The New York Rangers have gotten off to a fast start this season as members of the team discuss what's gone right so far.
He said that he won't blame the coaches and that the reason he wasn't in the lineup was "all about my play." (NY Post)
In explaining the decision to put him on waivers, Alain Vigneault said that McIlrath deserved to be with the Rangers last season but there was a different dynamic this season.
He said that McIlrath's spot for this season had less to do with him "and more about the other guys this year showing they were a little bit better than he is at this time."
Vigneault repeated a few times that the organization felt that McIlrath needed to play and that if he does clear waivers and plays well he could return.
He praised McIlrath's work ethic and desire to get better but also felt that certain areas like "puck skills and puck decisions" need to improve.
Prior to the start of the season, Vigneault said that for McIlrath to play regularly he needed to be responsible defensively and to make smart decisions with the puck.
Tags: Dylan McIlrath
10/27/16 | Alain Vigneault said Thursday that Chris Kreider skated on his own this morning and "coming along very well."
Kreider won't travel with the team to Carolina and Vigneault, citing a need to change the practice schedule, said that he didn't think Kreider would play on Sunday against Tampa.
Vigneault said that Kreider will need at least one practice and to take some contact to see if he is ready to return. He noted that since Kreider has been out for a little while, appearing in the morning skate Sunday wouldn't be enough for him to play.
10/26/16 | Vigneault said on Tuesday that Kreider is getting treatment on his neck and riding the bike. He said that he continues to be day to day.
Kreider could be placed on IR to open up a spot for Pavel Buchnevich on Friday.
He would likely be placed on IR retroactively to last Sunday which would mean he would be eligible to play against Tampa Bay this Sunday. (NY Post)
Vigneault added that when Kreider returns he would like to see him with Zibanejad and Zuccarello, saying that "that it could be a dynamic line with a lot of speed combined with skill. I see that line as a good combo and we have played it together and they have played well."
10/25 | 1:50PM: Chris Kreider did not skate today during practice and is not expected to play for the Rangers tomorrow against the Bruins. (Cyrgalis)
The Rangers say that Kreider remains day to day with neck spasms.
Tags: Chris Kreider
Alain Vigneault met with the media on Thursday and said the following (NYR):
- On McIlrath going on waivers, "Gorts and I and our staff had a long talk last night after the game and we felt that at this time....Dylan needed to play. We all appreciate him as a person, he has done everything expected of him and more but on our team right now he is our 8th defenseman. Whether keeping him here and not having him play and the money going against our cap...Jeff looked around and there was nothing....selfishly I hope he clears waivers and goes to Hartford and plays but if someone picks him up and gives him an opportunity I will be very happy for him. That is where we are and we felt it was time and that is what we did."
- What does he need to work on, "there are a lot of positives that you see, the size and work ethic and every day he comes here and works on getting better and trying to improve his game. We obviously felt that there were a couple of areas, puck skills and puck decisions...maybe it was less about him and more about the other guys this year showing they were a little bit better than he is at this time. It doesn't mean that if he clears waivers and goes to Hartford and plays well, things change rapidly in this league. What we feel after what he went through last year and this year he needs to play. He is a young player who still has a hockey future in front of him and needs to play some games."
- How is Buchnevich, "Pavel is fine. Good to go tomorrow, so we will take him off the IR. He will be in the lineup tomorrow. Josh had an MRI this morning and it's an AC, second degree so he is going to be out anywhere from 3-4 weeks. Right now at this time we have 12 healthy forwards. Chris skated this morning on his own, things are coming along very well there. We will see what happens in the next couple of days."
- Kreider isn't going on the trip, "no, he is staying behind and will work here."
- Could Krieder play on Sunday, "I would say at this time, probably not because I have changed the schedule a little bit. When I originally made my plans I didn't realize that tomorrow was going to be Carolina's home opener. It's going to be a 7:30PM game, 7:45 start, we will get in later, much later than I anticipated. So we switched our days off around, day off on Saturday, morning skate on Sunday, practice Monday instead. I didn't foresee that when I originally made the breakdown on the schedule. He needs at least one practice with the team and contact and see how he is. Since morning skates, when you have been out this long, do not count, when you have been out a day or two I would make that count but not the amount of time he has been."
- On finally making the roster decision with McIlrath, "this was, more Gorts and I more than anybody else, but Dylan was here last year because he deserved to be here. He got in over 30 games and played well for us. This year, Adam comes in and we feel plays a little bit better, helped us out a bit more on special teams, PP, etc, so it was just a different dynamic. Both Jeff and I need to do what we think is best for the team, that is what we did last year and this year."
- On the comebacks and better starts, "we, as coaches and players, need to be ready right off the bat. Since I have been here, one of this team's trademarks was that we are ready to play and ready to play well...the one thing that I will say, the Washington game we were down 2-0 but we played our best period of the three in that period. Sometimes that is the case, that was not the case last night. We didn't play well in the first period but I felt we played extremely well in the last 35 minutes of the game and that is why we were able to come back. Any time that you can come back in this league you are doing something well and we did some good things yesterday."
- "I've always liked to keep 8 D and 13 forwards but with the cap issues now. just better off keeping 13 and 7 and saving that money for down the road.
- Lundqvist tomorrow, "yes."
- Will he play Sunday, "I've made up my mind and I will wait until Sunday morning to share that with you."
1:20PM: Pavel Buchnevich will return to the Rangers lineup on Friday against Carolina. (NYR)
In two games this season, Buchnevich has an assist, four shots, an average of 14:52 per game, two blocked shots and one hit.
For more on Buchnevich, click HERE.
12:04PM: The Rangers have placed Dylan McIlrath on waivers Thursday afternoon. (Elliotte Friedman)
For a lot more on McIlrath, click HERE.
Adam Rotter - 12:07PM: It just felt like a matter of time before the Rangers put McIlrath on waivers. He was the eighth defenseman, wasn't playing and taking up space on the salary cap that could be used to acquire someone down the line. If McIlrath clears he will go to Hartford and do something he hasn't done a lot of this year: play. Whether the Rangers want to try and move or include McIlrath in some trade, he needs to play. Maybe he goes to Hartford, plays well and gets called back up. Maybe he gets claimed and is playing somewhere in the NHL this weekend.
Whether he gets claimed, traded or becomes a UFA this summer, it seems like McIlrath's time in the organization is coming to a close.
Tags: Dylan McIlrath
For the second time in three games, the Rangers came back from a 2-0 deficit, scored thrice in the second period and won the game.
Dan Girardi said that the players didn't want to panic after a tough first period. (MSG)
He said "they are coming off back-to-back, they got a rookie goaltender in net and we just have to put some goals in, and some doubt in their mind, and that's what we did here tonight." (MSG & Rangers Game Notes)
Brandon Pirri said that same feeling was alive in the Rangers locker room and that they just need to focus on the "next shift and good things will happen." (MSG)
Pirri said that the players have "a lot of belief" in themselves and just bide their time until things start to go their way. (MSG)
Henrik Lundqvist said that the players felt they could turn it around and they have already proven they can make a come back "so many times this season, so we didn't panic." (Rangers Game Notes)
Lundqvist continued, "I'm just happy with the way we responded, with the way I responded after that start. It's almost shocking when you're down after 10 seconds. You come in and you're looking for a great start, and right away you get a bad start like that. It can turn it into a really tough night for you, but we stayed confident." (Rangers Game Notes)
Alain Vigneault said that it wasn't the start the Rangers wanted but they knew they had 40 minutes left and just wanted to focus on winning the second period, "which we did." (MSG)
He added, "we played well and pushed them back and had a great start to the third and won the game." (MSG)
The NHL Department of Player Safety has announced that Bruins forward David Pastrnak will have a hearing Friday for "charging, illegal check to the head" of Dan Girardi.
Pastrnak was given a two-minute penalty for the apparent illegal check midway through the second period.
The following comments were made about the hit after it happened:
- Keith Jones: "I'm sure they will look at it. I think he will avoid suspension. The two minute call on the ice I am okay with because he doesn't leave his feet. His left foot stays on the ice until contact was made with Girardi. There was contact with the head but I think he catches his body first. I don't think there is a suspension there." (NBCSN)
- Mike Milbury: "Arms are down, hands are down. Girardi has the puck, I don't see it. It was a bang bang play but I think when they look back it will be okay, it's a legitimate hit." (NBCSN)
- Alain Vigneault: "I heard some of the comments that were said about the hit, I'm not going to comment myself. I'm going to let the people who are supposed to deal with that....I have a very specific opinion but I will keep it to myself, not to upset anybody."
- Girardi, "I don't really see him coming until the last second, so I don't really know. I know that he hit me in the face first, I don't know if his hands were up or what hit me, I don't know exactly what hit me since I didn't see it coming."
Tags: Dan Girardi
Alain Vigneault met with the media on Wednesday night following the Rangers win over Boston (MSG):
- On the start, "we didn't start the way that we wanted. We knew that they were sending two guys off neutral zone losses. We had better options than the one we used on that first play. Ended up in the back of our net so you are on your heels a little bit right off the hop. Second goal goes off Brady. Again, doesn't start the way we wanted but still got 40 minutes and our focus was on winning that second period, which we did. We played well and pushed them back and had a great start to the third and won the game."
- On Josh Jooris, "he will be out indefinitely. He has a separated shoulder. We don't know exactly to what extent, he will have an MRI tomorrow and we will have a better idea of a timeframe."
- "That line is getting some good looks, depending on the amount of time that they play. Our PP came up big for us. We are 2-4 in the second period which gave us momentum that I thought we carried into the third. They might have been a little tired after a back to back but we scored two quick goals and if you are going to have success in this league where all the teams are so close, you need contributions from throughout the lineup and that is what we got tonight."
- On Pirri, "Our scouts and Gorts and Chris did their homework there. Gorts really liked his release and what he could do with his hands and the plays that he can make. He had an opportunity in training camp, jumped on it, especially on the PP and it has come up big for us in a couple of games."
- "I heard some of the comments that were said about the hit, I'm not going to comment myself. I'm going to let the people who are supposed to deal with that....I have a very specific opinion but I will keep it to myself, not to upset anybody."
- "He's really coming along as a player. Sending him on specific assignments, not only doing those assignments but he is playing PP and PK and keeping his shifts the right length. I really like a lot of things that I have seen about him. Very young player and still has a lot of work to do and that is our job."
10/27 | 1:18PM: Jooris will be out 3-4 weeks according to Alain Vigneault. (NYR)
10/26 | 11:09PM: On MSG, Alain Vigneault said, "[Josh Jooris] will be out indefinitely. He has a separated shoulder. We don't know exactly to what extent, he will have an MRI tomorrow and we will have a better idea of a timeframe."
It's expected that the Rangers will place Jooris on IR.
9:13PM: Jooris will not return to Wednesday night's game against Boston after suffering an upper-body injury.
Jooris put a hit on Torey Krug and then left the ice appearing to be holding his left shoulder. (Cyrgalis)
He played 3 minutes in the first period with one shot attempt that missed the net and 4 hits.
Adam Rotter: Well this injury probably allows the Rangers to play the "IR" game for a little while longer and not necessarily force their hand into potentially losing a player for nothing. Jooris can go on IR and Pavel Buchnevich can come off IR in an easy switch. This probably keeps Dylan McIlrath around the team for a while, unless there is a trade, and continues the Rangers season-long run of having to avoid making a tough decision.
Tags: Josh Jooris
Dan Girardi took a check to the head from the Bruins David Pastrňák in the middle of the second period.
Girardi went to the locker room and missed about seven minutes of game time but returned to play one shift in the second period and then a total of 6:03 in the third.
Girardi spoke after the game on MSG and said:
- On the play ,"Puck is kind of in the air and I see [Brad] Marchand coming, I know the other guy is over there but as soon as I hit...I got it face first. What are you gonna do? He's trying to make a hit there and I feel good now. That is all that matters."
- Did you know right away you were okay, "I felt good. He hit me directly in the face here. Better than the forehead or side of the head. That is the protocol these days which is good and protects players and that is a smart thing to do. Go in and do the testing and come right back out."
- Is that what the league is trying to get rid of, "I don't know. I don't really see him coming until the last second, so I don't really know. I know that he hit me in the face first, I don't know if his hands were up or what hit me, I don't know exactly what hit me since I didn't see it coming. Take a look at it and chat about it tomorrow."
- On bouncing back after the first, "we don't really want to panic at all. It wasn't a great period, stumble, tough start, second goal wasn't great but we stuck with it. We knew we had a lot of time left to play and they are coming off a back to back, they got a rookie goalie in net, gotta put some goals in and doubt in their mind."
Henrik Lundqvist said after the game,"All I can say is that I was really happy when I saw him back on the ice. I wasn't sure he was coming back into this game, but that was a great sign. He's playing so well right now. He's blocking shots. He's so solid in front of me, helping me in so many different situations especially defensively, so it was great to see him back out there." (Rangers Game Notes)
Tags: Dan Girardi
The Rangers erupted after falling into an early 2-0 hole as they beat the Bruins, 5-2 on Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden. >> Read more
- 0:10 BOS David Pastrnak; Assists: Brad Marchand, Zdeno Chara
- 14:44 BOS Austin Czarnik; Assist: David Krejci
- 9:16 NYR Rick Nash (Power Play)
- 16:35 NYR Kevin Hayes; Assists: Jesper Fast, Ryan McDonagh
- 19:24 NYR Brandon Pirri (Power Play); Assists: J.T. Miller, Mika Zibanejad
- 2:23 NYR Brandon Pirri; Assists: Marc Staal, J.T. Miller
- 3:06 NYR Jimmy Vesey; Assists: Rick Nash, Derek Stepan
- This game played out the same way that the game against the Caps did on Saturday. Interesting/not great start, go down 2-0, play much better in the second period, tie it up and then pretty much take the game.
- The Bruins did a big service to the Rangers by taking penalty after penalty in a 13 minute second period stretch. That parade to the box not only got the Rangers on the board and then gave them the lead, but severely limited the amount of time the Rangers had to play defense.
- The game ends up turning and the Rangers take over on the ice and more importantly on the scoreboard, but you can't forget about the sluggish/turnover filled first period and parts of the second. It's the third straight game where not only did the Rangers give up the first goal, but they did so within the first 90 or so seconds, and in the case of the last two games, the first 30 or so seconds.
- Brandon Pirri has to have one of the best wrist shots in the league. His first goal tonight was spectacular and showed how important he can be to the Rangers PP. I'd still much rather see Pirri in a top-nine role, and not on the fourth line, but there really isn't anyone else to swap him with. All of that said, this is working right now for the Rangers and there is no need to fix something that isn't broken.
The Rangers travel to face Carolina on Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET.
Tags: Derek Stepan , J.T. Miller , Jesper Fast , Kevin Hayes , Marc Staal , Rick Nash , Ryan McDonagh
On MSG, Pirri said of this goal , "you don't want to rush it too much. You probably have more time than you think. JT made a hell of a pass. The first thing is catching the puck, you don't want to rush it too much because that is when you fumble it around. First is catch it and then shoot."
Tags: Brandon Pirri
10/26/16 | 10:28PM: Elliotte Friedman reportedly said on Sporstnet that he thinks the Rangers are 'really trying" to move Dylan McIlrath before having to put him on waivers. (Nichols)
2:58PM: Alain Vigneault said Wednesday that if Pavel Buchnevich were to return Friday against Carolina, then the Rangers would need to either put Chris Kreider on IR, likely retroactively, or place someone on waivers.
The Rangers currently have the maximum of 23 players on the NHL roster with Buchnevich on IR, but they will need to make a move once he is activated.
Larry Brooks makes two points in regards to the possibility of defenseman Dylan McIlrath being the waiver candidate. The first is that McIlrath becomes an unrestricted free agent if he plays in fewer than 42 regular season games. Brooks also notes that the Rangers may view him as a component of a future trade and would not want to risk losing him on waivers.
Adam Rotter: Whether this happens Friday, next week or soon after, the Rangers are going to need to make a decision to get down to 23 and then decide if they want to cut down to 22. The obvious candidates to be cut would be McIlrath and/or possibly Josh Jooris. I like Jooris but with extra forward depth in Hartford the Rangers could probably survive if they lost him.
McIlrath is the eighth defenseman and would need two defensemen to get hurt to get a regular role. It just kind of seems like the Rangers are holding onto McIlrath because they don't want to risk losing the former 10th overall pick for nothing on waivers. But at the same time, if he doesn't play 42 games he will likely leave for nothing as a UFA anyway.
Alain Vigneault met with the media on Wednesday prior to the Rangers game against the Bruins: (NYR)
- On the Bruins tonight, "just go out and play to your strength and you play your game. Boston as a team shouldn't be/won't be happy about their performance last night. Lots of veteran leadership, guys who have won in that dressing room. They will want to bounce back and play a hard game so we will have to be ready for it."
- Is JT in tonight, "yes."
- On Buchnevich, "Buchnevich skated with the regular jersey today. I would say that he is real close. I talked about Friday maybe being a possibility. He had a hard skate today and I would say that he is real close. Kreids, I would say is getting treatments and riding the bike and I would say depending on how he feels tomorrow...we are day to day with him."
- Is Buchnevich coming on the trip, "I would say that Buchnevich for sure, we will bring him, unless something happens now until then."
- On McDonagh playing a lot, "I know that our record is real good when he plays 25 minutes or more. I think that if you look at the 82 game schedule and how condensed it is in certain areas, I think that is a lot of minutes for any defenseman in this league. I would probably like to keep him around that 23-24 minute but he is a guy who can log tons. He is just a horse and loves to play, great skater, guys who skate well can probably play a lot of minutes and he is one of those guys that can do that."
- More on McDonagh playing a lot, "I think a lot of it depends on the game itself. Are we ahead, are we behind and pushing? He is one of our offensive defensemen so there is a good chance he is going to be out there every other shift in that situation. Every game is different but to answer your question, can he log those minutes? Yes he can and our record is real good when he does log huge minutes."
- On where Girardi is playing, "At this time I liked our game with Dan and Brady and it gives Brady an experienced defenseman that can share that with him. Brady is a young player who can probably appreciate having a veteran presence beside. Depending on the game, the opposition, if we need to have a real shutdown pair, you will make those decisions and tonight I felt it was right to keep those same 6 D and those same duos."
- On Brady Skjei, "He has been better. Safe to say that he had a slow start through training camp and at the beginning but he has been spending a lot of time with Beuk doing a lot of video work. You see the skill set, you see the skating but you need to put it together and slowly he is putting it together."
- On Zucc and Kreider being together, "Zucc is one of the best passers I have seen in this league and he is hard on pucks. I would think that with Kreids and when Kreids comes back and they have played a few games together, that it could be a dynamic line with a lot of speed combined with skill. Zuccy is maybe not known for his defensive play but he does play well defensively. He isn't afraid to block shots, not afraid to get in there and help the defense. I see that line as a good combo and we have played it together and they have played well."
- If Buchnevich comes back do you have to put Kreider on IR, "or put someone on waivers. Yes, we would have to do that. If he were to come back by Friday we would have to put someone on IR or on waivers. That is a good question."
10/26 | Alain Vigneault said Wednesday, "[Pavel] Buchnevich skated with the regular jersey today. I would say that he is real close. I talked about Friday maybe being a possibility. He had a hard skate today and I would say that he is real close." (NYR)
10/25 | Vigneault said Tuesday that Buchnevich has been skating on his own but will not play Wednesday against Boston. (NYR)
Vigneault said that Buchnevich will skate again Wednesday and if he continues to feel good he will be "close" to returning on Friday against Carolina. (NYR)
Tags: Pavel Buchnevich
The Bruins have announced that Zane McIntyre will start in goal against the Rangers Wednesday night.
McIntyre, 24, made his NHL debut Monday night in relief and stopped 15 of 17 shots in nearly 30 minutes.
McIntyre is 1-0-0 in three AHL games this season and has a .44 GAA and .977 save percentage in 137 minutes.
Last season he was 14-8-6 for Providence with a GAA of 2.68 and a save percentage of .898.
Bruins starter Tuukka Rask is battling injuries and backup Anton Khudobin injured himself at practice Monday. (Boston Globe)
The Bruins will also be without David Backes after he underwent elbow surgery.
Alain Vigneault said that the Rangers improvement on faceoffs so far this season has had to do with the extra work from the centers. (Newsday)
Vigneault said that Scott Arniel sent a "very thorough" video over the summer to the centers on the Rangers of top faceoff players around the league. (Newsday)
Derek Stepan said that Arniel sent him "300 minutes" of right handed centers like Claude Giroux, Patrice Bergeron and David Backes. (NY Post)
He said that watching those players made him "more aware" of who he should position his body at the faceoff circle. (NY Post)
Stepan said that he can improve on draws and that he is playing a lot more attention to it now so he can improve. (NY Post)
So far, the Rangers rank third in the NHL in faceoff percentage at 53.4 percent. They are winning 57.9 percent of the offensive zone faceoffs, 54 percent in the defensive zone and 49 percent in the neutral zone.
Mika Zibanejad is winning 57.8 percent of his faceoffs, Stepan is winning 47.7 percent and Kevin Hayes is winning 52.7 percent.
Last season the Rangers were 23rd in the NHL with a faceoff percentage of 49.2 percent.
Adam Rotter: It's so far so good for the Rangers in the faceoff category. Stepan is up a bit over his career average, Zibanejad up about 8 percent or so and Hayes up a whopping 17 percent. Even if Hayes doesn't stay at a 17 percent improvement, anything in the realm of 8-to-10 percent would be a massive improvement and get his percentage out of the mid-30s.
Alain Vigneault was asked on Tuesday about how he felt the Rangers team defense had been through the early part of the season.
Vigneault said that he thinks the Rangers have been "very good" and that their quickness and speed have played a big factor.
He added, "It hasn't been perfect but I do believe we are on the right track as far as playing, when we don't have the puck, how we have to play."
The Rangers rank third in the NHL in shots allowed per game at 25.3 and ninth in goals against per game at 2.67.
Last year the Rangers allowed an average of 30.4 shots per game.
At 5-on-5 the Rangers are controlling 50.85% of the shot attempts which is 13th in the NHL. (Natural Stat Trick)
According to Natural Stat Trick, the Rangers have had the scoring chance advantage in four of the six games they have played.
Alain Vigneault met with the media on Tuesday following Rangers practice and said (NYR):
- On the team defense through six games, "I think we have been very good. Our quickness and our speed have been a big factor in us defending the way we have been. We aren't giving up a lot of scoring chances, we aren't giving up a lot of shots. It seems like a lot of time in our own ends we are finding spots where we can outnumber the opposition and make it real hard for them to make plays. It hasn't been perfect but I do believe we are on the right track as far as playing, when we don't have the puck, how we have to play. I think that part is permitting us to do the other step which is to create opportunities on the rush, get the proper movement in the offensive end. For me it all revolves around there and when you play well when you don't have the puck and you are quick to your assignments, quick to your check, quick to stick on puck you make it very hard on the opposition and seem to be able to get the puck quicker and go on the counter attack and that is what we have been doing."
- On Jimmy Vesey, "Our scouts and especially our staff here, Jeff Gorton and Chris Drury, are the ones who had really done their homework on him and they told me that he was a good two-way player at the university level. Does that translate to the NHL? Sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn't. In Jimmy' case I think that his work habits and work attitude and smarts, he has been capable so far to assimilate what we are trying to teach and he tries to do it. He has been efficient for us at both ends of the rink."
- On Oscar Lindberg's first game, "for a guy that hadn't had the opportunity to really work with our group, I thought he was fine. He took some faceoffs, did all right. His line had a couple of opportunities so I was pleased for a guy with no training camp/2-3 real practices, most of them on D, I thought he did well."
- Will he stay at center, "I think that will be a game to game decision and with what is healthy and the opposition. Tomorrow he will play in the middle again but it will be a game to game decision.
Brian Compton, Adam Rotter, and Nick Licalzi look back at the Rangers' winning weekend with victories over the Caps and Coyotes. Plus, former Rangers goaltender Corey Hirsch joins the show to discuss Rick Nash, Henrik Lundqvist, and his memories of being a Ranger.
Pavel Buchnevich is skating in a non-contact jersey at Rangers practice today. (NYR)
JT Miller is not practicing and was given a maintenance day. (Cyrgalis)
Chris Kreider is also not practicing today. Kreider missed Sunday's game with neck spasms. (Cyrgalis)
The lines the Rangers were using during today's practice are (Cyrgalis):
- Vesey, Stepan, Nash
- Buchnevich, Zibanejad, Zuccarello
- Grabner, Hayes, Fast
- Pirri, Lindberg, Jooris
The defense remained the same as it was on Sunday. (Cyrgalis)
10/26 | Alain Vigneault was asked on Wednesday about McDonagh and his ice time and said, "I know that our record is real good when he plays 25 minutes or more. I think that if you look at the 82 game schedule and how condensed it is in certain areas, I think that is a lot of minutes for any defenseman in this league. I would probably like to keep him around that 23-24 minute but he is a guy who can log tons. He is just a horse and loves to play, great skater, guys who skate well can probably play a lot of minutes and he is one of those guys that can do that. I think a lot of it depends on the game itself. Are we ahead, are we behind and pushing? He is one of our offensive defensemen so there is a good chance he is going to be out there every other shift in that situation. Every game is different but to answer your question, can he log those minutes? Yes he can and our record is real good when he does log huge minutes."
10/25 | This season Ryan McDonagh has 5 assists (3 even strength, 2 PP) in 6 games, 11 shots on goal with 6 hits and 12 blocked shots in 25:16 per game.
Alain Vigneault said before the Rangers played the Red Wings "he has definitely played well. He has logged a lot of minutes and he has been both very good defensively and offensively and skating well."
Vigneault added, "when you talk to Ryan and you see the strength and the size, he is one of our players that can log a lot of minutes and can be very effective in logging those minutes. Right now he feels good about where his game is, feels real strong."
Joe Micheletti said after the Rangers beat the Coyotes that McDonagh is playing the best hockey of his career right now.
Joe said that McDonagh is playing hard minutes, blocking shots and using his speed and skating to make plays.
When McDonagh has been on the ice at 5 on 5 the Rangers have had 110 shot attempts for and 99 against. (Natural Stat Trick)
Tags: Ryan McDonagh
On TSN 1040, Pierre LeBrun was asked about the Rangers and said that he thinks that they will try and acquire a top-four defensemenat some point.
LeBrun said, "I don't think this is the final roster for this team either in the sense that at some point I think they will do everything they can to trade for a top-four defenseman or get some help on defense between now and the trade deadline."
- It's been noted previously that the Rangers could look to acquire a defenseman though the price may be high.
He also praised GM Jeff Gorton for the job that he is done after inheriting a team with limited assets.
Prior to that, LeBrun spoke in general about the team and the moves Jeff Gorton made and said "they are an interesting team because when they lost in the first round to Pittsburgh last spring it felt like a window closing. It felt like, alright this has been a good run for them, they traded away a lot of first round picks. They have had some deep runs over the last 6-7 years but time to re-jig this and in some ways GM Jeff Gorton did. They have changed a number of guys, they won the Jimmy Vesey sweepstakes and made a few other moves."
He continued, "the one thing about it is that a lot of the main guys are back but they look like they have a lot more bounce in their step under Alain Vigneault so far this year. That is a team that is playing at a different speed for some reason than they were a year ago and I think that was probably a point of emphasis heading into camp. It's a copycat league and people looked at Tampa and Pittsburgh and what they have in common, probably the two quickest teams in the East. I think that has had an impact on other teams and how they approach this year."
10/25 | Alain Vigneault said on Tuesday
- On Oscar Lindberg's first game, "for a guy that hadn't had the opportunity to really work with our group, I thought he was fine. He took some faceoffs, did all right. His line had a couple of opportunities so I was pleased for a guy with no training camp/2-3 real practices, most of them on D, I thought he did well."
- Will he stay at center, "I think that will be a game to game decision and with what is healthy and the opposition. Tomorrow he will play in the middle again but it will be a game to game decision.
10/24| Oscar Lindberg made his 2016-17 debut last night to replace Chris Kreider who missed the game with a neck issue.
Lindberg skated on the fourth line between Josh Jooris and Brandon Pirri and played 10:37, with 1 shot on goal, 1 hit, 2 blocked shots and a 7 and 2 record on faceoffs.
Lindberg only played at even strength and saw 3:55 in the first, 3:21 in the second and 3:21 in the third.
When Lindberg was on the ice at 5 on 5 the Rangers had 3 shot attempts for, 19 against, 2 shots on goal for, 11 against and 1 scoring chance for and 4 against. (Natural Stat Trick)
Tags: Oscar Lindberg
Henrik Lundqvist started last night for the Rangers in the second half a back to back and made 27 saves to pick up his second straight win.
Alain Vigneault said that his decision to go with Lundqvist instead of backup Antti Raanta had to mostly with the schedule allowing for two days without a game until the Rangers play the Bruins on Wednesday. (NY Post)
Vigneault said that this is a "good time" for Lundqvist to get on top of his game and said that the schedule is November and December will provide "plenty of games" for Lundqvist and Raanta. (NY Post)
Lundqvist has stopped 53 of 57 shots in the past two games.
The Rangers have a stretch of 4 games in 6 nights around the first weekend in November, then a 3 game in 4 night stretch in Western Canada and then a 3 game in 4 night stretch when they come back from Western Canada.
Adam Rotter: I thought that Antti Raanta would start and felt especially that way after the Rangers made their comeback against the Capitals. Instead Lundqvist played and was solid for a second straight start. It's been a weird season already for Lundqvist with the World Cup happening before training camp but he looks to be on his way towards being the same old Henrik Lundqvist again.
Tags: Henrik Lundqvist
In his return to the Rangers lineup last night, Dan Girardi had the game winning goal, was a plus two, had two shots on goal, 3 hits, 1 takeaway and 2 blocked shots in 19:15.
Girardi played 5:55 in the first period, 6:44 in the second period and 6:36 in the third period while mostly skating with Brady Skjei
Mats Zuccarello said that it was really cool for Girardi to score the winner and that he gets "undeserved" blame. (Nettavisen)
Zuccarello added "all the guys here really appreciate him." (Nettavisen)
John Giannone said during his report on the post game show that Girardi is still as popular as any player in the Rangers dressing room.
Ryan McDonagh said that it was "great to see" Girardi score and that "he's always a guy that works hard, plays heavy out there. So anytime that he can help contribute offensively on the scoreboard, we like to see that and so does he. So it's great to see him get the game-winner." (Rangers Game Notes)
On MSG, Henrik Lundqvist said that he was "so happy" for Girardi, adding "he has been working really hard and preparing for camp, getting ready for the season and then right away he has to sit out a few games It's never easy. I just love the way that he competes out there and when he gets the winner it's all smiles here."
Girardi is the 10th defenseman in Rangers history who has had at least one goal in 10 different seasons with the team. (Rangers Game Notes)
Adam Rotter: It was a really nice moment for Girardi to get the game winner, be the 1st star and get the Broadway Hat last night. He is beyond polarizing to many of the fans because of his advanced metrics and his cap hit, but it sure doesn't look like he is going anywhere. The team spoke all summer about expecting him to bounce back and while it's only a very small sample size, I think he has been pretty good. If the Rangers put him in positions to succeed, maybe not on the top defense pair, and he accepts getting a rest every few games or not forcing himself into the lineup when injured then I think he could still play a role and help the team win.
Tags: Dan Girardi
Last night against the Coyotes, the Rangers were credited with 22 giveaways, 28 blocked shots, 16 shot sthat missed the net and were 29 and 31 on faceoffs.
Henrik Lundqvist said that the game wasn't "perfect" but the Rangers found a way to win. He noted that the Rangers had trouble at times getting pucks out or getting pucks deep but they didn't get too hurt by it. (Rangers Game Notes)
Lundqvist added, "it wasn't our best game but we had moments where we played really well and had a really strong third period that won us the game." (Rangers Game Notes)
Ryan McDonagh said that the game was sloppy and the puck was bouncing but the Rangers stayed in their structure and did "enough" to win. (Rangers Game Notes)
JT Miller said that the team felt they would have wasted Saturday's performance against the Caps if they let last night's game "get away" from them but "we did a good job of hanging on and just finding a way to get two." (Rangers Game Notes)
Dan Girardi said that the leadership group spoke before the game about how the win in Washington meant nothing if they didn't win against the Coyotes.
Girardi added, "sometimes it wasn't pretty. We were giving the puck away. But we stuck with it." (Rangers Report)
Derek Stepan said that the Rangers were not at their best last night but they didn't make any "big mistakes." He added "in this league you just need to find a way to win a hockey game." (NY Post)
Alain Vigneault said that the game wasn't pretty but the Rangers played their best in the third and that 'you need to find ways to win and that is what we did." (Rangers Game Notes)
Alain Vigneault met with the media on MSG following the Rangers win over the Coyotes:
- On the team game"I thought they played a good game tonight. Dan coming back, after missing a short amount of time but not having a lot of practice time with the whole team, responded well. He got us the go ahead goal in the third. It wasn't pretty and wasn't about style but we found a way a win. We played our best period in the third when the game was on the line. You gotta find ways in this league, it's not pretty in an 82 game schedule it's not going to be pretty every night but you need to find ways to win and that is what we did."
- On Girardi and Skjei, "I think that the pairing has potential but Dan with Ryan has also had a lot of success. This was maybe a bit more about easing Dan back but I definitely liked how those two guys played tonight."
- One of those bruises that players get when we block a lot of shots. When you don't start with the puck very often, especially in the first two periods and are chasing the game a little bit you need to find lanes and block shots."
- On the lines shakeup, "you gotta play who is healthy and tonight we had some bumps and bruises where players couldn't play and some nights you mix and match and it works out and other nights it doesn't. It worked out as far as the scoring but I do know that it's about finding ways to win and that is what we did tonight."
- "It's a game to game basis and how players are playing. I think Nick and Ryan have played well together but I also have a lot of faith in Dan and right hander and left hander. We will see how things go, how our opponents are going. Every game you are trying to analyze and put forth the best lineup that you can that will give you the best chance to win."
Dan Girardi with the Broadway Hat to go along with the game winner!! pic.twitter.com/kmTUFhDcqy- New York Rangers (@NYRangers) October 24, 2016
Girardi said after the game (via the Rangers Game Notes):
On his goal tonight…"Brady [Skjei] kind of just throws it through the crease and I see that it comes out to me, so I just bury my head and try to get it past the screen and it kind of dipped on him a little bit I think. Obviously I'm trying to score but I am just trying to get it to the net and get a rebound or something and it just happened to go in."
On Brady Skjei…"He's a young guy but he's playing with some veteran poise out there. Especially today, he really handled the puck well. When he had the opportunity he has good legs and good skating ability and he used that tonight to his advantage. It was subtle plays like that, when he can see they are changing, and be able to get up the ice and make something happen. I think that's really big for him and for us."
More on playing with Brady Skjei…"I think it helps his game with him able to take a little chance and get up the ice and use his speed and his skating ability. I'll just let him do his thing. I'll stay back and be the safety belt. I think we complement each other well. It's kind of like when Mac [Ryan McDonagh] and I played together a little bit when he first came in the league. [He's] a young guy with good skating ability and I'm kind of the safety belt back there. Hopefully I can stay that way the whole year."
On MSG, Henrik Lundqvist said of Girardi, "So happy for him. He has been working really hard and preparing for camp, getting ready for the season and then right away he has to sit out a few games It's never easy. I just love the way that he competes out there and when he gets the winner it's all smiles here."
Tags: Dan Girardi
Dan Girardi scored a go-ahead goal 1:55 into the third period to lead the New York Rangers to a 3-2 win over the Arizona Coyotes at Madison Square Garden on Sunday. >> Read more
- 0:33 AZ Radim Vrbata; Assist: Connor Murphy
- 12:13 NYR Josh Jooris; Assists: Michael Grabner, Jesper Fast
- 5:45 NYR (PP) J.T. Miller; Assists: Ryan McDonagh, Brandon Pirri
- 16:18 AZ Vrbata; Assists: Max Domi, Christian Dvorak
- 1:55 NYR Dan Girardi; Assist: Brady Skjei
- 3: Ryan McDonagh
- 2: Radim Vrbata
- 1: Dan Girardi
- This was not the Rangers finest game by any means but they found a way to win a game where they turned the puck over nearly as many times as they had shots on goal.
- You can probably point to this performance being the result of a second half of a back to back after a very tough game in Washington last night. It was very much out of last year's playbook, with all the turnovers, than how the team has played so far this year.
- Jimmy Vesey and Rick Nash look to have a very nice level of chemistry. They were creating Grade A opportunities throughout the night....but didn't score.
- JT Miller had a very strong weekend and looks to be continuing the strong play he displayed last season.
- I'm not sure where things will shake out with the defense and Dan Girardi moving forward but I do think that when Girardi is healthy he will play.
- Overall it's a four-point weekend for the Rangers and the first time they have been able to string back to back wins together. It's been a pretty good start for the Rangers with room to still improve in many areas. They have, so far, set a tone and an identity for what kind of team they want to be and how they want to play. Different things will still be worked out but it's nice to see the Rangers start the season with a foundation they can build upon.
The Rangers host the Boston Bruins on Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET.
Tags: Arizona Coyotes , Dan Girardi , Henrik Lundqvist , Jesper Fast , Ryan McDonagh
Before the Rangers visited the Washington Capitals on Saturday night, coach Alain Vigneault said his club had played well enough to be undefeated.
"We could easily be sitting here 5-0 the way we played in those games, both offensively and defensively," he said of his 3-2 club. "But I like the way our team is playing. ... with any type of luck or finish, our record would be different right now."
Vigneault may have been on to something as the Rangers rallied from a 2-0 deficit to beat the Capitals 4-2 at Verizon Center less than 24 hours before hosting the rested and waiting Arizona Coyotes at Madison Square Garden on Sunday night.
The Rangers' two losses this season were a one-goal setback in St. Louis in which they outshot the Blues 15-0 in the third period but could not find the tying goal and a one-goal defeat at the hands of the Detroit Red Wings, who were buoyed by a brilliant performance by goaltender Jimmy Howard.
Against the Capitals, a team many experts think can win a Stanley Cup this year, the Rangers showed again why their coach has so much faith in them.
"I love the way we won this game," Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist said. "The way we battled back, the way we believe in our system. I thought we played a really strong game."
The Coyotes (1-3-0) are hardly in the same class as the Capitals, but have the luxury of facing the Rangers following a day off Saturday. That's about all that is working in the favor of the Coyotes, who have dropped three straight to start a six-game road trip, including a 3-2 loss in Brooklyn to the Islanders on Friday. Read more at SNY.tv. . . .
Dave Maloney asked a number of Rangers Saturday night on MSG how they felt the season was going through five games.
Henrik Lundqvist said that he liked the Rangers speed, how they battle and work hard by rolling 4 lines.
Rick Nash said that things have been good and that the Rangers are using their speed and trying to play their defense first system.
Marc Staal said that he liked how the Rangers were playing, how they are making plays and playing with "good pace."
Alain Vigneault said that the Rangers are a "work in progress" but have been quick to defend and are not allowing many chances against.
He added, "as far as our speed when we get the puck it's evident that we are getting some quality chances off it."
Lundqvist added that win like last night was good for the character of the team and added that if the Rangers stick to their system they can "beat anybody." (NY Post)
He added that the Rangers know they can play with speed but also shut things down when it's time for that. (NY Post)
The Rangers announced last night that today's 11:30AM morning skate would only be for players who are not playing tonight.
Dan Rosen notes that Dan Girardi DID NOT skate this morning and that Adam Clendening did skate.
Against the Capitals last night, Clendening played 11:55, had an assist, one shot attempt that was blocked and played 9:03 at even strength, 2:28 on the PP and 24 seconds on the PK.
Clendening played 5:25 in the first, 3:49 in the second and 2:41 in the third. He also turned the puck over in the first period which led to the Capitals first goal.
At 5 on 5 this season, Clendening has been on for 73 shot attempts for and 37 against and the highest number of offensive zone starts at 68.42%. (Natural Stat Trick)
Tags: Adam Clendening , Dan Girardi
Jimmy Vesey had two goals in the second period last night, 3 shots overall, 3 shot attempts blocked and 1 hit in 17:19.
Vesey told Dave Maloney in the second intermission on MSG that it was good to get rewarded.
On the game winner, Vesey said that he thought Karl Alzner might have been tired and at the end of the shift and was able to get a step on him and then go five-hole.
Alzner said after the game that it was "obvious" why Vesey was sought after and that he made some "good plays out there." (Washington Post)
Alain Vigneault said after the game that Vesey put on a "power move" who played a "real strong game" and they are hoping that it will continue.
Vesey said that things were different in college when he could "out-skill" most of the players but the NHL is a much more physical game and on his goal he "saw some space and went for it." (NY Post)
He said that it was the first time he tried to make a move like that in the regular seaon and he thinks he will start doing it more. (NY Post)
Derek Stepan said that Vesey is getting more comfortable and confident and that the plays he made against the Capitals were "at a really high level." (MSG)
Joe Micheletti said on MSG, "this kid is a good hockey player. You watch him play and how he gets around the ice and thinks the game....He can explode to the net."
Tags: Jimmy Vesey
10/23/16 | 8:49AM: "One of the things they are considering for next season is putting a game at West Point if they can get the stadium issue worked out. The Rangers would play though they wouldn't be the home team. I think they are starting to look at that, what other events or location can we go to that are a bit different." (Sportsnet)
10/9/16 | 7:56PM: According to Elliotte Friedman, there were rumors during the World Cup that the NHL is considering playing an outdoor game at the football stadium at West Point. (Sportsnet)
Friedman notes that location would likely indicate the Rangers would be involved but he also noted that the Panthers and coming Vegas team have connections to the army. (Sportsnet)
Larry Brooks writes that the NHL has done an initial survey of Michie Stadium and that if a game is to be played there "the Rangers would all but certainly" be involved as the visiting team. (NY Post)
As was the case with the the two outdoor games the Rangers played as visitors at Yankee Stadium in 2014, part of the agreement that MSG has with the city "precludes" the Ranger from playing a home game outside of MSG. (NY Post)
Alain Vigneault spoke on MSG after the Rangers win over the Capitals and said:
- On the game, "both teams battled real hard. It's funny but probably our best period of the night was our first period and we came out of there with a deficit of two goals. We made some plays we needed to make and in the second period we capitalized on a couple of opportunities and then in the third we did everything we could to shut them down. Hank made some big save sand we take the two points and go home."
- On the PK, "4 minutes and we all know how deadly their PP can be. Our guys did a real good job of taking away options and rolling the duos that we had and our PP got us a real big goal at a real important time."
- "It's two points. It's game 5. Obviously all of the points are important but we are a work in progress and trying to get better as a group and we have another opportunity to play tomorrow night."
- "Our guys kept doing what they were doing to get the opportunities and in the second period we are fortunate to beat one of the best goalies in the league. We capitalized in the second and did what we had to do to win it in the third."
- On the game winner, "that was a power move from a young player that, as everybody can see, has a lot of potential. We played a real strong game and hoping that it will continue."
- On speed, "So far we have been quick to defend. We are not giving up a lot of opportunities to the opposition. As far as our speed when we get the puck it's evident that we are getting some quality chances off it."
- On Vesey, "He has a lot of self confidence, there is no doubt. You can see that every game and every shift he is making more plays. Tonight it was good to see him finish on the PP and that move was a power move going to the front. I talk about going to the tough areas and that is one of those moves that a power forward did and he capitalized on it."
Henrik Lundqvist spoke on MSG after the Rangers win and said:
- "I loved how we win this game. The way we battled back, the way we believe in ourselves and our system. We played a really strong game. Being down 2 after the first was tough but we all felt that we could do it. The way we have been playing we have been creating a lot of good chances. Enough chances to score a lot against good teams. I thought our second period was really strong the key was that penalty kill, to kill all four minutes and then to score a couple there. Great, great win. So many good things about this game and how we battled back and the way we played the second and third to shut them down. They are a good team....good signs."
- After 5 games, "I like our speed. I like the way we battle. We are blocking a lot of shots, we work really hard with 4 lines that work really well. Personally I feel like I am playing well. A couple of goals here and there you always want to correct but overall I feel like it's moving in the right direction. Pretty good start so far."
- "The game is fast right now. Everybody can skate. When I came into the league it was more about being big and physical and possession game. Now it's more about quickness and transition and how fast can you go the puck form your end to the other end. We do that really well. Our forwards and how the D move the puck. We have some pretty fast guys and that is a good sign for us."
- Does your mindset change from when you joined the league, "not for me. It's more the players, it's important that you have a system that works and gives you an opportunity to use your speed. I think we are doing that. Even the games that we lost we have been creating a lot of chances because of how we are moving the puck. I look forward to keep playing here."
Tags: Henrik Lundqvist
- 1:33 WAS Lars Eller Assists: Brooks Orpik
- 14:49 WAS Alex Ovechkin Assists: Evgeny Kuznetsov, Dmitry Orlov
- 2:21 NYR Brandon Pirri Assists: J.T. Miller, Adam Clendening
- 11:22 NYR Jimmy Vesey (Power Play) Assists: Rick Nash, Derek Stepan
- 14:22 NYR Jimmy Vesey Assists: Mats Zuccarello, Mika Zibanejad
Jimmy Vesey scored two goals in the Rangers' three-goal second period as the Rangers rallied for a 4-2 win at Washington Saturday. >>Read more
- This is a team that might have as much character and determination as they do speed. They played probably their worst period of the season in the first, and still had a number of chances, and then played 40 minutes of outstanding hockey.
- It was a looking a little suspect for Henrik Lundqvist in the first period but he was great in the second and especially in the third. The Rangers D did a lot to help but Lundqvist made a few spectacular saves to keep the Rangers up by 1.
- For at least one night, so far, Jimmy Vesey more than lived up to the hype. You could see the progress he was making each game and tonight he went up another level. He was in the right place at the right time for the tying goal but the game winner was an NHL move against a very good defenseman in Karl Alzner.
- The Rangers top-four of Ryan McDonagh, Nick Holden, Marc Staal and Kevin Klein were all great in the second and third period.
- Brandon Pirri played his role perfectly tonight: he scored.
- The underrated part of this game is probably the 4 minute PK the Rangers had in the second period. They didn't allow much of anything and took the momentum from there.
Tags: Jimmy Vesey , Mats Zuccarello
Alain Vigneault met with the media prior to Saturday's game against the Caps (NYR):
- Girardi said no changes tonight, "yea, he had another good skate this morning and if he continues to respond well I think he should be available for us tomorrow but we will see how he is tomorrow."
- Will you use the lines you did in practice, "yea. That is probably what I am leaning toward at this time. That gives us good balance against a real strong opponent that rolls four lines, is hard on the forecheck and have D that don't give you a lot of room. There are going to be a lot of puck battles and we will have to be good on those."
- On Zucc with Kreider, "It's something that I probably would have liked to do before tonight but because of the World Cup we weren't able to do it. But I see a lot of potential there also. Step and Nasher have been playing together for some time and I feel that those two with Jimmy should be a good line both ways also. "
- On Ovechkin, "I am pretty confident that we have two duos tonight with Kleiner and Marc. Ryan and Nick can also play. He's one of the best players in the world. He is going to get some looks and they have, in my estimation, three lines that can generate offense and they have a fourth line that is hard to play against. They were the Presidents' winner last year and they are a strong team and it will be a good game tonight."
- On Jimmy Vesey adjusting, "it's about getting up to speed with how the game is played and up to speed with how quick it is. So far Jimmy has done a good job, he is listening and learning and every shift is another shift where he is building experience. He is going through the process and is coming along fine."
- "Scoring goals and finishing but also subtle things like making plays at the line, making plays at the wall. We are spending a lot of time with him and our younger players going through what we expect as far as decision making with and without the puck. The more he plays the better he will be."
- Did you decide on a goalie for tomorrow, "no....thanks guys."
The Rangers have announced that they will start tonight's game with the lines that they used at practice yesterday.
- Jimmy Vesey, Derek Stepan, Rick Nash
- Chris Kreider, Mika Zibanejad, Mats Zuccarello
- JT Miller, Kevin Hayes, Michael Grabner
- Brandon Pirri, Josh Jooris, Jesper Fast
Ryan McDonagh is skating with Nick Holden, Marc Staal with Kevin Klein and Brady Skjei with Adam Clendening.
Antti Raanta told Larry Brooks that he is not rooting for the Chicago Cubs to win their first World Series since 1908. (NY Post)
Raanta became a fan of the White Sox while playing in Chicago and said that he is hoping the Dodgers can come back and eliminate the Cubs and added that if they don't "there's always Cleveland." (NY Post)
Brooks writes that Raanta wore a White Sox hat to one of the Mets World Series games last year. (NY Post)
10/22/16 | 2:32PM: Alain Vigneault said on Friday that Oscar Lindberg is "making progress" and has been cleared for everything in practice.
Vigneault said that Lindberg is still on schedule and a couple of weeks away.
10/11/16 | Lindberg said yesterday that he isn't feeling any pain while skating but there has been no change to when he is likely to play. (NY Post)
He said that unless he is told something else he expects to be able to play at the end of October and added that it will take some time for him to work on his skills and get his timing back. (NY Post)
10/10/16 | 3:08PM: Alain Vigneault said of Lindberg, "looked great on D today (laugh). I think that in his case he has been cleared and it's probably anywhere from 2-4 weeks depending on how he feels, conditioning wise and how much he can do. It was a serious injury that he had but you have to take the time and he is on schedule and he is doing well. (NYR)
Lindberg underwent surgery on his hip in the spring.
Tags: Oscar Lindberg
Alain Vigneault said earlier in the week that he has liked how the Rangers have been able to use their speed both on offense and on defense.
Vigneault said on Friday "obviously I am happy with how we are playing. We can easily be sitting here 4-0 the way we played in those games both offensive and defensively. I like how our team is playing and we need to go into Washington tomorrow and play a real strong game."
Henrik Lundqvist said that the Rangers have been playing with a lot of speed and confidence. He added that the Rangers had enough chances to win the games they lost which shows that they are on the right track. (NYR)
Derek Stepan said that he has really liked all four of the Rangers games and that while they have to get better in certain areas they are "playing at a high level" and are hard to play against. (NYR)
5:22PM: Alain Vigneault said that Girardi had a "good skate" this morning and should be available to play on Sunday if there are no setbacks. (Gulitti)
1:28PM: Girardi says that he is feeling better but will not play tonight. (Brooks)
8:26AM: Alain Vigneault said that he thought Dan Girardi looked "fine" when he watched him skate the past two days.
He said that it didn't seem like Girardi was showing any discomfort during drills on Friday but he still needs to talk with the training stuff.
Vigneault said that it's possible Girardi will play in one of the two games this weekend after missing the past two games.
Girardi spoke on Friday and said that if he feels good he would like to play.
He added that he felt good after going through practice but wanted to see how he felt during and after the morning skate.
Girardi was asked how he felt on the ice and joked, "clearly you saw that I looked pretty good out there" before adding that he "felt pretty good. Had some extra rest because we were rotating D in that last pair. Just go to the morning skate tomorrow and go from there." (NYR)
For more on Girardi, click HERE.
Tags: Dan Girardi
Alain Vigneault met with the media on Friday morning and said (NYR):
- On the Capitals, "they are going into this year as one of the favorite teams in the NHL. Not a lot of changes, still the same powerhouse that won the Presidents' Trophy and lost to Pittsburgh. Same obvious strengths. Tremendous skill up front, great PP, one of the best shooters in the league. Goaltender that is right up there with 2-3 of the best, gonna be a real challenge for us."
- On line changes, "Yea, I just wanted to get a look this morning at maybe trying Zucc with Mika, not 100% sure I will go that way. Step and Nasher do play together shorthanded, they have played together a lot in the past. Because Mats didn't have any exhibition games I wasn't able to test that but I tried it today. Obviously I am happy with how we are playing. We can easily be sitting here 4-0 the way we played in those games both offensive and defensively. I like how our team is playing and we need to go into Washington tomorrow and play a real strong game."
- On Dan Girardi, "I have not talked to our trainers. I know he skated on his own yesterday, practiced today. I'm thinking he will talk to the trainers and get a feel for where he is. I would say that back to back would be doubtful, maybe 1 of the 2 and I will just talk with the medical staff and see what they say."
- How did Girardi look to you, "he looked fine. I saw him, I was here yesterday when he skated. He looked alright, didn't seem like he was in any discomfort in any of the drills he did today, seemed fine to me. Just need to talk to the medical staff and go from there."
- On Buchnevich, "he is around, day to day, treatments are coming along. Not on the weekend but it shouldn't be much longer to get him back on the ice."
- On the record vs how the team is playing and possibly changing lines, "it has to do with me seeing Mats with Mika and Kreids. Mika and Kreids have been our best duo so far, Buch was there until he got hurt and I've had Rick there the last two games. Rick has been used to playing with Step and I wanted to see Mats with those two guys and what kind of chemistry they could come up with."
- On the speed, 'I like the speed defensively that we have shown. We haven't given up tons of chances or a lot of shots. That is permitting us, I believe, to have the puck more, translates to more opportunity to getting more pucks towards their net and managing it more. With any type of luck or finish our record would be different right now."
- On the goalies, "I can tell you that it's Henrik tomorrow and I haven't made up my mind on the next one."
- On the PP from Wed, "PP so far, throughout training camp and the first three games I liked. It wasn't as efficient as it had been as far as quickness and execution and getting pucks on the net. Sometimes it will be a little off...it hurt us, we had a 5 on 3. You have to score in those situations, it was more than a minute of 5 on 3 time. We tinkered with those units today and hopefully if we get another one we will have better results."
- On Lindberg, "making progress. I would say that he has been cleared in all aspects of practice, etc. I'd say that we are on schedule, couple of weeks and get the go ahead." a
Henrik Lundqvist will start against the Capitals tomorrow in the first of back to back games this weekend. (NYR)
Alain Vigneault said that he hasn't made up his mind about Sunday. (NYR)
It is expected that Antti Raanta will start on Sunday.
Dan Girardi is "could" be available to play over the weekend after skating yesterday and practicing today. (NYR)
Pavel Buchnevich will not make the trip to Washington and is still being considered day to day. (NYR)