First game of the year is hours away.
Staff is getting the arena ready and there is already a bit of a buzz in the air. Media room beginning to fill up.
As for the lines? Here is how it looks for Kitchener.
The power line: Brent Pedersen-Matia Marcantuoni-Justin Bailey
The American line: Darby Llewellyn-Ryan MacInnis-Nick Magyar
The veteran line: Eric Ming-Curtis Meighan-Scott Teskey
The rookie line: Mike Davies-Jimmy Soper-Kegan Blasby
Ben Fanelli-Evan McEneny
Dmitrii Sergeev-Max Iafrate
Doug Blaisdell- Frank Hora
Tyson Teichmann starts.
Saginaw (minus line nicknames):
Zach Bratina-Kristoff Kontos-Cody Payne
Nick Moutrey-Justin Kea-Jim Lodge
Jeremiah Addison-Mitch Stephens-Terry Trafford
Dylan Sadowy-Brandon Lindberg-Kris Bennett
Jacob Ringuette-Sean Callaghan
Justin Sefton-Brandon Prophet
Ryan Orban-Nathan Glass
Jake Paterson (0-1) starts.
- Defenceman Jared Gilbert is out with the flu. Mason Kohn is nursing a sore ankle. JMD (James Mense-Dietrich) is a healthy scratch.
- How about that Kitchener rookie Jimmy Soper? Bypassed in OHL draft, inks free agent deal, cracks camp and is in opening night lineup.
- Ushers wearing new snazzy blue zip up vests at the Aud, burgundy jackets gone.
- The first line tonight - Marcantuoni, Bailey and Pedersen - was flying. Great early chemistry with that trio right from a tone-setting first shift.
- Soper was used on the PK and looked right at home breaking up plays and blocking shots.
- Did I read that right, 20 or more shots for the Rangers in each of the first two periods? They had trouble outshooting teams last year.
- Saginaw staff in pressbox was impressed with the number of battles won by Kitchener.
- Looks like a big step forward in the progression of Justin Bailey. He looks like a completely different player - way more confident and stronger too.
- Tyson Teichmann wasn't too busy, but played well when he had to.
- It felt like a different Rangers brand of hockey tonight. Perhaps it was the adrenaline from opening night. But it sure felt like the reins were loosened up a lot. More creativity on passing, risk taking, hustle and surprising strength (for a young squad) on the puck. A different energy for sure.
JB's top three Rangers: Darby Llewellyn, Justin Bailey, Ben Fanelli