. Despite some looks, no one scored.
The Rangers visit the Bruins tomorrow. Henrik Lundqvist will finally get a start.