In The Hockey News Future Watch Issue, the Rangers top ten prospects are ranked:

  • Tim Erixon
  • Chris Kreider
  • JT Miller
  • Dylan McIlrath
  • Christian Thomas
  • Jesper Fasth
  • Steven Fogarty
  • Scott Stajcer
  • Michael St. Croix
  • Shane McColgan
[jbutton color="red" link="http://www.snyrangersblog.com/category/prospects/prospect-rankings/" size="xsmall"]CLICK HERE[/jbutton] for a section dedicated to just prospect rankings.

On the list, Erixon is ranked 17th, Kreider is ranked 23rd and JT Miller is ranked 29th.

As an organization, the Rangers are ranked 13th.

Tags: Prospect Rankings, Adam Rotter

 (Adam Hunger)
(Adam Hunger)

Alain Vigneault met with the media on MSG following the Rangers loss to the Isles and said:

  • On the third, "in the second and the third, we gave up that early goal, down by two against a strong team like the Isles. We buckled down. Our guys worked extremely hard, maybe our execution isn't perfect but the work ethic and commitment to try and play the right way is there. I'm a firm believer that if you prepare and work hard, things will fall into place. We battled back again tonight, it's not the first time we have done that this year, we got one point but we battled hard."
  • Was McDonagh hurt on that blocked shot at the end of OT, "no."
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Oct 13, 2017; Columbus, OH, USA; New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) makes a save in net against the Columbus Blue Jackets in the third period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)
Oct 13, 2017; Columbus, OH, USA; New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) makes a save in net against the Columbus Blue Jackets in the third period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)

Henrik Lundqvist met with the media following the Rangers loss to the Islanders and said (MSG, NYR Game Notes):

On whether he allows himself any satisfaction in gaining a point tonight given the big saves he made …"

  • Yes and no. I think this game and last game we showed a lot of good things, the way we battled back. Again, tough start. We start the game on the PK and they get a goal right away. It's too many games now where we give up the first goal. I have to be better; as a group we have to be better. Just really focus on the first 10 (minutes) to give us a chance to feel good about ourselves."

    Tags: Henrik Lundqvist
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 (Adam Hunger)
(Adam Hunger)

First Period 

  • 2:40 NYI Anders Lee (Power Play); Assists: Ryan Pulock, Jordan Eberle
  • 5:02 NYR David Desharnais; Assists: Kevin Shattenkirk, Marc Staal
  • 6:06 NYI Brock Nelson; Assists: Andrew Ladd

Second Period 

  • 1:15 NYI Mathew Barzal; Assists: Calvin de Haan, Josh Bailey

Third Period 

  • 3:29 NYR Mats Zuccarello; Assists: Brendan Smith
  • 14:06 NYR Kevin Hayes; Assists: Jesper Fast, Ryan McDonagh
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Nov 5, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene (9) controls the puck in the second period against the Minnesota Wild at the Pepsi Center. (Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports)
Nov 5, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene (9) controls the puck in the second period against the Minnesota Wild at the Pepsi Center. (Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports)

Darren Dreger reports on TSN that the Rangers have checked in on the status of Matt Duchene.

Dreger said that there is an "endless cycle" around Duchene and that the Rangers are a "classic example of a team that initially was in, then they were out, recently they are back in, just revisiting, but they don't think there is anything even remotely possible." (TSN)

He said that some believe Joe Sakic is mulling some possible trade packages though that was also the case at times over the summer. (TSN

Duchene is signed for one more season, after this one, with a cap hit of $6 million.

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Oct 14, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk (22) celebrates his goal during the third period against the New Jersey Devils at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
		 (Anthony Gruppuso)
Oct 14, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk (22) celebrates his goal during the third period against the New Jersey Devils at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports (Anthony Gruppuso)

NEW YORK -- When the New York Islanders and New York Rangers meet, there is never a shortage of intensity and energy.

 

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 ( Adam Hunger)
( Adam Hunger)

On Wednesday, Alain Vigneault said that the Rangers are having too many bad starts and need to simplify things when the puck is dropped.

He said that the need to make sure they get pucks deep and stop turning it over, adding they are "very aware" of how often they are giving up the puck. (NYR)

On Thursday, Vigneault said that the Rangers need to keep things simple in the first and last minutes of periods and need to "execute" in all areas of the ice.

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New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault gives instructions during an NHL hockey game against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Pittsburgh, Thursday, March 3, 2016. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar) (Gene J. Puskar/AP)
New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault gives instructions during an NHL hockey game against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Pittsburgh, Thursday, March 3, 2016. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar) (Gene J. Puskar/AP)

Alain Vigneault met with the media on Thursday prior to the Rangers game against the Islanders (NYR):

  • "I thought we played pretty good against Jersey also. We've had some good moments in some good games. Tonight we get another opportunity against a good rival to put our game in place and I know it will be a hard fought game, we will have to play fast and check well. We are ready for it, we've taken strides and working real hard to get our game in order."
  • On McDonagh's season, "Mac puts a lot on himself and there is probably a couple of decisions here and there that are not Mac-like. He has always been very dependable, a lot like some of our other guys, trying real hard to get this going in the right direction. He is only 1 or 2 really solid plays away from being really good. Everybody looks at the last game and what happened at the end but you gotta turn the page, move on and focus on tonight and that is what I want him to do."
  • How much does the team struggle when he isn't on his game, "it's the same as every line or every D pair or the goalie. To win in today's NHL you can't win with a "B" game. You gotta work real hard but also have to perform and execute in all the areas. Tonight, if I'm a linemate on a line, it's your responsibility to make sure you are going out on the ice and performing to your best, otherwise you are not helping your linemates. We need a complete and total effort from our whole group."
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3:09PM: On McDonagh's season, Alain Vigneault said today  "Mac puts a lot on himself and there is probably a couple of decisions here and there that are not Mac-like. He has always been very dependable, a lot like some of our other guys, trying real hard to get this going in the right direction. He is only 1 or 2 really solid plays away from being really good. Everybody looks at the last game and what happened at the end but you gotta turn the page, move on and focus on tonight and that is what I want him to do."

10:47AM: McDonagh said that he is good to go for tonight's game. (NYR)

10:42AM: McDonagh and Kevin Hayes left the ice after skating, leaving the likely scratches for tonight, Ondrej Pavelec, Steven Kampfer, Nick Holden and Paul Carey, on the ice. (Cyrgalis)

Tags: Ryan McDonagh
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 ( Adam Hunger)
( Adam Hunger)

10/19/17 | On Wednesday, Vigneault said that the Rangers are working "extremely hard" right now and have taken "huge steps in the right direction in all facets of our game."

Vigneault said that the Rangers are focused, preparing well and that it's "just a matter of time before we put it all together."

Kevin Shattenkirk said that when the Rangers come out of this slide they will be a "stronger team" because of the lessons they learned. (NY Post)

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Sep 25, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers left wing Rick Nash (61) carries the puck against the Philadelphia Flyers during the first period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Sep 25, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers left wing Rick Nash (61) carries the puck against the Philadelphia Flyers during the first period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

10/18/17 | 8:34PM: Bob McKenzie reiterates that Nash wants to stay a Ranger past this season, will need to take a pay cut and that there hasn't been much discussion about an extension. (NBCSN, Today's Slapshot)

McKenzie adds that if the Rangers continue to struggle then Nash will likely be traded before the deadline. (NBCSN, Today's Slapshot)

10/9/17 | 10:48AM: Nash said that it would be exciting to become a free agent for the first time but that he hopes that he gets to stay with the Rangers. (The Athletic)

Nash's agent Joe Resnick said that Nash isn't thinking about a contract right now. (The Athletic)

Tags: Rick Nash
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10/19/17 | Shattenkirk said that he was too tentative in the Rangers first few games but now he is "just playing" and putting himself in the right spots. (Newsday)

10/18/17 | Alain Vigneault said on Wednesday that Kevin Shattenkirk is putting a lot of pressure on himself and that he likes players who are accountable and "demanding" of themselves.

Vigneault said that Shattenkirk is still adjusting to being with the Rangers but he is closing in on knowing and understanding about 90% of what the Rangers want to do and how they want to play.

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Alain Vigneault met with the media on Wednesday after practice and said (NYR):

  • Will McDonagh be okay for tomorrow, "as far as I know, yes. Today was a maintenance day. At this time I would say that he should be good tomorrow and I should be able to let you know in the morning."
  • Are you having a morning skate, "no, just a couple of guys. McDonagh should be one of them."
  • On the offense, "we are working extremely hard right now both as a team and individually for us to win. This is a business that is oriented around winning and we need to get our game to where it will permit us to do that on a more regular basis. I look at the things we have been working on and we are taking huge steps in the right direction in all facets of our game, defensively and offensively and it's just a matter of time before we put it all together. The focus is there, the prep and hard work is there and needed to be successful and we have an opportunity tomorrow against another good team. We had the Stanley Cup champions come in here and now one of our biggest rivals. We played well against one of our rivals against New Jersey. I'm expecting the same type of energy and execution and jump tomorrow and expect us to be on the right side this time."
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1:38PM: Ryan McDonagh should be able to play tomorrow against the Islanders but he will skate in the morning. (NYR, Zipay)

12:52PM: At practice today, Nick Holden skated in McDonagh's spot next to Tony DeAngelo, Marc Staal and Kevin Shattenkirk stayed together and so did Brady Skjei and Brendan Smith. (Zipay)

Paul Carey and Steven Kampfer skated as an extra defense pair. (Zipay)

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Oct 13, 2017; Columbus, OH, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh (27) awaits the face-off against the Columbus Blue Jackets in the third period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)
Oct 13, 2017; Columbus, OH, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh (27) awaits the face-off against the Columbus Blue Jackets in the third period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)

Through seven games to start the season, Ryan McDonagh has two assists, a minus two rating, 10 PIM and an average of 23:29 per game.

McDonagh has been credited with 9 giveaways, including 6 last night in the Rangers loss to the Penguins.

McDonagh turned the puck over in OT last night, leading to the Penguins game winner, and said that he let the team down and made a "really bad play."

Tags: Ryan McDonagh
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Alain Vigneault met with the media on MSG and said:

  • On the game, "there is no sense in being frustrated. It's about playing the game and playing it the right way. We started off, again, tonight, we didn't make the simple plays but you gotta like the way we battled back. We came back real strong in the second and third and carried most of the play and had a lead. Could say that there was icing on the play, maybe Kevin shouldn't' have touched the puck, right now it's a little bit challenging as far as putting the whole game together for us. This group is very accountable and working very hard and I'm very confident that if we keep doing a lot of the things we are doing we will be on the right track."
  • On McDonagh messing up, "you guys know Ryan as much as I do and how much he cares and wants to do the right thing. There is always that fine line of wanting to do too much to help the team. Ryan is a great captain and a great person and he will do like the rest of the group and work himself out of this and we will be on the right track real soon."
  • On the penalty on the 5 on 3, "he got pushed from behind by the goalie and the momentum pushed him on the D. I don't really think I can fault him for that. I looked at the replay quickly and I have to see it again. It's part of the game."
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 (AP)
(AP)

On MSG, Henrik Lundqvist was asked about the game tying goal that Sidney Crosby score and said:

  • On the tying goal, "I think you watched five replays so you probably know what happened, he banged it off me and it's not the first time that happens. As a goalie you just need to make sure you are alert. Try to deflect the pass but when it goes right at you like that, sometimes you need some luck. I didn't have it in that situation. I don't know what else to say. It was a tough goal to give up late in the game. Sometimes it's easy to face a shot then have a play like that where my stick is there and it's a just a bad bounce, that is what it is."
  • Were you surprised on the tying goal, "when the puck is there you wait for the next play and when it bangs it off your stick like that you hope it doesn't go the way it went in. It went back and not in front of me. Sometimes you need to hide behind the post and some players, Crosby does it a lot. Just gotta learn from it. Maybe it was a little surprising, I didn't expect that."
Tags: Henrik Lundqvist, Ryan McDonagh
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 (AP)
(AP)

The Rangers scored three straight goals in the second period, but Evgeni Malkin scored the game-winning goal to propel the Penguins to a 5-4 win on Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden. >> Read More


First period:

  • 0:43 PIT Phil Kessel; Assists: Evgeni Malkin, Ian Cole
  • 13:30 PIT Carl Hagelin; Assists: Olli Maatta

Second period:

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Oct 10, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers right wing Mats Zuccarello (36) plays the puck in front of St. Louis Blues center Tage Thompson (32) during the first period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Oct 10, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers right wing Mats Zuccarello (36) plays the puck in front of St. Louis Blues center Tage Thompson (32) during the first period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

NEW YORK -- The New York Rangers are sitting in last place in the Eastern Conference at 1-5-0, their worst start since 1980. They are desperate for a victory, and the good news is their next game is on home ice Tuesday night.

 

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Apr 9, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh (27) looks to pass the puck during the third period against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Apr 9, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh (27) looks to pass the puck during the third period against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

When asked what the Rangers can do better to limit turnovers, Alain Vigneault said Saturday that they need to make better decisions with the puck.

Ryan McDonagh said that the Rangers are trying to force things and that the for them to be successful they need to play as a unit of five, play fast and understand where each other are on the ice.

Rick Nash said that the Rangers need to simplify their game and stick with a simple game, even when they are struggling. (NYR Game Notes)

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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Tonight against the Penguins, the Rangers are expected to start with the lines as (NYR):

  • Rick Nash, Mika Zibanejad, Mats Zuccarello
  • Chris Kreider, David Desharnais, JT Miller
  • Jimmy Vesey, Kevin Hayes, Jesper Fast
  • Michael Grabner, Adam Cracknell, Pavel Buchnevich

Alain Vigneault said today that Cracknell has played center "quite a bit" and that Lindy Ruff said that he played Cracknell at center about 50% of the time last season.

On defense the plan is similar to Saturday's loss in New Jersey, with Ryan McDonagh and Anthony DeAngelo, Marc Staal and Kevin Shattenkirk, Brady Skjei and Brendan Smith. (NYR)

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New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault gives instructions during an NHL hockey game against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Pittsburgh, Thursday, March 3, 2016. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar) (Gene J. Puskar/AP)
New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault gives instructions during an NHL hockey game against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Pittsburgh, Thursday, March 3, 2016. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar) (Gene J. Puskar/AP)

Alain Vigneault met with the media this morning and said (NYR):

  • Is Cracknell in today, "yes, he is playing. Four lines and 6 D."
  • How much center has he played, "quite a bit. Lindy said that he used him there more than 50% of the time last year so he is used to playing there and he will be effective for us."
  • On JT Miller's season, "JT has always been good on faceoffs, especially on the strong side, good technique and strength and has been efficient for us. As far as his play, like the rest of our team, especially on offense, just a little bit off and that is one of the reasons that when you have guys with that skill level, that can play a power game are having a tough time helping us score goals, we haven't scored a lot of goals this year. We are looking to play a solid two-way game and finish a bit more on the opportunities we are getting."
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 ( Adam Hunger)
( Adam Hunger)

Brady Skjei said on Monday that spirits in the Rangers locker room are "still high" and that while it's been a frustrating start, "there is a lot of fight in this room" and the Rangers are trying to improve every day. (NYR)

Skjei added that the Rangers are a "tight knit" group and that no one is giving up or quitting. (NYR)

Alain Vigneault said on Monday that no one is happy with where the Rangers are right now but that these struggles will help to form the team's identity.

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Oct 13, 2017; Columbus, OH, USA; New York Rangers right wing Rick Nash (61) takes a shot against Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky (72) in the first period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)
Oct 13, 2017; Columbus, OH, USA; New York Rangers right wing Rick Nash (61) takes a shot against Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky (72) in the first period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)

Only 6 of the Rangers 13 goals so far this season have come at 5 on 5 while the Rangers have allowed 12 goals at 5 on 5.

The Rangers had two 5 on 5 goals against the Leafs and Canadiens and one each against the Blue Jackets and Devils this past weekend. (Natural Stat Trick)

Alain Vigneault said that the Rangers are aware of their scoring issues so far and that they are working on being more efficient with the puck while trying to make plays.

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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Alain Vigneault met with the media following practice on Monday and said (NYR):

  • On practice, "we had a good practice, worked on a couple of areas we needed to work on. A little bit of forecheck and zone time and got a lot out of it."
  • On the lack of even strength scoring, "we are aware of it. Right now, except for that Toronto game where we scored 4 goals at 5 on 5, the other 5 games we have only scored two goals at 5 on 5. It's definitely an area we are working on, being more efficient coming into the zone and making certain plays and trusting their instincts. These guys have had pretty good numbers and we have done it on a four line basis and there is no doubt that we, in my estimation, improved the defensive side of the game but we need to score some goals and focus on our offensive zone. We get another opportunity tomorrow.' 
  • "For me, I see this as us being challenged, we are feeling adversity as a group and the solution lies inside that room. As a player you control what you can control, hard work, prep, making sure you analyze your game properly so that you can focus on the areas that you need to improve. That is where coaching comes in, to provide the right feedback and if we get our guys to improve their games individually, team will benefit, play better and win. When you win you are happy and when you don't win it's a little more challenging."
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 (Adam Hunger)
(Adam Hunger)

12:13PM: At Rangers practice on Monday, the team is using the following lines (Cyrgalis):

  • Rick Nash, Mika Zibanejad, Mats Zuccarello
  • Chris Kreider, David Desharnais, JT Miller
  • Jimmy Vesey, Kevin Hayes, Jesper Fast
  • Michael Grabner, Paul Carey, Adam Cracknell/Pavel Buchnevich.

On defense, the Rangers have Ryan McDonagh with Tony DeAngelo, Brady Skjei with Brendan Smith, Marc Staal with Kevin Shattenkirk, Nick Holden with Steven Kampfer. (Cyrgalis)

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 ( Adam Hunger)
( Adam Hunger)

Ryan McDonagh said on Saturday that hopefully this was "rock bottom early on" for the Rangers and that this is a real "gut check" time."

McDonagh said that the Rangers have no one to blame but themselves and that an inability to play a 60 minute game has been the story so far this season.

He said that there is an understanding of the expectations both for the team and individually and that the Rangers need to play with more "edge and desperation."

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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Ryan McDonagh said on Saturday that this group of Rangers is not going to quit and that he knows that to be a "fact."

McDonagh said that the Rangers need to keep working, trust their system and play a game with more edge and more desperation.

He added that this group of players understand that their recent play is not good enough and that if they don't then "something is wrong."

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Sep 25, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Anthony DeAngelo (77) carries the puck during the third period against the Philadelphia Flyers at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Sep 25, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Anthony DeAngelo (77) carries the puck during the third period against the Philadelphia Flyers at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

10/16/17 |Alain Vigneault said on Monday, of DeAngelo's game on Saturday, "he had some real good moments and decisions with the puck, there is no doubt that the upside is there. His penalty was costly, he pushed the guy a little bit, fell on the goalie and the ref looking right at it he didn't call it, the ref 80ft behind calls it. I'm thinking that if he is a more veteran guy he probably doesn't get that call. He needs to establish himself, establish that respect with the refs. He had some good moments, I like the skill level and he did some good things."

10/15/17 | In his return to the lineup last night, Anthony DeAngelo was a minus one, had 3 shots on goal, 1 shot that missed the net, 2 hits and 2 giveaways.

DeAngelo was also called for a cross checking penalty early in the third period that led to the winning goal for the Devils.

Tags: Anthony DeAngelo
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 ( Adam Hunger)
( Adam Hunger)

Following Friday's loss to Columbus, Henrik Lundqvist said that "turnovers" are killing the Rangers and preventing them from playing fast.

Following Saturday's loss to New Jersey, Brady Skjei said that "turnovers" are killing the Rangers and preventing them from playing fast. (MSG)

Asked what changed after a strong first period on Saturday, Alain Vigneault said "turnovers. We turned the puck over and couldn't play as fast as we did in the first period."

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Sep 20, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers center Filip Chytil (72) celebrates his game winning overtime goal against the New Jersey Devils at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports (Danny Wild)
Sep 20, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers center Filip Chytil (72) celebrates his game winning overtime goal against the New Jersey Devils at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports (Danny Wild)

The Wolf Pack defeated Springfield 4-3 last night on the back of a 3-point performance from Filip Chytil:

  • John Gilmour: 1 goal, 1 shot, plus one, interference penalty
  • Neal Pionk: 4 shots
  • Adam Tambellini: 5 shots
  • Brandon Crawley: 1 shot, cross checking penalty
  • Steven Fogarty: 1 shot, minus one
  • Boo Nieves: 1 goal, 2 shots, minus one, hooking penalty
  • Ryan Graves: 1 shot, plus one
  • Gabriel Fontaine: 1 shot, minus one
  • Alexei Bereglazov: 1 assist, holding penalty
  • Filip Chytil: 1 goal, 2 assists, 3 shots, plus three
  • Matt Puempel: 2 shots
  • Vinni Lettieri: 1 goal, 1 assist, 6 shots, plus three, slashing penalty
Tags: Filip Chytil
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Apr 14, 2017; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault leaves the ice after the first period in game two of the first round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports (Eric Bolte)
Apr 14, 2017; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault leaves the ice after the first period in game two of the first round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports (Eric Bolte)

Alain Vigneault met with the media on MSG following the Rangers loss to New Jersey and said:

  • What changed in the second, "turnovers. We turned the puck over and couldn't play as fast as we did in the first period and they capitalized on a couple of their looks."
  • How do you prevent the turnovers, "it's better decision making. We obviously came out real strong and made the right decisions with the puck which permitted us to play a fast game. We weren't able to capitalize on some of our looks but you gotta keep playing the right way and if you do you will be rewarded. In the second period we had too many costly turnovers. We started off the third with a couple of unwarranted penalties on our part. Tried to battle back and came up short."
  • On 11 forwards and 7 D, "we played back to back, I just felt that tonight that gave us the best chance to win."
  • On the injuries, "no, at the end of the day everybody that I thought was questionable ended up playing."
  • On Jesper Fast, "he looked alright for having no exhibition games, didn't have a lot of practice on a regular line. Skated well and competed real hard like he always does."
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Apr 9, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh (27) looks to pass the puck during the third period against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Apr 9, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh (27) looks to pass the puck during the third period against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

Ryan McDonagh met with the media on MSG following the Rangers loss to the Devils and said:

  • Another game without a 60 minute effort, "it's been the story thus far in our season. There is no one to blame but ourselves, the guys in this room, the guys that are in the lineup every night. Our coaches are preparing us and we are going to our meetings and know what is expected us but we are not performing, playing the way we need to play. Every single one of us, maybe 1-2 guys going a night and that is not a winning formula. We need to keep our heads up and work hard and find a way to get better results individually and as a group."
  • What happens when the game turns, "certainly when it's not going your way you are probably trying to force it too much. You want to go out there and make a difference on every shift but you have to understand that for our group to be successful you gotta do it together as a unit of five and move the puck and play fast and know where each other are on the ice. We get disjointed at times and we lose our focus and structure and we get hurt there."
Tags: Ryan McDonagh
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Oct 14, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New Jersey Devils right wing Drew Stafford (18) sends the puck past New York Rangers goalie Ondrej Pavelec (31) to score during the third period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
		 (Anthony Gruppuso)
Oct 14, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New Jersey Devils right wing Drew Stafford (18) sends the puck past New York Rangers goalie Ondrej Pavelec (31) to score during the third period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports (Anthony Gruppuso)

First period:

  • No goals

Second period:

  • 5:31 NYR Rick Nash; Assists: David Desharnais
  • 10:21 NJD Adam Henrique; Assists: Brian Gibbons
  • 16:41 NJD Miles Wood; Assists: Ben Lovejoy, Will Butcher

Third period:

  • 1:00  NJD Drew Stafford (Power Play); Assists: Will Butcher, Nico Hischier
  • 19:03 NYR Kevin Shattenkirk; Assists: J.T. Miller
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New York Rangers' Antti Raanta (32), Henrik Lundqvist (30), Derek Stepan (21) and Ryan McDonagh (27) shake hands with Mark Stone (61), Alex Burrows (14) and Zack Smith (15) after Game 6 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup second-round playoff series Tuesday, May 9, 2017, in New York. The Senators won 4-2. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) (Frank Franklin II/AP)
New York Rangers' Antti Raanta (32), Henrik Lundqvist (30), Derek Stepan (21) and Ryan McDonagh (27) shake hands with Mark Stone (61), Alex Burrows (14) and Zack Smith (15) after Game 6 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup second-round playoff series Tuesday, May 9, 2017, in New York. The Senators won 4-2. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) (Frank Franklin II/AP)

The New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils are coming off disappointing losses Friday night.

Only one team will exit the ice satisfied with the outcome Saturday night when the Devils and Rangers begin their season series at Madison Square Garden.

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New York Rangers right wing Jesper Fast (19) celebrates his goal against the Ottawa Senators with defenceman Brendan Smith (42) and defenceman Brady Skjei (76) during the first period in game five of a second-round NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoff series in Ottawa on Saturday, May 6, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld (Adrian Wyld)
New York Rangers right wing Jesper Fast (19) celebrates his goal against the Ottawa Senators with defenceman Brendan Smith (42) and defenceman Brady Skjei (76) during the first period in game five of a second-round NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoff series in Ottawa on Saturday, May 6, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld (Adrian Wyld)

7:02PM: The Rangers are going with 11 forwards and 7 defensemen with Tony DeAngelo returning to the lineup and both Adam Cracknell and Paul Carey being scratched. (MSG)

5:29PM: Alain Vigneault spoke with the media before the game and said (NYR):

  • "the only thing I know for sure tonight is Pavs going in and Quickie has been cleared to play so he is going to play. We've got 3 question marks that I will only know after warmups. A couple of bumps and bruises and we will sort this out up front and on D."
  • On Pavelec, "it's very important, if you look at our backups and their records since I have been here, their winning percentages have been excellent. Very confident, Pavs has been working hard and doing a lot of extra with Benoit and tonight he gets his first chance to start his first game as as Ranger. I expect the group in front of him to be engaged for 60 minutes and to play real hard."
  • On Fast, "like I said a couple of days ago, he was cleared medically, a matter of him feeling physically on the ice he was where he needed to be. We would not put him on back to back situations so I had a feeling we would be good for tonight and tonight is his first night."
  • "I think our schedule is pretty good here moving forward. Any time you come back from a serious injury you are in constant communication with the medical staff. He has been feeling real well and followed all the rehab he had to do, he was on schedule. This is 5 months, I think, right to the letter."
  • On the Devils, "combo of real good speed, goaltending has been very good. Playing with a lot of confidence and fast, a tough opponent for us."
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 (Adam Hunger)
(Adam Hunger)

Heading into tonight's sixth game of the season against the Devils, the Rangers are 1-4, last in the Metro and have a minus 7 goal differential.

Mats Zuccarello said that they can't start to panic but that if the Rangers want "to win hockey games" they need to play better. (Newsday)

Rick Nash said that the Rangers are going through a "tough time" and need to stay together. (MSG)

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Oct 7, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Rangers center Filip Chytil (72) tries to control the puck as Toronto Maple Leafs center Patrick Marleau (12) backchecks at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports (Tom Szczerbowski)
Oct 7, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Rangers center Filip Chytil (72) tries to control the puck as Toronto Maple Leafs center Patrick Marleau (12) backchecks at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports (Tom Szczerbowski)

The Wolf Pack beat the Toronto Marlies 5-2 last night with Filip Chytil playing his first AHL game:

  • John Gilmour: 3 shots, plus one
  • Neal Pionk: 1 shot, plus one
  • Adam Tambellini: 1 goal, 3 shots
  • Brandon Crawley: slashing penalty, 1 shot
  • Steven Fogarty: 1 shot, plus two
  • Boo Nieves: 1 goal, 1 assist, 4 shots, minus one
  • Ryan Graves: 1 assist, 1 shot
  • Gabriel Fontaine: nothing on scoresheet
  • Alexei Bereglazov: 1 assist, 1 shot, plus one
  • Filip Chytil: 1 shot, plus one, tripping & high sticking penalty
  • Matt Puempel: 1 goal, 3 shots, plus one
  • Vinni Lettieri: 3 shots
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Oct 13, 2017; Columbus, OH, USA; New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) makes a save in net against Columbus Blue Jackets right wing Cam Atkinson (13) and left wing Artemi Panarin (9) in the third period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)
Oct 13, 2017; Columbus, OH, USA; New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) makes a save in net against Columbus Blue Jackets right wing Cam Atkinson (13) and left wing Artemi Panarin (9) in the third period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)

Alain Vigneault said that the Rangers were "totally dominated" in the third period last night and that the Rangers need to put together a 60 minute effort.

He said that at times the Rangers had some real good moments but "in the third we certainly weren't good enough."

The Rangers were out-attempted 25-13 in the third period and out-shot 18-9. (Hockey Stats)

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New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault talks to reporters after a practice in Tarrytown, N.Y., Tuesday, April 25, 2017. The Rangers have advanced to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs and will open the series against the Ottawa Senators on Thursday. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) (Seth Wenig/AP)
New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault talks to reporters after a practice in Tarrytown, N.Y., Tuesday, April 25, 2017. The Rangers have advanced to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs and will open the series against the Ottawa Senators on Thursday. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) (Seth Wenig/AP)

Alain Vigneault met with the media on MSG following the Rangers loss in Columbus and said:

  • On the game, "again, tonight, we didn't play 60 minutes. They get that first goal that deflected off of us and we didn't respond well in the third. They totally dominated us in the third period. Right now every line seems to have one guy really fighting it, one guy just playing okay and it's not good enough right now. We definitely need to get our game in order. It's there for spurts, for moments but in this league, a competitive league you need to play for 60 minutes and we aren't doing it right now."
  • On the turnovers, "we have a few issues, there is no doubt, this group can play a lot better than it is right now. We gotta focus right now on tomorrow, for moments we looked real good , looked like we could make plays and defend bu we didn't put it together, there is no doubt."
  • "It's going to happen in a 60 minute game where the other team gets some looks and some momentum, that is when you need to respond on the next shift. Tonight we had some real good moments but in the third we certainly weren't good enough."
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Oct 13, 2017; Columbus, OH, USA; New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) makes a save in net against the Columbus Blue Jackets in the third period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)
Oct 13, 2017; Columbus, OH, USA; New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) makes a save in net against the Columbus Blue Jackets in the third period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)

Henrik Lundqvist met with the media on MSG following the Rangers loss in Columbus and said:

  • On the third, "just coming up short. It's not enough, we need more, obviously. We aren't getting wins and it's not good. There are a lot of areas we are doing well but the one thing we have to clean up is the amount of turnovers. Turnovers are killing us. We are a fast team when we put the puck in the right place but now we have to defend a lot because of turnovers. That is something we have to discuss and do better. Other than that it's a lot of good things, special teams are doing a good job. The intensity is out there, it's just turnovers. We work on that and we start winning."
  • On things you can control, "if you look at the chances they had tonight, I think most of it we brought on ourselves. It happens and it's a fast game and a game of mistakes because of the pressure. Just have to make sure it's not too many. We had our chances to go up 2-0 in the second period and instead they get the late one, a bad bounce and it's a different game going into the third."
Tags: Henrik Lundqvist
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Rangers right wing Pavel Buchnevich (89) plays the puck against Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Gabriel Carlsson (53) in the first period. (Aaron Doster)
Rangers right wing Pavel Buchnevich (89) plays the puck against Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Gabriel Carlsson (53) in the first period. (Aaron Doster)

First period:

  • 14:15 NYR Kevin Hayes

Second period:

  • 19:14 CBJ Seth Jones Assists: Zach Werenski, Alexander Wennberg

Third period:

  • 7:25 CBJ Artemi Panarin Assists: Seth Jones, Zach Werenski
  • 19:54 CBJ Lukas Sedlak (ENG) Assists: Ryan Murray
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Dec 15, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault during the game against the Dallas Stars at the American Airlines Center. The Rangers shut out the Stars 2-0. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports (Jerome Miron)
Dec 15, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault during the game against the Dallas Stars at the American Airlines Center. The Rangers shut out the Stars 2-0. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports (Jerome Miron)

Alain Vigneault met with the media on Friday prior to the Rangers game against Columbus and said (NYR):

  • On what he wants to see from Brendan Smith, "he's gonna play a good game for us, Brendan knows his strengths, is a physical player. When he has a good gap he is very effective and we look to him to have a real strong game for us."
  • On what to do with DeAngelo, "I'm gonna get him back in. If you look at his overall camp, he had a good camp, a tougher game in Toronto, I went with 7D and he didn't play much. I wanted to get Kampf and Holden in, it's a game of numbers. We have 8 guys right now. I love that skill set, love that he is a right handed shot, for us there is a lot of potential there. It's a long season and you try to sort things out. You look at all of the teams know, who they are playing in certain situations and who is in and out of the lineup and I can tell you that come game 60-70 it won't be the same thing. Everyone is trying to figure out if their young players can do it, if some other guys can have a bigger role. That is just part of the process of a start of the season. At the same time we are trying to win games and that is what we will do tonight."
  • On Columbus, "same type of team, they come after you, they are going to forecheck hard, they defend well, gotten some sound goaltending. It's a good test to know where we are as a team, we put some new lines together, the only line we kept together is Mika's line. I'm hoping to see something from the other three lines and our D group, which I believe is a real strong group, to play a good game and this is a real tough building to play in so we will find out a lot about ourselves tonight."
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Apr 29, 2017; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) makes a save in the second period of game two in the second round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Ottawa Senators at the Canadian Tire Centre. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports (Marc DesRosiers)
Apr 29, 2017; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) makes a save in the second period of game two in the second round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Ottawa Senators at the Canadian Tire Centre. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports (Marc DesRosiers)

The Rangers (1-3) visit the Blue Jackets Friday night in Columbus.

Tags: Henrik Lundqvist
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Oct 10, 2017; Raleigh, NC, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella looks from behind the players bench against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. Columbus defeated Carolina 2-1 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports (James Guillory)
Oct 10, 2017; Raleigh, NC, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella looks from behind the players bench against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. Columbus defeated Carolina 2-1 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports (James Guillory)

6:06PM: Tortorella said before the game about the Rangers, "You are with an organization for five years, I live in the area during the summer. I have some great friends there. The team is different now as the league is, people are coming and going, but to me it's never been, 'it's the Rangers, lets kick them. I end up seeing a lot of good friends when they come in. I spent a number of years there so it's part of me. I'm coaching another team but that is still part of me, being part of that organization and I loved coaching there. That is all I can think of. It's not being upset about something, it's good to see the guys and I got a couple of texts last night but then once you start playing you are playing." (CBJ)

2:04PM: Columbus coach John Tortorella said on Thursday that the Rangers will be "champing at the bit" on Friday against the Blue Jackets. (The Athletic)

Tortorella said that the Rangers are a "good team," have "great goaltending" and that it will be a "hard game" for his Columbus team. (The Athletic)

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Nov 6, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh (27) against the Winnipeg Jets during the third period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports (Danny Wild)
Nov 6, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh (27) against the Winnipeg Jets during the third period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports (Danny Wild)

Against Columbus tonight, the Rangers are expected to go with a defense group that includes:

  • Ryan McDonagh paired with Nick Holden
  • Marc Staal paired with Kevin Shattenkirk
  • Brady Skjei paired with Brendan Smith

Vigneault said that the Rangers defense is a work in progress as they try and find some duos that have chemistry.

He said that Smith and Skjei had good chemistry last season and that the Rangers want Ryan McDonagh playing on the left side.

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May 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; The New York Rangers salute their fans after defeating the Ottawa Senators in game four of the second round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
May 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; The New York Rangers salute their fans after defeating the Ottawa Senators in game four of the second round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

On Wednesday, Alain Vigneault said that the Rangers are a "work in progress" and trying to find their identity.

Following Tuesday's loss to St. Louis, Vigneault said that the Rangers are getting a lot of offensive chances from Mika Zibanejad's line but that he is still looking for chemistry with his other two scoring lines.

Vigneault, on Wednesday, reiterated that there is a search for chemistry when it comes to putting the forward lines together and that the forwards and defense need to get on the same page so the Rangers can play a faster game.

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Apr 27, 2017; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; New York Rangers left wing J.T. Miller (10) shoots the puck in the second period against the Ottawa Senators in game one in the second round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Canadian Tire Centre. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports (Marc DesRosiers)
Apr 27, 2017; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; New York Rangers left wing J.T. Miller (10) shoots the puck in the second period against the Ottawa Senators in game one in the second round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Canadian Tire Centre. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports (Marc DesRosiers)

Alain Vigneault said on Thursday that he thinks JT Miller is more effective on the wing and that Miller lprefers to play on the wing.

Miller was skating at practice today with David Desharnais and Jimmy Vesey.

Vigneault said that Miller can get in on the forecheck, protect the puck and get in front of the net more while skating on the wing and the Rangers need him to do that.

Miller saw time at center in parts of the Rangers previous three games and said that he was feeling comfortable in the middle but had to make some adjustments.

Tags: J.T. Miller
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Mar 31, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault directs his team against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the third period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports (Adam Hunger)
Mar 31, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault directs his team against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the third period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports (Adam Hunger)

Alain Vigneault met with the media on Thursday after practice and said (NYR):

  • On Shattenkirk, "Kevin, like the rest of our team, is a work in progress. He has been very efficient on the PP but like the rest of our team, 5 on 5, there is definitely room for improvement there. It's normal, you come from another organization, two really but one he was with for a long time, it takes a little while to adjust to teammates, environment, style of play. He's going to be fine, smart young man, real good work ethic and he will fit in real good."
  • On the defense changes, "right now, work in progress, trying to find combos and duos that can be real successful and bring us wins, trying to sort that out on defense. Obviously putting Smytty with Brady, they had good chemistry. Now we have to sort out, I think by having Mac on the right side, as much as he can play both sides, we lose a little bit of him being able to jump into the play and keeps puck in the offensive zone because he is so much more comfortable and better on the left side than right side. We decided to put him back there so that changes our dynamics of our back end because we want that strength in our lineup. Just trying to sort things out right now and figure out if we are going to have a shutdown pair like we have in the past or are we going to have a group of six with that mandate. We need a bit more time here and we said that at the start of the season."
  • On better starts, "there is no doubt that in the first four games, other than the Montreal one, even the Montreal one where we had a lot of turnovers and spent time in our own end, if you get behind, it's a tough league. Positive thing, for me, is that we got behind and tied it up, that shows a lot of character and resiliency in the room. Last game we went down and tried to come down and had a real strong push and their goaltender was the difference in the third. There are some things to build on but we aren't going to hide, we have room to improve and I believe this group will do it, very hard working group."
  • On McDonagh and Shattenkirk, "Shatty has to have a little bit of time to get adjusted here, he has had a different role in the past. This is an adjustment and playing against top-six forwards. I think he is on the verge, 5 on 5, of understanding what we are looking for and being a real effective player for us. Is that going to be with Mac or someone else, right now he is with Marc Staal and time will tell."
  • On Pavel Buchenvich, "there is no doubt, he came to camp better prepared. Because he was better prepared it shows, he is getting some good looks. That line has had some real good moments and that the chemistry will continue. He's still got a lot of room for improvement and with that skill set, he can be a real solid player and he is trying to get better and we are trying to get him better."
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

5:19PM: While speaking about the starts on Thursday, Alain Vigneault said "there is no doubt that in the first four games, other than the Montreal one, even the Montreal one where we had a lot of turnovers and spent time in our own end, if you get behind, it's a tough league. Positive thing, for me, is that we got behind and tied it up, that shows a lot of character and resiliency in the room. Last game we went down and tried to come down and had a real strong push and their goaltender was the difference in the third. There are some things to build on but we aren't going to hide, we have room to improve and I believe this group will do it, very hard working group."

3:33PM: Kevin Shattenkirk said on Thursday that the Rangers need to "reset" a bit and be ready to play their best game against Columbus. (NYR)

He said that the Rangers have been getting off to slow starts and then puts them in a position where they sometimes start to stretch out and become disconnected on the ice. (NYR)

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