"I can tell through conversations we’ve had that he’s trying to work at this.Leslie Treff of Hockey's Future came away impressed with Del Zotto as well., "no cross ice, stretch passes. No leading the rush and getting caught up ice, while the opposition scored on the turnover. Tonight Del Zotto made some very solid passes and worked well at times along the defensive boards; he still needs work defensively but he was a lot better."
"He had some really good shifts and some struggles, but it’s a game of mistakes — as long you’re not making the same mistakes all the time."
Treff and Andrew Gross, at Ranger Rants, both wonder if Tim Erixon would be better off starting the season in Connecticut with the Whale, as Ryan McDonagh did last season. Torts said that the team still needs to work with Erixon but that they are going to be patient with him.
Gross tweeted last night that Valentenko could head back to Russia if he didn't make the Rangers.
Brendan Bell, signed in the offseason, scored the game winner last night. Marc Staal hasn't skated the last two days as he has seen doctors during practice. He may not fly with the team to Europe.
I think that Del Zotto has a leg up in making the team and doesn't really need to blow anyone away to do that. He has the most experience and as long as he has made certain adjustments and is taking this seriously, he should get a shot to play on the third line and help the team. That should bolster his confidence. Erixon will go to Europe, as he should, and get evaluated more there. If the season started today, Del Zotto and Bell would make the team and Erixon would start with the Whale. He won't be down there for too long though.