Thursday, September 23, 2010

Stepan, McDonagh, Geoffrion Make Debuts

Thursday night marked a special moment in the careers of three former Badgers. New York Rangers prospects Derek Stepan and Ryan McDonagh and Nashville Predators prospect Blake Geoffrion all made their NHL exhibition debuts.

Stepan, McDonagh and the blue shirts hosted the New Jersey Devils at Madison Square Garden (not a bad place to see your first NHL action eh). From all indications, Stepan looked all world.

The Hastings native opened up the game centering a line featuring perennial NHL All-Star Marian Gaborik and Alexander Frolov. The line didn't waste much time getting on the board when Stepan breaking in off the side boards found Frolov who one touched a pass to Gaborik who buried it behind future Hall of Famer Martin Brodeur. Stepan finished the night with one assist, 4 shots on goal and was minus 1 in 18 minutes of action.

McDonagh was a bit more under the radar Thursday night but he played a solid 19 minutes finishing plus one. He also had one monster hit on Mattias Tedenby.

Geoffrions debut with Nashville was in a bit more of a limited role. With a glut of centers on Nashville this season Geoffrion was forced to the wing where he played on the left side of the fourth line. (edit: I've seen contradictory reports on if Blake played LW or C) Geoffrion played just over 14 minutes and finished the night -1. Blake also spent 4:28 on the PK Thursday night which is encouraging.

chuckschwartz@live.com
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