1. LUNDQVIST'S BODY LANGUAGE
And his demeanor in postgame interviews. The 36-year-old goaltender didn’t like all the losing the Rangers did last season, and with the team admittedly in rebuilding mode, they’re going to lose some games this winter. Will Lundqvist glare at his defensemen after goals, as he did at times last season? Will he be snippy answering questions after games? He did sign on for this rebuild, after all, but how well will he handle the hard parts?
2. FILIP CHYTIL
Don’t make the mistake of looking down at your smartphone when the 19-year-old Chytil steps on the ice. He can electrify a crowd at any moment in a game with a burst up ice and some sick finishing moves. Pay attention.
3. BRENDAN SMITH
He’s probably going to be playing on the third defense pair most nights, but here’s a guy who showed up to camp overweight and out of shape a year ago and got sent to the minors in midseason. He reported to camp lighter and in better shape this year and looks hungry to prove he can be the player was for the Rangers two years ago. The guess is he might hit some people this season to prove that point.
4. DAVID QUINN'S ADJUSTMENT
The college season doesn’t last 82 games, and they don’t have 3-on-3 overtime in the Hockey East. Quinn has coached in the minors and he’s been an NHL assistant before, but he’s still got a lot to learn about coaching in the NHL.
5. DEVELOPMENT OF ALEXANDAR GEORGIEV
The goalie is 22 and knows his place as the backup to Lundqvist. But what will happen if Georgiev plays great and Lundqvist is only good? Ranger brass says Georgiev needs to play, and he might have to go to the minors once in a while to get some games. But if Georgiev plays great for the Rangers when called upon, could he take some ice time away from Lundqvist?