The New York Rangers lost their pre-season opener to the New York Islanders 4-0. After coming out strong to start the game the Islanders took control. Brock Nelson got the Islanders scoring started halfway through the first period and the Isles didn’t look back. The Rangers debut of Barclay Goodrow lasted only five shifts after he was given a game misconduct for boarding. Following the game, new Rangers head coach Gerard Gallant wasn’t too concerned about the loss. He reiterated that it is the pre-season and although they got outplayed it is a learning experience.

Dryden Hunt

The one player that did stand out tonight was Dryden Hunt. Hunt signed with the Rangers this past offseason after playing last year for the Arizona Coyotes. Following Goodrow’s ejection, Hunt saw an expanded role and made the most of his additional ice time. He registered 4 shots on goal, 3 hits, and 2 blocked shots. He also played on the top power-play unit and saw time on the penalty kill. Hunt plays a physical game and he showcased that tonight. Last year with Arizona he threw 94 hits in just 26 games. Hunt is battling for a bottom-six role. If he keeps playing like this we could see him in the lineup opening night. Coach Gallant talked about Hunt’s strong play post-game.


The Rangers achilles heel for what seems like the past two decades. The Rangers looked better in the face-off circle and there was more support from the wingers to win draws. General Manager Chris Drury brought in retired NHL linesman Pierre Racicot to work with the team during this past week of training camp. An interesting strategy to help this team improve on a league worse 44.5% face-off percentage last year.

Nils Lundkvist

Nils Lundkvist made his MSG debut against the Islanders Sunday night, September 26, 2021

The Rangers 2018 first-round draft pick looked good in his first-ever game at MSG. Nils saw the second-most ice time (21:11) behind Adam Fox. Lundkvist quarterbacked the second powerplay unit and looked solid in the defensive end. He was paired with fellow Swede and new addition Patrik Nemeth. Lundkvist is in a battle for the final defenseman spot. I wouldn’t be surprised if he plays Tuesday to gain further experience.

Training Camp Notes

The New York Rangers announced today that the team has trimmed its Training Camp roster by 13 players, as Jayden Grubbe, Ryder Korczak, Evan Vierling, Dylan Garand, and Talyn Boyko have been assigned to their respective junior teams. Alex Whelan, Michael O’Leary, Jake Elmer, Patrick Khodorenko, James Sanchez, Zach Berzolla, Hunter Skinner, and Zach Giuttari have all been assigned to the Hartford Wolf Pack Training Camp. The original 60 player training camp is now 47.

Upcoming Game Schedule

The Rangers next game is Tuesday night back at MSG against the Boston Bruins. The Rangers then play back-to-back games this weekend on the road against the Devils and Bruins again.

Be sure to bookmark our hockey page for hockey coverage and follow Belly Up Hockey on Twitter: @BellyUpHockey. Follow me on Twitter for more takes on the New York Rangers and USA Hockey: @KHallNYYou can also listen to my NY Rangers podcast The Broadway Hat Podcast on Apple Podcast and Spotify for Rangers news and interviews with past and current players. 

About Author

Kyle Hall

Kyle is a lifelong diehard New York Rangers fan and in 2020 took over as the teams beat writer for Belly Up Sports. Kyle hosts a NY Rangers podcast on the Belly Up Podcast Network called The Broadway Hat Podcast. Kyle also covers USA Hockey and is a credentialed media member of the International Ice Hockey Federation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *