In following the Traverse City and Penticton rookie tournaments, two questions come to mind.
First and foremost, are either Ondrej Pavelec or Chris Mason in trouble? By this we really mean, has Edward Pasquale’s perfect game-and-a-half in the Penticton tournament given rise to thoughts of him remaining up with the club as the regular season opens? Consider this:
1. In 91:28 he saved all 31 SOG against for a perfect 1.00 GAA.
2. The Jets are mainly characterized as a team with strong defense, better-than-average yet sometimes streaky goaltending, and an offense that does not fill up opposing nets at will on any given night. All of these combine to produce a need for the strongest possible goaltending. So see #1 above, right?
Those are two strong indicators of a potentially affirmative argument. But while there is no doubt training camp should begin with the two incumbent goalies a bit more anxious due to Pasquale’s presence, it is more likely their tenure is their own to lose. Pasquale has impressed for under 100 minutes, but that could all change in the blink of a shot.
We chalk up this question to the rookies being he only game in town and need to see more of Pasquale to determine if Pavelec or Mason are unseated. As a rookie, however, Pasquale is doing the right thing – making choices for who to send down and who to keep with the club difficult for the coaching staff.
And second, you have as #1 Centerman for the Rangers a fella by the name of Brad Richards. Apparently, he will pivot Dubinsky and Gaborik and make for a strong Blueshirts scoring line . And while Stepan, Boyle and Anisimov are also listed in the position, we have to ask – what about Ryan Bourque? Can he crack the Rangers’ lineup this season?
His Traverse City performance was very good. Four goals – tied for the tournament lead with two other players – on nine shots, +2, and scores on both the PP and PK indicate he is something of a chip off the old block.
Will he be one of four Centers remaining up with the club on opening night? Could he move to a wing?
Ryan Bourque bears watching in the pre-season as he might just land a roster spot.
What questions are you carrying into the pre-season?