1:33PM: David Quinn met with the media prior to the game and said (NYR):
- “Fil will be in and Mika’s just not ready yet.”
- Will Chytil stay around when Mika is back, “If Fil plays the way he has been, he’ll be here for a while. That is what we are anticipating, he’s a guy we think very highly of, he went down and did a great job in Hartford and he’s a guy that we are counting on moving forward.”
- Who will he be with, “he will be with Kreider and Buchnevich. That is the one line we are sure of. Our lineup is still up in the air right now.”
- Will Lindgren play, “the lineup is still up in the air right now.”
- Why did you call up Lindgren, “he has played very well and we think we are in a position to continue to improve our defense corp and it’s nice to have a seventh guy here who can challenge and push people.”
- More on Lindgren, “we thought he had a really good camp and he went down and continued to progress and do the things he will have to do up here. He continues to improve, really improved a lot in a year. From the time we got here last year and the strides he has made, he has really put himself in a good position.”
- On potentially having Kakko watch a game, “anytime you have a young player there are a lot of things you kick around and talk about and that is always on the table for a young player. That has been discussed, not just for him but for all young players.”
- What do you want to see from Chytil and Lindgren, “one of the things I think that happens for guys who play in the NHL for a while and then go to the AHL, I think they gain a new level of confidence and when you do make the step that they are making, I don’t think there are the nerves, the transition is easier and I’d anticipate that they are coming up here with a lot more confidence than when they left and when they first came to the NHL. All those things play a factor.”
- On Lindgren bringing toughness and battle level, “he sure does. I like his overall game, I think his gaps have been better, his puck play has been better, he’s always had that edge and competitiveness and battle level has always been high. I think he has added other elements to his game that have put him in this position.”
- On potentially rotating defensemen, “that is something that will take care of itself.”
- Is Chytil here because Mika got hurt, “Fil is here because he earned it and it doesn’t hurt that Mika is hurt.”
- Would he be playing if MIka was healthy, “who knows.”
- Do you think Mika could play against Nashville, “he’s day to day, still progressing and the good news is is that the Nashville game isn’t until Saturday.”
- Is Fast playing, “yes.”
12:30PM: The Rangers end their five-game homestand tonight against Tampa Bay at MSG.
Fillip Chytil will play his first game of the season for the Rangers and center Chris Kreider and Pavel Buchnevich. (Cyrgalis)
Mika Zibanejad will not play due to the upper body injury suffered on Sunday against Boston but Jesper Fast will return after missing Sunday’s game due to personal reasons. (Cyrgalis)
David Quinn noted that the rest of the Rangers lineup is up in the air.
Alex Georgiev is net for the Rangers.
The Lightning enter tonight’s game at 5-3-2 with a goal differential of only plus 2.
Tampa Bay is now down to two former Rangers, Ryan McDonagh and Kevin Shattenkirk.
Tonight is Shattenkirk’s first game at MSG and first game against the Rangers since being bought out over the summer.
This season, Shattenkirk has four goals, three assists, 27 shots on goal and is averaging 20:30 per game.
Shattenkirk is third on Tampa Bay in total ice time and is averaging 1:20 per game on the PP.
David Quinn said on Monday that his relationship with Shattenkirk right now is “good” and that he isn’t surprised with how he has bounced back in Tampa.
Adam Rotter: It’s a jam packed game full of stories tonight at MSG. Filip Chytil’s return after a strong start in Hartford is exciting and welcome though it’s important to remember that he’s still only 20-years old and won’t be a savior. What he will do is provide the Rangers with some more offensive skill down the middle and hopefully show signs that he is developing into being the Rangers long-term second line center behind Mika Zibanejad.
With Chytil between Kreider and Buchnevich it leaves open the possibility that Artemi Panarin will be on a line with Kaapo Kakko, with Ryan Strome between them. Alternatively Jesper Fast could play with Panarin and Strome and Kakko could go to the third line with Brett Howden and Brendan Lemieux. We will see if Ryan Lindgren gets in or if the Rangers will give their current six a chance to play better than they did on Sunday.
On the Tampa side, Kevin Shattenkirk returns to MSG paired mostly with Victor Hedman and spending most of his 5 on 5 on the ice with Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos. (UPDATE– At Tampa’s morning skate Shattenkirk is paired with Mikhail Sergachev on the third pair.) He has seven points in ten games but only one of which was on the PP. He’s certainly looking to prove that the Rangers made a mistake in buying him out but, outside of the cap penalties, I’m not sure the Rangers regret it. Jacob Trouba plays a role that Shattenkirk couldn’t play, Tony DeAngelo has been terrific offensively and Adam Fox makes a number of smart plays each game to help the Rangers get out of their zone. The Shattenkirk signing didn’t work out but he will likely get mentioned and honored during the game as a returning player to MSG. As for the other former Ranger on Tampa, Ryan McDonagh has three assists in ten games but is still eating a ton of minutes at 5 on 5 and on the PK.
Then there is the retired Dan Girardi getting a well deserved pre-game honor. Girardi is the exact type of player the Rangers could use right now and hopefully Ryan Lindgren, over the next couple of seasons, can fill that spot. Girardi broke his body night after night and that example helped the Rangers forge their most successful teams since 1994. I’m guessing that Ryan Callahan will get this type of honor next season since, while he is effectively retired, he is technically a member of the Senators.