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Sep 29, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers right wing Pavel Buchnevich (89) shoots against New Jersey Devils defenseman Steven Santini (34) during the second period of a preseason hockey game at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Sep 29, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers right wing Pavel Buchnevich (89) shoots against New Jersey Devils defenseman Steven Santini (34) during the second period of a preseason hockey game at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Alain Vigneault said that the Rangers need to put young players like Jimmy Vesey and Pavel Buchnevich into situations where they can be successful.

He said that the two of them are "both good offensive players" and need to be put in positions where they can show the coaches and their teammates "what they can do."

Vigneault said that Vesey wants to prove that he can play at this level and also possess "a great skill set" and is "very determined." (MSG)

The Rangers have said that they want to go with three lines that can score and a fourth line that is focused a bit more on defense, faceoffs and penalty killing.

Adam Rotter: Pending that the Rangers are healthy, there are only so many spots to put offensive players into positions where they can succeed. Brandon Pirri looks to have locked in a spot somewhere in the top-nine at least to start the season. Then there should be one spot for either Vesey or Buchnevich in the top-nine. Neither of them work on the fourth line and I think Vesey has a little edge on Buchnevich for no other reason than Buchnevich is going through a massive culture change right now. As much as it's a transition for Vesey to go from college to the NHL, he still speaks the same language as everyone else and could walk directly downstairs after a game and hop a train if he wanted to go home for the night. Buchnevich, who may have a higher ceiling than Vesey overall, doesn't have either of those things and could maybe use some extra time adjusting. I think it's possible that Buchnevich sticks as the 13th forward for a little while, gets extra time on the ice with the coaches and then they find a way to get him in.

Tags: Jimmy Vesey , Pavel Buchnevich

Feb 14, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Dylan McIlrath (6) and Philadelphia Flyers right wing Wayne Simmonds (17) fight during the first period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
           (Anthony Gruppuso)
Feb 14, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Dylan McIlrath (6) and Philadelphia Flyers right wing Wayne Simmonds (17) fight during the first period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports (Anthony Gruppuso)

Dylan McIlrath said that his goal last season was to just get his foot in the door but this season he wants to be in a consistent top-six role. (NYR)

He said that he needs to prove that he is a reliable defenseman and play consistently and use his tools to play "every night." (NYR)

McIlrath said that he was on the ice 4 times a week from July on to get as many reps on the ice as he can. (NYR)

Alain Vigneault said that for McIlrath to play on a consistent basis he needs to be defensively responsible and make good decisions with the puck.

Vigneault said that McIlrath has gotten better each season and he is expecting him to be better than he was at the end of last season.

He added that McIlrath will have a chance to prove himself during preseason and that Dylan is a player who is "very well respected and liked by his teammates."

Vigneault said after Thursday's game that "there's no doubt that there's an improvement" with McIlrath, he's more confident in his abilities and needs to keep using his "lower reach and strength."

Vigneault has said that spots 5-6-7-8 on defense are all open.

For more on McIlrath, click HERE.

Adam Rotter: Heading into training camp I felt like McIlrath was the 7th defenseman and that hasn't changed after two preseason games. I think that he's been solid enough at times but I'm not sure he's better than Brady Skjei or Nick Holden right now. There is still time for McIlrath to make his mark and start the season in the lineup but it just seems more likely he will be in a similar situation to last year.

Tags: Dylan McIlrath

The Rangers have announced that their lineup for tomorrow night's game in New Jersey is:

  • Chris Kreider, Mika Zibanejad, JT Miller
  • Jimmy Vesey, Phil McRae, Nicklas Jensen
  • Michael Grabner, Nathan Gerbe, Jesper Fast
  • Ryann Gropp, Maxim Lapierre, Chris Brown

Brady Skjei - Adam Clendening

Mat Bodie - Dan Girardi

John Gilmour - Michael Paliotta

Antti Raanta and Magnus Hellberg are in net.


Sep 27, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers center Maxim Lapierre (41) and New York Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic (3) battle for position during the first period during a preseason hockey game at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Sep 27, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers center Maxim Lapierre (41) and New York Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic (3) battle for position during the first period during a preseason hockey game at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

Through two games on his PTO, Maxim Lapierre has played:

Islanders: 19:43, 1 assist, plus one, 1 shot on goal, 2 shot attempts blocked, 1 takeaway, 1 blocked shot, 10 and 9 on faceoffs.

  • 15:05 at even strength
  • 4:36 on the PK

Devils: 11:54, 2 shots on goal, 1 that missed the net, 1 blocked shot, 8 and 6 on faceoffs.

  • 7:08 at even strength
  • 4:36 on the PK

Alain Vigneault said that Lapierre is a hard worker who is giving his best shot on his tryout. (NYR)

Adam Rotter: Despite the injuries to Oscar Lindberg and Josh Jooris, I don't think the Rangers will sign Lapierre unless he is okay going up and down Hartford. He can definitely be a useful player at times with his speed, experience and ability to get under the oppositions skin, but I don't know if he makes sense to have with all of the Rangers other forwards. He could very well be the type of guy who starts the season with the Rangers, goes down to Hartford for 2-3 months and then comes back up as a 12th/13th forward when injuries or need arise.


The Rangers have announced that goalies Brandon Halverson and Jeff Malcolm have been assigned to the Wolf Pack.

The Rangers now have four goalies in camp: Magnus Hellberg, Mackenzie Skapksi, Antti Raanta and Henrik Lundqvist.

Lundqvist is expected to rejoin practice tomorrow after resting for the past week after the World Cup.


Sep 29, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers left wing Jimmy Vesey (26) skates against New Jersey Devils left wing Vernon Fiddler (38) during the first period of a preseason hockey game at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Sep 29, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers left wing Jimmy Vesey (26) skates against New Jersey Devils left wing Vernon Fiddler (38) during the first period of a preseason hockey game at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

In his NHL preseason debut, Jimmy Vesey had three shots on goal, one shot that missed the net and one hit, on the Devils Andy Greene, in 16:33.

Vesey skated with Rick Nash and Kevin Hayes and played 11:13 at even strength, 5:20 on the PP, 4:41 in the first, 6:21 in the second and 5:31 in the third.

Vesey started the game with a breakaway that was stopped by Devils goalie Scott Wedgewood but drew a penalty.

Alain Vigneault said that Vesey had a "good game" and that it's all part of the process and "he is only going to get better." (NYR)

Vesey said that his breakaway opportunity got him into the game right away and that he is trying to take all of these new experiences in stride and just get better every day. (NYR Game Notes) 

He noted that he is trying to work on his communication with his linemates and that Nash is always "harping" on the bench to talk more. (NYR Game Notes)

Vesey also went to the net during one play, was hit and had his chin go directly into the crossbar.

Adam Rotter: That breakaway right off the top seemed perfect and gave Vesey, after this whole summer of hype, an opportunity to light the lamp ... but he was stopped. As awesome as that moment would have been, it was probably for the best that Vesey was stopped. He probably scores on that play in college and despite Wedgewood not being Carey Price, it shows him that things are going to be different now. Vesey seems committed to working hard and everything you hear or read about him is positive with his demeanor and belief in himself. He will get his goals but they won't be easy as they used to be. This also discounts the added hype that would have come with scoring on his first shot, on his first shift. He played a solid game and will get better from it.

Tags: Jimmy Vesey

Alain Vigneault met with the media on Thursday following the Rangers win over the Devils (Rangers game notes):

  • On the play of Brandon Pirri…"He certainly has been very effective on the power play. You could tell that he has a good release. But for me overall, the fact that both teams had some young players out on the ice with a lot of energy, maybe execution-wise there were a couple decisions made that were off, but the energy and feistiness was there. A lot of our guys right now are trying to make an impression and it's fun to see."
  •  On the play of John Gilmour…"For a young guy playing in his first game and getting an opportunity on the power play, I thought he was very confident in his abilities. I thought he moved the puck real well and not just on the power play but going back and trying to beat the forecheck and skate with it in, trying to find the open man. For his first game in the NHL he played to his strengths and that's what you want players to do."
  •  On the play of Dylan McIlrath..."There's no doubt that there's an improvement. You can tell Dylan's more confident in his abilities. He's trying to make plays defensively. He's using his lower reach and strength and he has to continue that moving forward."
  • On Lapierre, "we used him on the PK and certain faceoffs in our own end, I thought that his line, for the most part other than some shifts in the first period, were pretty effective. He is on a tryout and trying to get into the NHL. He's a hard worker and giving it his best shot." (NYR)
  • On Jimmy Vesey, "breakaway first shift, eh? How does it get much better than that? That would have been fun to see him score but overall he had a good game. He had some good looks 5 on 4 and good looks 5 on 5. It's part of the process and he is only going to get better." (NYR)

Sep 29, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers goalie Mackenzie Skapski (70) makes a save in front of New Jersey Devils left wing Miles Wood (44) and New York Rangers defenseman Kevin Klein (8) during the second period of a preseason hockey game at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Sep 29, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers goalie Mackenzie Skapski (70) makes a save in front of New Jersey Devils left wing Miles Wood (44) and New York Rangers defenseman Kevin Klein (8) during the second period of a preseason hockey game at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Brandon Pirri scored two goals to lead the Rangers to a 3-1 exhibition victory over the Devils Thursday night at Madison Square Garden. >>Read more at SNY.tv. . . .

Three Stars:

3: Miles Wood
2: John Gilmour
1: Brandon Pirri

Adam's Thoughts:

  • Brandon Pirri has very likely locked up his spot in the top-nine with three goals in the past two games, but the questions are where and who had been penciled in would come out? Those are some of the tough questions Alain Vigneault and his staff will have to figure out.
  • Like Pavel Buchnevich on Tuesday, Jimmy Vesey showed what he is capable of doing. He showed his speed, his shot and a bit of his physical play. Also like Pavel Buchnevich tonight, I think Vesey will be much better in his next appearance.
  • Kevin Hayes looked quick, was very noticeable and I felt like overall he played well, but he seemed very interested in trying to force cross-ice passes on the PP. Rick Nash also looked pretty good in his first outing.
  • Guys like Gerbe, Grabner, Jensen and Hrivik all had some moments and while Grabner seems to be the only one as a lock to make the team, the other three can all fill in various roles as depth players.

The Rangers have announced the following lineup for tonight's game against the Devils:

  • Jimmy Vesey, Kevin Hayes, Rick Nash
  • Nathan Gerbe, Brandon Pirri, Pavel Buchnevich
  • Michael Grabner, Marek Hrivik, Jesper Fast
  • Adam Tambellini, Maxim Lapierre, Nicklas Jensen

Nick Holden, Kevin Klein

Ryan Graves, Chris Summers

John Gilmour, Dylan McIlrath

Antti Raanta and Mackenzie Skapski are the goalies.

Pirri, Buchnevich, Jensen, Hrivik, Lapierre and McIlrath are playing for the second straight game.


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

  • On Brandon Pirri being a top-nine player, "I would say that at this point he has to be in our top nine. He is an offensive skilled player, we have been talking about having three lines that can score and a fourth line that has more of a role, PK, faceoffs in our own end. He is shooting for that top-nine and there is also what we are going to do with that 13th forward. Is it a guy who can pop into the top-nine or is he a fill-in on the fourth line. We have said this a few times, we will have some decisions to make. There are some guys here who have practices real well. We have only played one game and there are five more to go and opportunity to show what they have got."
  • Has Pirri practices well, "yes. He has practiced real well, has worked real well on the PP on the half-wall, so far. He is definitely going to get a real good look."
  • On Jimmy Vesey, "I remember Hayes telling me before Jimmy went to Traverse City that he was real nervous. I told him to tell him that it's a first step, etc, etc, etc, but a kid playing his first game. There are going to be some jitters but that is normal and to be expected. Everything we have seen from Traverse City to practice habits are very positive. He is starting to understand what it is and I am looking forward and I am sure he is looking forward to his first game."
  • More on Vesey, "first game as a pro, you always remember whether it be regular season or exhibition."
  • On adjustments for Vesey, "everything about our league is pace and speed and reads and he will figure it out, he needs to figure it out if he is going to play at this level. So far, he seems to not only have the skill set but a little bit of bite and willingness to go into tough areas. He is playing with a center that he knows and with Rick Nash so he is getting two good players to show him his capabilities and we are hoping for a good game from him tonight."
  • On Brady Skjei or Nick Holden being used on the right, "yes, wanted to get through the first two games. We made a first set of cuts, we are not going to make anymore significant ones, we have four games in six nights, that is where we will be experimenting with lines and duos. I would say that both of them are going to get a look at this point. In talking with Nick, he feels real comfortable there, he has more experience. It's definitely an avenue we will look at."
  • No cuts over the weekend, "I would say going into that 3rd game in 4 nights is when we will be making our next set of more serious decisions."
  • On Henrik, "he will be practicing here on Saturday. Without having talked to him I would say that he will probably get in 1 and a half games, the last one for sure and depending how he feels in practice but he will have almost six full days off and probably champing at the bit to get at it."
  • The stretch after the final game, "we have a great stretch there, some team building plans and some good final practices before we start our first game."

On this week's show, Brian Compton, Adam Rotter, and Nick Licalzi give their first impressions of the preseason, and the positives they took away from the Rangers' win over the Islanders. Plus, the guys chat with Mike Morreale of NHL.com about some of the Blueshirts' prospects, and his thoughts on Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba, who recently requested a trade from the team.


Sep 27, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers center Mika Zibanejad (93) reacts after scoring a first period goal against the New York Islanders during a preseason hockey game at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Sep 27, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers center Mika Zibanejad (93) reacts after scoring a first period goal against the New York Islanders during a preseason hockey game at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

In his preseason debut with the Rangers, Mika Zibanejad had a goal, two assists, 5 shots on goal and was named first star of the game.

He also had 1 shot attempt that was blocked, 1 shot that missed the net, 1 giveaway, 3 takeaways, 2 blocked shots and was 11 and 10 on faceoffs.

Zibanejad played 12:37 at even strength, 2:38 on the PP and 3:25 on the PK.

He played 6:11 in the first, 6:01 in the second and 6:28 in the third.

Zibanejad said that he doesn't want to "think that highly" since it's one goal in one game but added that it's "obviously nice to get a good start." (NYR Game Notes)

Chris Kreider praised Zibanejad and said that he knows where everyone is on the ice and that often he is surprised when Zibanejad feeds him the because "I'mvery surprised that they even know I'm there."

Adam Rotter: It was preseason, not regular season, but the impact Zibanejad made reminded me a bit of Derick Brassard's debut with the Rangers. Brassard had just arrived, scored four points and looked like he was about to become a big part of the current and future Rangers. I got that same feeling with Zibanejad. He looked comfortable on the ice, showed off his shot, his passing and also showed why the Rangers felt they could move a core player like Brassard for him.

Tags: Mika Zibanejad

 (Andy Marlin)
(Andy Marlin)

On Tuesday night, Brandon Pirri had a goal, 6 shots, 1 shot attempt blocked and 3 that missed the net in 16:21.

Pirri played on the wing but was 1 and 3 on faceoffs while playing 13:44 at even strength and 2:37 on the PP.

Alain Vigneault said on Tuesday that Pirri's goal was a "major league shot" and that he liked what he saw from him.

Pirri will play center tonight against the Devils and Vigneualt said on Wednesday that Pirri has told him he can play all three positions and Vigneault wants to see him in the middle.

Vigneault said that versatility is a great thing to have "as long as you can play any of those positions well."

Pirri is a career 46.1% on faceoffs in his 166 game career.

Adam Rotter: I don't see much of a path for Pirri in the middle but it's good to see his versatility and also gives the Rangers another look at what he can do on the PP and as an offensive player. Derek Stepan, Mika Zibanejad and Kevin Hayes likely have the top three centers spots locked down and the Rangers didn't bring in Pirri to center the fourth line.

Tags: Brandon Pirri

Adam Clendening was the third star in last night's Rangers win over the Islanders with 2 assists in 20:19.

Clendening had one shot on goal, one shot attempt blocked, 1 that missed the net, 1 hit and 1 giveaway.

He played 15:23 at even strength, 2:38 on the PP, 2:18 on the PK and 6 minutes in the first, 8:28 in the second and 5:51 in the third.

After the game he said that his role is to move the puck and create offense and he thinks he did a "pretty good job" of that against the Islanders. (Rangers Game Notes)

He says that he is very comfortable playing on the PP and that all he wants to do is "move the puck, move your feet and keep it simple." (Rangers Game Notes)

For a lot more on Clendening, click HERE.

Adam Rotter: It was one preseason game but Clendening showed some flashes of why he was a highly thought of prospect for a time. He's still young, turns 24 in October, and seems to have good offensive instincts that the Rangers could certainly use on the back end. There is a lot more that Clendening has to do to earn a spot, at least a regular spot, but there is definitely an opening for that kind of player on the Rangers.

Tags: Adam Clendening

 (Jerome Miron)
(Jerome Miron)

Alain Vigneault met with the media following Wednesday's practice and said the following (NYR):

  • What was the best thing you took out of last night, "all teams are evaluating their players on different aspects whether it be skill level or understanding the system you are trying to teach and implement. Are they grasping it? Where are your veteran players? Where are the younger guys? It was a first exhibition game. I felt there were a lot of positives to take, without getting into any specific names, some guys caught our attention last night. Moving forward, like we told the group at the start, make an impression, make an impression early and often and it won't go unnoticed and it will be up to us as a staff to decide who deserves to be on this team."
  • On the plan for the World Cup players, "I would say that, none of them are playing tomorrow, but I would say that they would all play 2 of the last 4. If you are thinking that we will be close to our lineup for that last one, one road game and maybe for one of those three it might be 3 of the last 4, JT didn't really play a lot so he might get a game more than the other guys, that is at least what I am anticipating at this time. But all three of those guys I met individually, very eager and energized. Not sure where players will be after an event like that but I think the two Americans, they have something to prove, and the young gun that didn't get a chance to play that much also thinks he has something to prove. I think that puts us in a pretty good spot."
  • On the Mika line having good chemistry, "I think, on an individual basis, for Mika coming in and the sort of night that he had...I know that when he came in I asked him about the traffic and that is because what I remember my first time when I came to MSG, I was going holy s----. Is it gonna be like this all the time? It was a pretty easy traffic day yesterday. He was worried and gave himself 45 minutes to come down and it only took 20. He was in a good place and went out and played real well. You go out in front of your fans and teammates for the first time and you are able to have a good performance, you feel good about yourself and your performance. I think for him that was a really good day."
  • On certain guys playing again tomorrow, "when you come into these things you are always saying that you have 4 in 6 nights, should be two different teams, you watch the game and look at lineup and say that we have decisions to make. Practices are good and they give you a feel for skill level and conditioning and how they understand, but it's never like it is in a game. We need to put some guys in more games than others because we need to take a look at them in situations against the opposition. That is why certain guys are getting another game tomorrow."
  • We talked quickly after the game about what we wanted to do, fairly close lineup but when we started talking about it after the game last night, coaches and management, the team's for today had already been sent out. We let the team's stay like that and made the changes for tomorrow's game. They will have a chance to practice tomorrow together and should be fine for tomorrow night."
  • On Pirri in the middle, "he has played a lot of center. He is playing there tomorrow and would like to see. In my discussions with him he says that he can play any position and when I hear that from a player it's always a great thing, that versatility...as long as you can play any of those positions well. (laugh) So that is what we will find out tomorrow. Always a good answer, just make sure you can play it well."

Feb 27, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh (27) skates against the Dallas Stars at the American Airlines Center. The Rangers defeat the Stars 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports (Jerome Miron)
Feb 27, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh (27) skates against the Dallas Stars at the American Airlines Center. The Rangers defeat the Stars 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports (Jerome Miron)

Derek Stepan, Ryan McDonagh and JT Miller all met with the media on Wednesday and said (NYR):

  • Miller had 5-6 days of no skating and would have liked to play more at the World Cup so he is focused on getting his "lungs and legs back into it." (NYR)
  • Miller said that it was a "blast" to be at the World Cup and see how elite players prepare and handle things.
  • Miller said that he feels confident, prepared, knows what to expect and "feels really ready" to get his game to another level. He knows what to do away from the puck and is looking to build off of last year.
  • McDonagh said that he felt good on the ice while at the World Cup and that he was strong on the ice, quick and "good with the puck." (NYR)
  • McDonagh said that there is a lot of positive energy around the Rangers.
  • McDonagh says that the players need to be focused and have their priorities in order each day, whether it's a game, practice or off day.
  • McDonagh said that he doesn't feel "too worn out" or beat up after the World Cup and he feels good about where his body is at."
  • Derek Stepan said that speaking for himself, Miller and McDonagh they all wanted to get back at it quickly after the World Cup ended. (NYR)
  • Stepan said that "everyone is real motivated to get back at it. Everyone is ramped up and ready to go and we want to get this thing rolling.
Tags: Derek Stepan , J.T. Miller , Ryan McDonagh

Sep 27, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers left wing Chris Kreider (20) is congratulated by his teammates after scoring a first period goal against the New York Islanders during a preseason hockey game at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Sep 27, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers left wing Chris Kreider (20) is congratulated by his teammates after scoring a first period goal against the New York Islanders during a preseason hockey game at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

In his first NHL preseason game, Pavel Buchnevich skated on a line mostly with Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider and played 15:20.

Buchnevich had 3 shots on goal and one shot that missed the net while playing 12:42 at even strength and 2:38 on the PP.

Buchnevich played 4:32 in the first period, 6:10 in the second and 4:38 in the third.

He said after the game that he started to feel comfortable on his 2nd or 3rd shift. (NYR)

After the game, Alain Vigneault said that Buchnevich and his linemates were "communicating well" on the bench and trying to help him understand his positioning.

Vigneault added, "I'm seeing this young man here who doesn't speak a lot of English trying to figure it out and he's doing a good job. The skill set we've all talked about since the start of camp, you saw it tonight. He's a young player going through the process and hopefully he'll continue to improve."

They showed on MSG that Buchnevich was communicating and motioning with Kreider and Zibanejad as well as working with Scott Arniel on a tablet.

 

Tags: Pavel Buchnevich

JT Miller, Ryan McDonagh and Derek Stepan are all skating today after getting a few days off following the World Cup of Hockey. (NYR)

Those players are not expected to play tomorrow but are skating with the group of players that is scheduled to play.

Other players on the ice include Rick Nash, Jimmy Vesey, Kevin Hayes, Marc Staal, Dan Girardi, Kevin Klein, Ryan Graves, John Gilmour, Nick Holden, Steven Fogarty, Michael Grabner, Nathan Gerbe, Phil McRae, Ryan Gropp, Antti Raanta and Jeff Malcolm. (Zipay)


Alain Vigneault spoke with the media following the Rangers win over the Islanders (NYR Game Notes):

  • On the first power play unit…"We had practiced that unit yesterday in the second part of our practice. We also worked on it a little bit this morning. I thought they executed a good play in zone and scored a real nice rush goal, so it's positive to see that Mika's line had some chemistry tonight."
  • On the speed from the team's defense…"A lot of the team's speed starts on the back end. It starts with them going back for pucks quickly and beating the forecheck and getting it up. Sometimes that plays into a direct play. Sometimes into an indirect play to speed where you've got guys going with speed. I thought tonight on a few occasions we used that well. There was a lot of thinking from our group. We are trying to make sure we get on the same page with and without the puck. Once it becomes a little bit more instinctive, I think we will be quicker."
  •  On Pavel Buchnevich..."That whole line tonight was communicating well on the bench. You could see they were trying to communicate with Buchie [Buchnevich] and help him out as far as his positioning. We worked on a couple things in practice. We've showed him a lot of things on video and I'm seeing this young man here who doesn't speak a lot of English trying to figure it out and he's doing a good job. The skill set we've all talked about since the start of camp, you saw it tonight. He's a young player going through the process and hopefully he'll continue to improve."
  • On Clendening and McIlrath, "I felt they both had strong games, so did Bodie. They were good in their one-on-ones, they moved the puck well and it was a good start as far as them battling hard to find a spot on the team. (NYR)
  • On the defense, "Training camp and start of the season will answer that question. Right now there is a lot of AHL players who are getting a look and as we move forward lineups will become more what you are going to see during the season and it might take us a little while to figure out exactly what we have on the back end as well as up front." (NYR
  • On Brandon Pirri, "his shot, his goal, that was a major league shot, great release. I liked what I saw from him, seemed like a real versatile player which is a plus. He can play more than one position and I like his skill set and hopefully he will continue to shot it." (NYR
  • On Josh Jooris, "yes, he tweaked his groin right from the start. He will be day to day so we will call someone up that we sent down today so that we can have four lines to practice with both groups. Not sure who that is going to be but Jeff is going to let me know in a few minutes." (NYR
  • On the goalies,"I thought the goaltending was good. Maybe not the start that we wanted but he did a good job after that of getting in front of some tough scoring chances. Skapski came in midway through and I liked what I saw from both of our goalies. Both of them had good rebound control which is a good plus and I liked both of their games." (NYR
  • On Zibanejad being a right shot, "it's one thing that we don't have a lot of on our PP other than Step. We really don't have a lot of guys who are right shots and it gives you another dimension as far as the shot that you saw, as far as one-touching pucks to certain areas. It makes it more challenging for the other team and with him and Step we have two guys that can probably help us on two different PPs." (NYR

 (Andy Marlin)
(Andy Marlin)

First Period:

  • Jason Chimera (1:33) - ASST: Stephen Gionta, Jesse Graham
  • Mika Zibanejad (4:55) - ASST: Adam Clenending, Brandon Pirri
  • Chris Kreider (18:10) - ASST: Adam Clendening, Matt Bodie

Second Period:

  • Brandon Pirri (Power Play, 17:05) - ASST: Mika Zibanejad, Chris Kreider

Third Period:

  • Nick Leddy (11:54) - ASST: Matthew Barzal, P.A. Parenteau
  • Dylan McIlrath (13:28) - ASST: Mika Zibanejad
  • Dan Girardi (ENG, 17:47)

Notes:

  • Magnus Hellberg stopped 12 of 13 shots for the Rangers, while Mackenzie Skapski stopped 15 of 16.

Stats:

Three Stars:

  • 3: Adam Clendening
  • 2: Chris Kreider
  • 1: Mika Zibanejad

Adam's Thoughts:

  • Well the first Rangers hockey in many months was very fun to watch despite the fact that most of the top players, including the Franchise goalie, were not on the ice.
  • Mika Zibanejad showed everyone the kind of player he is and what he can do. He has an excellent shot, created chances and certainly made a good first impression.
  • Brandon Pirri shot the puck like crazy and certainly showed what he can bring to the Rangers lineup and power play.
  • Adam Clendening worked the PP well, moved the puck well and while I still think he is on the outside looking in for a regular spot, if he keeps up this PP work that may force him in.
  • Both Hellberg and Skapski were solid in net which is hopefully a good sign for the Hartford goaltending duo.
  • Chris Kreider was also very strong and had a very solid game.
  • Pavel Buchnevich is definitely in a learning process but it was really cool and encouraging to see all the shots on the bench of him communicating, in one way or another, with his teammates or Scott Arniel.
  • Overall, the main takeaway is that it's the preseason. Almost everyone for the Rangers made a good first impression, and it was fun to see what some of the new players have the ability to do, but it's still so early in the process for this season. We will learn more about these players and this team over the next five preseason games and then we will see what they can do when the Islanders have their full team for the opener.
Tags: Dan Girardi , Dylan McIlrath , Magnus Hellberg

10:10PM: Jooris "tweaked" his groin at the start of the game and a player who was cut earlier will be recalled. (NYR)

7:54PM: The Rangers have announced that Josh Jooris will not return to tonight's game because of a groin injury.

Jooris played 1:14 in the first with 1 takeaway and going 1 and 1 on faceoffs.

Jooris had four shifts and spent 1:06 of his 1:14 on the PK.

 

Tags: Josh Jooris

Apr 7, 2016; San Jose, CA, USA; Winnipeg Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba (8) looks to pass against the San Jose Sharks in the second period at SAP Center at San Jose. Winnipeg won 5-4. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports (John Hefti)
Apr 7, 2016; San Jose, CA, USA; Winnipeg Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba (8) looks to pass against the San Jose Sharks in the second period at SAP Center at San Jose. Winnipeg won 5-4. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports (John Hefti)

9/27/16: Bob McKenzie, on Insider Trading, listed the Rangers as one of four teams with "a really significant interest" in Trouba but don't have the assets to make a deal. (TSN)

Arizona, Boston and Colorado are the other team's McKenzie mentioned and he noted that Winnipeg is looking for a similar player to Trouba in age, upside and skill that is a left-hand shot. (TSN)

9/26/16 Bob McKenzie said on TSN690 that the Rangers, among other teams, would likely have interest in Trouba but don't have the asset Winnipeg would want in return. (Slapshot)

McKenzie says that as of now it looks like the Jets are looking for a "high-impact" one for one type of deal. (Slapshot)

9/25/16 Jacob Trouba and his agent released a statement last night saying that that Trouba was requesting a trade from the Winnipeg Jets. (Sportsnet)

The statement said that Trouba wished to be traded because the Jets already had two right shot defensemen, Dustin Byfuglien & Tyler Myers, signed long-term in front of him.

Larry Brooks speculates that the Winnipeg Jets would likely ask for Ryan McDonagh in return for Trouba.

Adam Rotter: As with any player of somewhat prominence or upside the Rangers have been thrown around as a possible landing spot for Trouba. There is almost no fit though that would see the Rangers landing Trouba without totally reshaping/decimating the roster that Jeff Gorton spent a summer reshaping already.

Trouba is 22, was picked 9th overall in 2012, just played for Team North America and is one of the best young defensemen in the league. He is not coming to the Rangers for anything less than the Rangers best assets. Expecting the Jets to part with one of their top assets for anything less than Ryan McDonagh, as a starting point, is crazy. This doesn't even bring up the idea that the Rangers would very likely NOT trade McDonagh, their best defenseman and captain, for a pending RFA.

Players like Trouba aren't traded often and certainly not for spare parts, the players on the roster you don't like. As with the idea of any possible trade for a good young player to the Rangers, the pieces you have to start with are the guys you don't want to trade: Buchnevich, Vesey, McDonagh, Kreider, Hayes, Miller, Skjei etc. It costs a lot to get good young players, that is why Taylor Hall went for Adam Larsson.


 (Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports)
(Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports)

New York Rangers General Manager Jeff Gorton announced today that the team has reduced its Training Camp roster by 13 players.

Adam Chapie, Troy Donnay, Michael Joly, and Ahti Oksanen have been assigned to the Hartford Wolf Pack of the American Hockey League (AHL). Matt Carey, Spiro Goulakos, and Garrett Noonan were released from their Professional Tryouts, while Nick Betz, Reid Duke, and Joseph Raaymakers were released from their Amateur Tryouts. In addition, Tim Gettinger, Ty Ronning, and Sergey Zborovskiy were returned to their respective junior clubs.

Carey, Chapie, Donnay, Duke, Goulakos, Joly, Noonan, and Oksanen will all report to the Wolf Pack's Training Camp.

The Rangers have 50 players remaining in Training Camp. The roster breakdown is listed below:

Forwards (28): Chris Brown, Pavel Buchnevich, Jesper Fast, Steven Fogarty, Gabriel Fontaine, Nathan Gerbe, Tanner Glass, Michael Grabner, Ryan Gropp, Kevin Hayes, Marek Hrivik, Nicklas Jensen, Josh Jooris, Robin Kovacs, Chris Kreider, Maxim Lapierre, Oscar Lindberg, Philip McRae, J.T. Miller, Rick Nash, Cristoval Nieves, Brandon Pirri, Derek Stepan, Malte Stromwall, Adam Tambellini, Jimmy Vesey, Mika Zibanejad, Mats Zuccarello

Defensemen (16): Calle Andersson, Mat Bodie, Adam Clendening, Sean Day, John Gilmour, Dan Girardi, Ryan Graves, Nick Holden, Tommy Hughes, Kevin Klein, Ryan McDonagh, Dylan McIlrath, Michael Paliotta, Brady Skjei, Marc Staal, Chris Summers

Goaltenders (6): Brandon Halverson, Magnus Hellberg, Henrik Lundqvist, Jeff Malcolm, Antti Raanta, Mackenzie Skapski


The Rangers have announced that the following players are playing tonight against the Islanders in the pre-season opener:

  • Chris Kreider, Mika Zibanejad, Pavel Buchnevich
  • Brandon Pirri, Josh Jooris, Nicklas Jensen
  • Robin Kovacs, Marek Hrivik, Malte Stromwall
  • Tanner Glass, Maxim Lapierre, Chris Brown

Marc Staal, Adam Clendening

Brady Skjei, Dan Girardi

Mat Bodie, Dylan McIlrath

Magnus Hellberg will start in goal and split time with Mackenzie Skapski.


Nov 14, 2015; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) makes a save on a shot from Ottawa Senators center Mika Zibanejad (93) in the shootout at Canadian Tire Centre. The Rangers defeated the Senators 2-1 in a shootout. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports (Marc DesRosiers)
Nov 14, 2015; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) makes a save on a shot from Ottawa Senators center Mika Zibanejad (93) in the shootout at Canadian Tire Centre. The Rangers defeated the Senators 2-1 in a shootout. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports (Marc DesRosiers)

Alain Vigneault said that all of the Rangers scouts and members of management feel that Mika Zibanejad is "on the upswing."

He said that Zibanejad has played PP, PK and 5 on 5 in Ottawa and brings speed, skill and youth with him.

Vigneault said that the Rangers don't believe Zibanejad has fully developed yet and that by putting him in the "right environment" with teammates and coaches that they can "get more" from him.

He continued, "we think we have a good young player we will be able to work with for a long time."

Zibanejad, 23, said that he hasn't hit his "peak" yet and knows that he has more to give as a player. (NYR)

Mika said that the expectations of his game are to just continue to grow and evolve. (NYR)

He said that he wants to be a "leading player" in the Rangers top-six as well as someone who is used when the Rangers are up by a goal or down by a goal. (NYR)

For a lot more on Zibanejad, click HERE.

Adam Rotter: Everything about Zibanejad, from his size, speed, two-way game, skills and age make him seem like a perfect fit for the Rangers on paper. He's a veteran of nearly 300 NHL games and is just about one month older than Jimmy Vesey. His youth as well as his experience make him a real fun guy for the Rangers to build their future.

Tags: Mika Zibanejad

 (Bill Streicher)
(Bill Streicher)

Magnus Hellberg will start tonight's game for the Rangers against the Islanders and will split time with Mackenzie Skapski. (NYR)

Hellberg, 25, played last season with Hartford going 30-20-3 with 3 shutouts, a .833 save percentage and 2.40 GAA.

He played one period with the Rangers last season, allowing 2 goals on 6 shots.

Hellberg is an RFA after the season and finishing up a two-year deal that has an NHLcap hit of $625,000 but will pay him $100,000 if he is in the AHL. (Cap Friendly)

In 27 games in the ECHL last season, Skapski was 5-14-4 with a GAA of 3.26 and save percentage of .901.

He played in 13 games fot the Wolf Pack, with a GAA of 3.05 and a save percentage of .902 to go with a record of 5-7.

In his last three games in the AHL though in April, Skpaksi stopped 79 of 84 shots.

Tags: Mackenzie Skapski , Magnus Hellberg

Alain Vigneault said that Pavel Buchnevich is a young player with "tremendous upside" but that "it's up to him, with our help, to help him be the best player he can be."

Mika Zibanejad said that from his short time with Buchnevich he can tell that he is "really skilled," passes the puck well, brings lots of speed and is "fun to play with." (NYR)

Zibanejad said that the key to working with Buchnevich now is to keep things simple with speaking and to use words that he understands.

He added that that Buchnevich is a "smart guy when it comes to hockey and knows how to play."   (NYR)

Chris Kreider said that Buchnevich's English has gotten a lot better and that he is a very amicable guy who is getting along with everyone. (NYR)

Adam Rotter: It's exciting that Buchnevich will be playing for the Rangers tonight and what most of us hope will develop into an All-Star caliber career. Many of us have only seen highlights or occasional glimpses of Buchnevich since he was drafted but that changes tonight when he takes the ice with Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider. I'm not expecting him to put up 8 points tonight, dominant or be the best player on the ice. Tonight is just another step for him in the long process of becoming an NHLer and adjusting to life in a new world.

Tags: Pavel Buchnevich

Mar 21, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers left wing Rick Nash (61) celebrates his goal against the Florida Panthers with New York Rangers right wing Mats Zuccarello (36) during the third period at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers defeated the Panthers 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Mar 21, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers left wing Rick Nash (61) celebrates his goal against the Florida Panthers with New York Rangers right wing Mats Zuccarello (36) during the third period at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers defeated the Panthers 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Rick Nash said last week that he doesn't consider his job with the Rangers this season to be "safe at all." (NYR)

He said that last year was not a good year for him and he is looking at this season as a "fresh start" and an opportunity to "prove himself." (NYR)

Nash said that his leg didn't feel 100% until the summer but said that he came into camp in his "best shape yet." (NYR)

He added that he takes pride in how he plays defense but said, "I know why I am here and why I get paid: to score goals. I gotta be that much better and try harder to get more goals." (NYR)

Alain Vigneault said that Nash has the right attitude and that players should want to come here, prove themselves and "earn ice time."

Vigneault added that the Rangers need Nash to be on the scoresheet and a "force" offensively.

He added, "we know that he is smart and understands the game and plays a smart two-way game, but that offense that he brings, he is one of elite offensive players and we need that from him."

Jeff Gorton said on Saturday "I think Nash is going to make our team. I read the quotes, but I'm pretty comfortable he will be on the team.

For more on Nash, click HERE.

Adam Rotter: Nash certainly seems motivated and ready to be a 30-40 goal scorer again. If he's healthy he is still the Rangers top offensive threat and if he's healthy there is no reason to think he won't get at least 30 goals this season. He wants to earn his spot, earn his ice time and earn his role and hopefully everyone else is following his lead with that kind of mindset.

Tags: Rick Nash

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

  • On World Cup players being back today, "All three of Step, Mac and JT all came by today and did light off-ice workouts. All three will skate tomorrow morning with the injured guys who are skating with Cach, our skill coach, and they will be officially re-joining the group on Wednesday. They will be practicing with the group that didn't play the night before, the 11AM group, they won't play on Thursday. I also talked to Hank yesterday. Hank is coming back today. He is going to come in tomorrow to talk to the guys quickly but I gave him off until Saturday. He will start practicing with the team on Saturday."
  • On his impressions of training camp, "first day that I talked to you guys I talked about the energy that I felt, the focus that I felt and I was right. I am usually right (laugh) but I was right. The guys are working extremely hard on the ice, they are paying attention to the details we have talked about, that we are showing them before we go out. Focus on areas that we feel we need to put emphasis on to be a better team with the puck, without the puck, they have certainly done that in the first three days. Usually, practice wise, this would be the toughest day, that third day is always more challenging physically, guys are sore but both groups today, the tempo was high, execution was good. We are coming along, I like what I see as far as our group getting on the same page, of our structure and system and it's about getting better everyday and that is what we are working on."
  • On what he wants to see from Buchnevich and Zibanejad, "sorta what I have been seeing in practice, there is a high level of skill and speed, with Kreids obviously, I have liked how they have performed so far. With Buch, you have to understand that we have a young player that has a tremendous amount of upside but we need to help him with the process, we need to help him with the language. My understanding from talking to the people, like JR (Rangers PR) who have been here with him a lot longer than I have, his English has improved quite a bit. Hockey wise, from what I saw at development camp to what I see now, you can tell the potential that is there. It's up to him, with our help, to help him be the best player he can be."
  • On what Buchnevich can do, "Skill set, being able to make plays in those small areas. Being able to skate and move the puck and find open players. That line has made some highly skilled plays. Mind you, they aren't going against NHL players all the time because we have some young players, some guys from Hartford who are there. I am looking forward to the game tomorrow, it will be Mika's first chance to play at MSG, same for Buch. Kreids' is becoming a veteran player on our team who will help those two make the adjustment. There is no doubt that there has been a lot of talk about this young man because of his upside. Having seen him now for a short amount of time, there is upside there and we need to help him figure it out and come along here."
  • On players knowing there are open spots, "we made it very clear in the initial meeting we had with the group that there is opportunity. I mentioned this the first day, because of the condensed schedule teams are going to need a little bit more depth. Here is six exhibition games and practices where they are being evaluated by coaches on the ice and management in the stands. After everyday we get together and say who we liked and what we saw and tomorrow, game-wise against another team will be the first chance to get an opportunity to evaluate these guys. There is ice time and there is roles and I am hoping there will be some good internal competition and they will make the decisions hard for us."

New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) reacts during the first period against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Madison Square Garden. ( Adam Hunger)
New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) reacts during the first period against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Madison Square Garden. ( Adam Hunger)

3:07PM: Following Sweden's elimination in the World Cup yesterday, Henrik Lundqvist will join the Rangers for practice on Saturday. (NYR)

Alain Vigneault said that he spoke with Lundqvist and that he doesn't know yet when or how much Lundqvist will play in the preseason. (Rangers Report)

Vigneault said that he believes Lundqvist wants to get in practice time before playing in any games. (Zipay)

In the three World Cup games, Lundqvist had 109 of 116 shots and had a GAA of 2.25 with 1 shutout.

Tags: Henrik Lundqvist

Pavel Buchnevich, via translator, spoke with the media today (NYR):

  • On Traverse City, "I haven't been playing for more than five months and only a couple of games that I played here. First it was difficult and then I improved and there were some good moments."
  • On training camp so far, "to be honest it was difficult mostly because everyone speaks English and I am trying to understand but I don't understand everything yet."
  • On his English work, "It has improved a little and my teammates have helped me out, Mika especially so every time I have a question I go to him."
  • On playing with Kreider and Mika, "I like very much playing with them and we will see where the game goes."
  • Are you comfortable playing right wing, "I always play right wing."
  • On playing at MSG, "I try not to be nervous but of course tomorrow I think I will feel it before the game."
  • On his expectations, "first of all it's just important to make it to the team and that is my main focus. To make the team win is the most important thing right now."
Tags: Pavel Buchnevich

Apr 19, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) makes a save against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the third period of game three of the first round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. The Penguins defeated the Rangers 3-1 to take a two games to one lead in the best of seven series. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Apr 19, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) makes a save against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the third period of game three of the first round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. The Penguins defeated the Rangers 3-1 to take a two games to one lead in the best of seven series. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Alain Vigneault said that in an "ideal world' the Rangers would like to have Henrik Lundqvist play between 50 and 58 games this season. (Zipay and Treff)

He explained that the condensed schedule this season, and the 5-day bye week that every team has makes it that you will need two goalies.

Vigneault also said that he and his staff looked at how many games the goalies who have won in the past few years have played and it's usually between 50 and 58.

Lundqvist started 65 games last season.

Lundqvist has not started fewer than 62 games, except for injury or lockout, since his rookie season when he started 53 games.

There has been talk about trying to reduce Lundqvist's workload this season.

For more on Hank, click HERE.

Tags: Henrik Lundqvist

Sep 14, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Team Europe forward Mats Zuccarello (63) battles for the puck with Team Sweden defenseman Erik Karlsson (65) in front of Team Sweden goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) in the first period during a World Cup of Hockey pre-tournament game at Verizon Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports (Geoff Burke)
Sep 14, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Team Europe forward Mats Zuccarello (63) battles for the puck with Team Sweden defenseman Erik Karlsson (65) in front of Team Sweden goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) in the first period during a World Cup of Hockey pre-tournament game at Verizon Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports (Geoff Burke)

Mats Zuccarello and Team Europe have defeated Henrik Lundqvist and Team Sweden in the World Cup semi-final to advance to the best of three Final against Canada.

Zuccarello had the primary assist on the game winning goal by Tomas Tatar, had one shot on goal, one shot blocked and one shot that missed the net in 19:44.

He had 1 giveaway, 3 blocked shots, played 17:42 at even strength, 2:02 on the PP, 6:42 in the first, 5:48 in the second, 6:32 in the third and 42 seconds in OT.


Lundqvist stopped 28 of 31 shots in the loss for Sweden.


Adam Rotter: As much as I always root for Henrik Lundqvist to win, I don't hate the fact that he doesn't need to play at least two, possibly three, high intensity games against Canada BEFORE the regular season even starts. It will be nice for him to be back in New York over the next few days, probably join the team on the ice later in the week and begin his journey for this season.

As for Zuccarello, it's nice seeing him play well in a pretty big role for Europe. Hopefully he will easily transition his strong play from the World Cup to the regular season.

Tags: Henrik Lundqvist , Mats Zuccarello

Rangers center Oscar Lindberg shoots the puck against the Ottawa Senators at Madison Square Garden.in the Rangers' 4-1 in December. (Vincent Carchietta/USATSI)
Rangers center Oscar Lindberg shoots the puck against the Ottawa Senators at Madison Square Garden.in the Rangers' 4-1 in December. (Vincent Carchietta/USATSI)

While recovering from hip surgery Oscar Lindberg is skating on his own during the first few days of training camp. (NYR)

Lindberg has been skating for the past few weeks.

Lindberg is said to be on schedule to return in November. (Cerny)

Boo Nieves, who suffered an upper body injury in the final game in Traverse City, is being listed as day to day and not skating. (NYR

 

Tags: Boo Nieves , Oscar Lindberg

 (@nyrangers on twitter)
(@nyrangers on twitter)

Jeff Gorton met with the media on Saturday and said the following about his team (NYR):

  • On the Zibanejad trade, "we talked at the time of the trade. He's a player we have liked for a while, we like his skating, skill, ability to score, right hand shot on the PP. Pretty well rounded defensively. Then you throw in his age, he's scored 20 goals twice in the league. Those were all part of it. Brass was a really good player for us and you need to give to get and we are comfortable with Mika going forward and today too."
  • On having some control over Zibanejad, "financially that is always a factor. We live in a cap world and obviously Mika makes less money than Brass does and all of those factors."
  • On the roster changes this summer, "we are excited about the changes we have been able to make. I think there was a lot of people thought we would do a wholesale, change everything but we are comfortable with the roster right now and will see where it goes from there. In all positions we will have a competitive camp, we added some players that we really like. I don't think we had to go too far down the road with term on some players which makes us more comfortable going forward. We added some players and Vesey to cap it off. We are excited but there is a lot to happen first."
  • Can you make a lot of changes season to season, "if you look at the final last year, those two teams maybe talked about changing their teams a little bit, SJ and Pitt, we had knocked Pitt out a couple of years in a row and talk about what they would do next and they made some changes and we all know the rest of the story. The same holds true for SJ. Thing change quickly in this league and you make the right moves and things happen quickly. You can turn a team around pretty quick."
  • On the idea of wholesale changes, "I get it, we had a pretty good run, we didn't win which is what we wanted. We had a good run and this group has done a lot together, won a lot of games, played a lot of playoff games. I think that we as an organization feel more comfortable with some of the guys than some other people do. We have a lot of confidence in a lot of players who have had success. If we continue to add and bring in players and improve, that is the most important thing we can do."
  • On the schedule and bye week from a GM point of view, "we are all weary of it. It is condensed but it's all the same. 30 teams have the same issues. I don't spend too much time thinking about it to be honest. I think there are bigger things to worry about. We all have to deal with it, it's nice to have depth."
  • Does depth play into it, "yea, I think so. As we signed some guys into the summer you start thinking about a tighter schedule and making sure we are covered and can have good camp battles and also go to Hartford and find players when we need them."
  • On having some cap space, "cap space is key and you know that. We all need a little bit of space for some flexibility to move guys around.
  • On veterans feeling they have something to prove, "I think Nash is going to make our team. I read the quotes, but I'm pretty comfortable he will be on the team. We are comfortable...I think it's a good thing and our players are weary of what happened last year. They are mindful of what is next and where we have to go. We have our players full attention on what we need to do. We have raised the bar, had some success, we are trying to get to the next level of winning and we continue to do that every day. There is a lot of pride in that room and we have accomplished a lot and I am comfortable with our guys knowing where they have to go."
  • On anyone making the playoffs having a chance, "I think it's true. You look at LA making it in at 8th and winning it all. I don't think too many people have come in first and have been the obvious favorite. You need to get in, you need to have a great season to get in and then who knows what happens. That is how we start off the season. Our number one goal is to make the playoffs and hopefully hit our stride at the right time. Last year we didn't hit our stride at the right time and in other years we have done a better job. Getting in is what we are talking about now and we will go from there."
  • Did you think about making more of a wholesale change, "Yea, sure. That is part of my job to see what we can do and make the team better. Based on the fact that some guys are still here will tell you that some of the situations that were out there were not better than what we have now. I think we have a strong group and it's been successful and I am comfortable with the guys we have back now."
  • On the first few days of camp, "it's exciting, we are all excited that they are out there with pucks and the testing is over and the guys are back ready to play. We have some games on Tuesday and Thursday. We are looking for some energy and seeing how the new guys fit in and see if some of the guys come back and their conditioning levels. Just to see how players are fitting in and guys with NHL caliber players. You watch everything and it's exciting to get back, it's been a long summer."
  • How limited were you in trying to make moves this summer, "those clauses limit everyone, we all have the same situations. I would never want to talk about an individual player having anything to do with that and I wouldn't tell you even if it was. We had a lot of conversations about a lot of different things and we are really comfortable and excited about the group we have now."
  • Do you keep those conversations open, "we are never going to turn down a deal to make ourselves better, that is what we do, that is part of the job, that is the job. We are always looking to get better and we will continue to do that."
  • On the re-signed RFA's, "in JT's situation it was the right move for both sides. I think he felt comfortable with a couple of years and we felt comfortable with a couple of years. With Chris it was a little longer but we are comfortable with what we did there and comfortable with both sides. Hayes, similar to JT it was time for those guys to show us a little more so we can eventually go for a bigger term with them."
  • Do you have bigger expectations, "my expectations for everybody is that they should be better and try to get better. A lot of times we talk about how players get better every year and I think that in those guys cases, 25-26 and under there. I think it's important that we get better and we will be an improved team if they all are better and that is what we expect."


Dec 29, 2015; Sunrise, FL, USA; iFlorida Panthers center Brandon Pirri (73) skates in the third period of a game against the Montreal Canadiens at BB&T Center. The Panthers won 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports (Robert Mayer)
Dec 29, 2015; Sunrise, FL, USA; iFlorida Panthers center Brandon Pirri (73) skates in the third period of a game against the Montreal Canadiens at BB&T Center. The Panthers won 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports (Robert Mayer)

Alain Vigneault said that when he spoke with Brandon Pirri he mentioned that players only get "so many kicks at the can" in the NHL.

He said that he told him that and explained the kind of opportunity Pirri had with the Rangers.

Vigneault said that he senses that Pirri will be "highly motivated" to prove that he can "make our team and contribute."

He noted that if Pirri makes the Rangers it would likely be in an offensive role as part of the top-nine.

Vigneault said that Pirri is in a similar situation to what Benoit Pouliot was in a few years ago and that he has made that comparison with other players that have been brought in as well. (MSG)

Pirri said that training camp provides and opportunity for everyone and that you need to make an impression early and then stay consistent. (NYR)

For a lot more on Pirri, click HERE.

Adam Rotter: Pirri is pretty much the ultimate low risk, high reward type of player. He has proven that he score in the NHL but is cheap enough to put on waivers if things, for whatever reason, don't work out. The best thing, to me, about Pirri is that his number one priority on the ice is to shoot the puck. The Rangers need a shooter, especially on the PP, and that should provide opportunities not only for him but for everyone else.

Tags: Brandon Pirri

Apr 23, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) sweeps the puck from in front of the net against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the first period in game five of the first round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the CONSOL Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)
Apr 23, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) sweeps the puck from in front of the net against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the first period in game five of the first round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the CONSOL Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)

Henrik Lundqvist was speaking with Larry Brooks and on the topic of the Rangers window to win being closed, Lundqvist asked the rhetorical question: "the window closed on me? On us?" (NY Post)

Lundqvist's response was "oh, I don't think so. I don't see it that way at all." (NY Post)

He followed up by saying that the Rangers might look a little different but the "mindset" the organization has is to always give the players the "best possible to chance to compete at the highest level and to win." (NY Post)

Lundqvist says that he feels good about this season for the Rangers and adds, "the window hasn't closed on anything." (NY Post)

For more, click HERE, HERE and HERE.

Adam Rotter: My feeling is that as long as Henrik Lundqvist is at the top of his game the Rangers will have a chance to contend for the Stanley Cup. That said, so much about the Rangers ability to win goes beyond Lundqvist. Puck management needs to be better, forwards need to get back on defense, the defense needs to be better and the Rangers need the players who can take another step to actually take that step. I don't think the Rangers window is closed but it's definitely not as wide open as it has been the past couple of years.

Tags: Henrik Lundqvist

Apr 4, 2016; Columbus, OH, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi (5) against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena. The Rangers won 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)
Apr 4, 2016; Columbus, OH, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi (5) against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena. The Rangers won 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)

Dan Girardi said that he is feeling the best that he has in the last 3-4 years and feels good about himself and how he feels. (Newsday)

Girardi said that while he doesn't care what the "doubters" are saying about him, he wants to prove that he can still play and help the team. (Rangers Report)

Asked if he felt he could be the player he was in the past, Girardi said, "I have no doubt at all. I am ready for this year." (Newsday)

On his broken kneecap last season, Girardi called it a "freak thing" where it a "little wrist shot" hit his kneecap and he was bothered for the whole season. (Rangers Report)

He noted that losing in the first round isn't what anyone wants but adds that it gave everyone a chance to "rest and get mentally right." (Newsday)

Alain Vigneault said that Girardi was able to get a "mental and physical" break this summer and was able to "heal his body." (Rangers Report)

Vigneault said that everything that he has seen from Girardi so far indicates that he is feeling good and added "the warrior who put his body on the line for his teammates, I think that is the Dan Girardi we are going to see." (Rangers Report)

Jeff Gorton said over the summer that the organization believes Girardi will be better this season.

Adam Rotter: Everything sounds good and all the right things are said before the season, but it's the actions that Dan Girardi will take this season on the ice that will hopefully speak louder and confirm his optimistic words. I've often said that if Girardi can just be a little better this season it will make the Rangers a lot better. He didn't gain Conor McDavid's speed over the summer but if he can make smart decisions with the puck and hold his own positionally, along with taking rest when it's needed, the Rangers will have a better #5 and better defense this season.

Tags: Dan Girardi

Alain Vigneault gives instructions against the Pittsburgh Penguins. (AP)
Alain Vigneault gives instructions against the Pittsburgh Penguins. (AP)

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

  • On Marc Staal and Dan Girardi: "they are huge. It's no secret that one of the areas that we need to improve, yesterday we talked about the PK, but we all know that our overall defensive play needs to be better in all facets, whether it be in our zone to coming back to our zone. Those guys are such a big part of that, good gap, good sticks, being able to win some one on ones down low because our second guy is down there and gets the puck. We spend less time in our zone. I talked to both of them, Marc has told me that he feels strong and that his legs feel strong. Those battles that he used to win with a big body presence, I believe that will enable us to play a real fast pace defensively and offensively. We need those players on top of their game. Come tomorrow we start to practice and hopefully we see it in the near future."
  • On the fourth line center candidates: "there is quite a few. From [Josh Jooris] that we picked up during the summer to obviously [Oscar Lindberg], to [Marek Hrivik], to [Maxin Lapierre], to etc. There are quite a few possibilities. I just look throughout the NHL and the teams that seem able to win or have won, Pitt last year, three pretty good offensive lines and one line that was doing all of the defensive zone faceoffs. I don't like to talk about us in the past but in my first year we had three lines that could score and a fourth line that helped on the PK, etc. LA was built the same way, Boston was built the same way a few years back. It's something offensively, our depth, is going to permit us. We just need to find the right people on those three lines, that good internal competition, and then find the people for the fourth line."
  • On Rick Nash wanting to prove himself: "it's the right attitude to have. A player should want to come here and prove and earn the ice time. We talked about it yesterday, solid two-way player but there is no going away from the fact that we need his offense. We need him to be on the scoresheet, we need him to be a force offensively. We know that he is smart and understands the game and plays a smart two-way game, but that offense that he brings, he is one of elite offensive players and we need that from him."
  • On Dylan McIlrath: "he has some good internal competition on the right side. If Dylan plays on a regular basis in the NHL it will be first and foremost because defensively he is real dependable. When you talk about that you are talking about a good gap, good on one on ones. What we also see from Dylan is good puck decision. Doesn't need to be 2-3 guys going up the ice but he needs to make a good first pass to do that. You need to beat the first forechecker, if he can do that and make that first pass then he has some good internal competition there on the right side. With his size, I've been here for four years and I have seen him progress the four years. I'm expecting him to be better than he was at the end of last year. He has exhibition games to prove it, very well respected and liked by his teammates. Brings an element that all teams like to have. Hopefully in the next couple of weeks he will prove that he can make our team."
  • On Girardi, "I do believe that after a summer that he was able to get as far as mental break, physical break, being able to heal his body. Everything that I have seen so far, all the indications not just what I have seen on the ice and in the gym but how he is conducting himself, real positive attitude is giving me every indication. He has been so good for so long and the warrior who put his body on the line for his teammates, I think that is the Dan Girardi we are going to see." (Rangers Report)
  • McDonagh, Stepan and Miller will likely be off until Tuesday or Wednesday. All three players said that they don't want to take a lot of time off. (Rangers Report)
  •  

Feb 18, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Rangers defenseman Marc Staal (18) during the pre game warm up against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports (John E. Sokolowski)
Feb 18, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Rangers defenseman Marc Staal (18) during the pre game warm up against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports (John E. Sokolowski)

Marc Staal spoke with the media on Friday and said (NYR):

  • How are you feeling, "good. Good summer and trained hard. Probably as healthy and strong as I have been in a long time. Looking forward to camp."
  • On his conversation with AV, "I think that as much as you want to learn from the past, it's important for us to turn the page and get by last year and come into camp with a fresh, optimistic, approach. It's definitely a lot longer of an offseason than we are used to. Coming into camp I feel a good energy about our group and the way we feel going into camp."
  • On being able to train this summer, "it was nice to take 3/3 1/2 weeks off with nothing really holding me back and waiting for things to heal. That got me excited to get into the summer and training and hopefully it pays dividends coming into camp and the season."
  • On a chip on your shoulder, "I think so. We are a group that, me and a lot of other guys have a feeling that we need to prove ourselves over again. With the expectations of our group the last few years you have that feeling where you are supposed to be there at a high level and we were last year and everyone is excited to come to camp and have that chip where we know the way we can play and it's about performing and doing it on the ice more consistently this year and we are looking forward to it."
Tags: Marc Staal

Apr 16, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Rangers left wing Rick Nash (61) moves the puck against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the first period in game two of the first round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the CONSOL Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)
Apr 16, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Rangers left wing Rick Nash (61) moves the puck against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the first period in game two of the first round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the CONSOL Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)

Alain Vigneault said that he "firmly believes" that Rick Nash's scoring touch is still there and that Nash is a "complete player." (Rangers Report)

Vigneault notes that Nash was out almost two months last season with a broken leg, though at the time it was called a deep bone bruise. (Rangers Report)

Nash has been skating in New York for a while and Vigneault said that he came to camp in "great shape." (Rangers Report)

Vigneault also added that the Rangers "need" Nash to be that two-way player and that part of being a two-way player is adding offense. (Rangers Report)

He said that Nash expects those things of himself and that he is "confident" that the Rangers will get that. (Rangers Report)

For more on Nash, click here.

Tags: Rick Nash

Dan Girardi and Marc Staal watch the final seconds during the third period of a first-round NHL playoff game. (Gene J. Puskar)
Dan Girardi and Marc Staal watch the final seconds during the third period of a first-round NHL playoff game. (Gene J. Puskar)

9/23/16: 3:13PM: Vigneault said that Staal and Girardi are "huge" parts of this team.

He said that Marc Staal feels good and strong and will get back to winning those one on one battles he used to win.

He added "We need those players on top of theri game."

8:58AM: Alain Vigneault says that both Dan Girardi and Marc Staal have turned the page from last season and are focused on "right now." (Newsday)

Vigneualt said that the two defensemen seem to be in a "good space mentally" and that they are coming off their first chance in a long time to "recover" and get a "good summer of training." (Newsday)

He said that the duo seem "anxious" for the opportunity ahead, know they are "important parts" of the Rangers being successful and Vigneault gets the sense that "they want to prove that they're very good players." (Newsday)

For a lot more on Girardi, click here, and Staal, click here.

Adam Rotter: The Rangers are putting a lot of faith in the idea that a long summer allowed these two to fully rest, recover and train like they haven't in probably five years or so. There is a lot of faith being put into this duo having versions of a bounce back year and in some way re-solidifying what for a few years was a top NHL defense.

Tags: Dan Girardi , Marc Staal

Sep 22, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Team USA defenseman Ryan McDonagh (27) and Team Czech Republic forward Milan Michalek (9) go after a puck during the second period of preliminary round play in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports (John E. Sokolowski)
Sep 22, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Team USA defenseman Ryan McDonagh (27) and Team Czech Republic forward Milan Michalek (9) go after a puck during the second period of preliminary round play in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports (John E. Sokolowski)

Ryan McDonagh scored a third-period shorthanded goal but Team USA lost 4-3 to the Czech Republic.

McDonagh was a minus one in the game, played 19:25, had two shots on goal, 5 shot attempts blocked, 1 shot that missed the net, 1 takeaway and 1 blocked shot.

He played 18:02 at even strength and 1:23 on the PK with 6:19 in the first, 7:04 in the second and 6:02 in the third.


Derek Stepan was a minus two, had four shots on goal, 1 shot attempt blocked, 4 shots that missed the net, 1 hit, 1 giveaway, 1 takeaway, 1 blocked shot and was 6 and 13 on faceoffs.

Stepan played 20:13 overall with 17:23 at even strength, 2:20 on the PP and 30 seconds on the PK with 5:03 in the first, 6:33 in the second and 8:37 in the third.

Team USA finished the World Cup 0-3 and Stepan and McDonagh will return to the Rangers in the coming days.

Tags: Derek Stepan , Ryan McDonagh

Alain Vigneault met with the media on Thursday on the first day of training camp and said (NYR)

  • On the roster being younger, "We are at the golf tournament yesterday and fans and players that I have talked with since I have been back here, you feel the energy. You feel a refreshed group, not just the players, but the fans and the staff. Everyone is excited about the players that we brought in from the veterans to some of the younger players that everyone has been talking about that will get a great opportunity to make this team. We have a lot of good decisions to make moving forward. There will be some great internal competition for ice time and roles on the team. It should make for a great training camp."
  • On Buchnevich and Vesey, "both their first experience as far as a pro camp. Both had real good games in Traverse City, I think that will help them coming into this camp. They just gotta play to their strengths. Highly skilled players. Our staff and management really believe that we have two good young prospects there. It's up to us as coaches to help develop them and to put them in situations where they can be successful. They are both good offensive players and we need to put them in those situations and give them the opportunity to show us and their teammates what they can do. We will make the decisions that need to be made."
  • Have expectations changed for the RFAs signed, "I do expect more. Those are young players and if we are going to get better as a group those players have to get better individually. The organization has shown those guys a lot of confidence in them by giving them those contracts and we gave it to them because we know that there is upside there and those players want bigger roles and want more minutes and want to prove that they can be impactful players and play a role that helps a team win. There is not doubt that those three players want that and want to be counted on and want to help this organization and team win."
  • On JT Miller, "I really don't think that it has much to do with the coaching staff, it has to do with JT figuring it out. I mentioned that a few times, players at some point as they are developing and getting mature they need to figure out what it takes to be a pro and I think that JT as time has gone by has figured it out. He knows he has to have a great attitude and committed to his conditioning and that he needs to come in every day and try and get a little bit better skill wise and knowledge wise. He has done that and I am very happy for him making the team and having the success he is having right now. I've gotta see the same thing when he comes back with the Rangers."
  • On the World Cup players, "I've been excited about the opportunity that they are getting. They get to play against the best in the world. I am very confident that they are all going to learn from this experience and bring some positives back to our group and share them with their teammates. The only guys that I have talked to, the only player that I have talked to, I talked to Step yesterday and he wanted to know what the plan was as far as coming back because obviously they are not moving ahead. I will wait until we talk to Mac and obviously we will give players who have been in that event a couple of days off because they have been going at it for close to 3 weeks and if they go to the finals then close to a month and we will give them the time here that they need to recover physically and mentally and hopefully they come back and bring something positive to our group."
  • On the defense, "I see there is obviously ice time available, there are roles available as far as Keith and Dan were a little bit more offensive oriented. There is opportunity there...for veteran guys like Ryan McDonagh, to take a little bit more to a young guy like Brady Skjei to take a little bit more, to Dylan. There are opportunities for defensemen who are coming to our camp to show their skill sets and to grab the opportunity and earn a spot on our team. I think about bringing Jeff on board with our coaching staff, I see a gentleman who has paid his dues and went from a player who worked hard to be a respected coach and now he is getting an opportunity with our coaching staff at another level. We have been working a long time, we had meetings this summer in mid-August where we went through our prep and our system and Jeff was a big part of bringing contributions to our discussions about where we want to go and what we want to do. I feel real good about him on board. I feel real good about my staff, we have been together for some time and there is good chemistry and communication. With all of that and with Jeff coming on board with this D group where we all know that there are a few guys there who have something to prove. It's going to be real positive for this group." 
  • On # of games for Hank, "Part of our brainstorming in the summer was going through what some of the goalies who have won in past years and how many games they have played in the regular season and it seems like goalies who have won in the last few years are all between 50 and 58 games. I think when I first got here I wanted to keep Hank around 60 or something in an ideal world, in an ideal world it seems now that goalies who have won have played a little bit less than that. Is that feasible, can we do that? I think this year one of the challenges that all teams are going to have is the condensed schedule. The schedule for every team, with that 5-day break, makes it for a lot of days in a short amount of time. You are going to need two goalies that can play and does that go into Hank at 50 or 58. I'm talking to you and I haven't talked to Hank about it. I am just giving you the stats, all 30 head coaches will talk to their goalies and see how they feel. Stats wise it seems like it's running in that area. Is that something we will look for moving forward. Our biggest thing for Henrik, our number one, is asking how he feels, is he energized, etc. He will be coming back from the World Cup in the next little while and we will start with that first discussion and go from there."
  • On the battle for spots, "I would say that there is a battle for 5-6-7-8 on D. There are some guys there who are young players that need to prove that they belong and deserve the ice time. There is definitely, and I don't need to go through all of the good internal competition that we have, up front, but there is definitely some competition. We would like 3 lines that can score, have a fourth line where it could be maybe a little bit more defensive oriented or PKers. There is some battles there and I expect good battles in training camp and guys fighting for roles."
  • On Zibanejad, "Our scouts and management all felt that he was on the upswing. He has been in Ottawa for a few years, has been able to play PP, PK, 5 on 5, the speed is there, skill, youth. We believe that he is not fully developed yet and that with the right environment teammate and coaching wise that we can get more from Mika, Z as his teammates seem to be calling him now. We think we have a good young player we will be able to work with for a long time."
  • On Pirri, "Talking about a skilled player, noted for his offensive capabilities. Also talking about a player who has gone few quite a few teams in a short little while. Usually that grabs players attention, you only get so many kicks at the can. I've talked to him and explained to him the opportunity in front of him. I told him exactly what I am telling you, you only get so many kicks at the can in this league. I am sensing that we will have a highly motivated player to prove that he can make our team and contribute. Obviously his role would be more offensive, your looking at a player fighting to get into the top-nine and he has got training camp to prove he can play on our team."
  • On the PK, "we made a lot of our decisions...don't like going into the past but if you look at the players we have lost, a lot of those guys are guys who played on the PK. We need to develop some or our younger guys like Jesper, we need to develop a couple of other younger guys but we brought in some players like Grabner that we feel have the capabilities of playing on the PK and helping our team there. We all know that special teams are an important part of your team having success. We know we have to improve in that area and we are."
  • Expectations for this season, "our first goal doesn't change. First goal is always the same and that is to get into the playoffs. It's hard and it's demanding and we are probably playing in the toughest division in the NHL. Once you are in there, 16 teams all have the same opportunity. You look at last year, SJ and Pitt. At some point everyone was saying that Pitt was on the decline and then they won the Stanley Cup. SJ the year before doesn't even get into the playoffs, We have changed some pieces, some important pieces, added...I feel the energy. Everyone is looking forward to training camp, the demands of getting on the same page and opportunity to prove that they belong here."

Sep 21, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Team Sweden goaltender Henrik Lundqvist (30) makes a pad save on Team North America left winger Johnny Gaudreau (13) in the first period during preliminary round play in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports (Kevin Sousa)
Sep 21, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Team Sweden goaltender Henrik Lundqvist (30) makes a pad save on Team North America left winger Johnny Gaudreau (13) in the first period during preliminary round play in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports (Kevin Sousa)

In two tournament games for Sweden, Henrik Lundqvist has stopped 81 of 85 shots, is 1-0-1 with a .953 save percentage and 1.95 GAA.

In two preliminary games, Lundqvist stopped 28 of 36 shots, was 1-1 and had a .778 save percentage and 4.49 GAA.

Lundqvist missed the first tournament game against Russia, a Sweden win, with the flu.

Carl Hagelin said "I played with Hank enough to know that he will step up when it really matters. He has been MVP the past few games and I didn't expect anything else from that guy." (McDonald)

Victor Hedman said, "he's been lights out. Without him last night it could have been 3 or 4 nothing. It means a lot to have a goalie bail you out. We are not surprised but we want to give him some more help in the coming games." (McDonald)

Adam Rotter: He's been flat out awesome for Sweden so far. I wasn't sure he would start against North America after his Finland shutout and things didn't look great early, but he kept Sweden in the game and allowed them to go to OT where they clinched a spot in the next round. Nathan MacKinnon had to make an unreal move to just to beat Lundqvist in the extremely exciting 3 on 3 portion of the game.

Tags: Henrik Lundqvist

Dec 30, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh (27) during the first period against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Dec 30, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh (27) during the first period against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Ryan McDonagh says that the Rangers have always taken pride with how they played in their own zone but that last year their defensive game was not one of their strengths. (NY Post)

McDonagh said that saying that is tough, but "it's true." (NY Post)

He said that as a defense they know they can get the job done but they need to "redevelop their confidence" and trust in one another. (NY Post)

McDonagh said that adding a "fresh voice" in Jeff Beukeboom will help. (NY Post)

For more, click HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE.


New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) and Marc Staal (18) embrace after their 4-2 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 2 in the first round of the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs in Pittsburgh, Saturday, April 16, 2016. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar (Gene J. Puska/AP)
New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) and Marc Staal (18) embrace after their 4-2 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 2 in the first round of the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs in Pittsburgh, Saturday, April 16, 2016. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar (Gene J. Puska/AP)

The Rangers will open their 2016 training camp today with all the players going through medical testing and head coach Alain Vigneault meeting with the media in the afternoon.

The first on-ice sessions are on Friday and the first preseason game is this coming Tuesday against the Islanders.

Rangers Report and the New York Post both list questions about Rick Nash, the defense, Dan Girardi and the new young players as things to watch for in training camp.

Adam Rotter: I said earlier this week on the Rangers Blue Line Podcast that my number one question heading into training camp was Girardi, Dan. I have far fewer worries about Marc Staal than Girardi and think that if Staal is healthy he is still a capable top-four defenseman. Girardi though has so many tough miles on him, is older and is seemingly always playing through something. If this extended rest has allowed Girardi a chance to recharge and return this season healthy then the Rangers will be much better off.

I'm not that concerned about Rick Nash. I think he's still the Rangers top forward, will play big two-way minutes and if he is healthy he will score 25-30 goals. How the rest of the lineup shakes out, especially where someone like Brandon Pirri fits in or whether Pavel Buchnevich starts in Hartford and much bigger questions or concerns to me than Nash is.

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