Updates from Rangers practice on Wednesday

1:48PM: David Quinn met with the media on Wednesday after practice and said (NYR):

  • On Kakko moving up on the PP, “our PP hasn’t been good enough and with Mika coming back and some moving parts, we are just better off having that lefty up on the half wall and I think Kakko over the last few games has earned that opportunity.”
  • On Chytil/Buch for the second PP, “right now it’s going to be Chytil.”
  • On the lines for Columbus being what they were in practice, “yes.”
    • Brendan Lemieux, Mika Zibanejad, Kaapo Kakko
    • Artemi Panarin, Ryan Strome, Chris Kreider
    • Greg McKegg, Filip Chytil, Pavel Buchnevich
        • McKegg likely in Fast’s spot.
  • On the PP and shooting mentality, “it’s a team-wide problem, we even saw it today in practice. We want to tap it in, that is our mentality and one of the reasons why we have one of the best shooting percentages in the NHL is because we only shoot when we think we are going to score. I think our differential for shot attempts, which can be a little deceiving, but over the course of 25-26 games it’s telling that there are games we are not shooting enough, more games than not, many more games than not. Our PP we have become very perimeter and don’t get into attack mode. We will have these ups and downs until we consistently understand that an early shot or attacking situation, instead of staying on the perimeter, we are going to cause ourselves problem on the PP.”
  • On how the team tracks scoring chances, “there are different levels, an A chance, B chance. We are probably harder graders than other people because it’s an indication of how you are playing and there are plenty of times where we should have a scoring chance but we get none because we don’t shoot it. That happens a lot during the course of the season where we pass up a shot that would be a scoring chance and, from that, come other scoring chances. Zone time is important, we are trying to gauge our zone time and lately we’ve had some pretty good nights where we spend more time in the offensive zone than our opponents and not gotten a lot out of it.”
  • Why is that players pass up shots, “I think that if you talk to anybody at the lower levels, college coaches or what-not, the new generation of player, the shooting, I think it’s a problem throughout our game as these kids are growing up. When you are the youngest team in the league…but I also think it might be a European thing too. We’ve just gotta keep harping on it and getting…even the last drill we did today, it was small area, 3-on-2 transition into our own end and 7 or 8 times we should shoot a puck and we don’t. It’s something we need to keep harping on. If I blew the whistle every time we should shoot a puck in practice, we’d still be in the second drill by now.”
  • On Marc Staal, “he’s getting close. We will talk today and see how he feels. Having a lower body injury might take a little more time because of the skating aspect of it, he may be a little slower to come back than someone with an arm or elbow injury because you can keep skating and keep your legs. We will talk in a little bit as a staff and the medical team and him and tomorrow and decide if he will play tomorrow or not.”
  • On McKegg, “McKegg is close, he could be in tomorrow. Another guy we will talk about when we get on the plane.”
  • On Panarin, “his personality, I’ve said this a lot and you guys have been around him enough too, this guy never stops smiling, he enjoys life and as I jokingly say, if I signed an $81 million dollar contract I’d be happy and enjoy life too bu that is not the reason this guys smiles every day. This guy enjoys hockey, loves hockey, loves coming to the rink, loves getting better and when you ask me that question I think of some of the reaction that our players have on the bench during the course of the game when he does something, literally guys are elbowing each other asking if they saw that. That is the type of player that he is and there aren’t many in the league.”
  • On Panarin’s English, “he’s made a conscious effort to continue to improve his English. He’s a bright guy, I always believe he knows more than he lets on as well (smile).”
  • Does his return to Columbus become a talking point, “I haven’t that far ahead about whether I’m going to bring that topic up, I think it’s an obvious situation where guys will be talking about it and guys will have fun with it. To me, he loves the pressure, the spotlight and not in…he loves the pressure and spotlight of taking his team on his shoulders spotlight and I think this is another moment for him to continue to do what he has been doing for us since day 1.”
  • On Jesper Fast, “he’ll be good.”
  • Are you comfortable with Boo on the wing, “he was playing wing down in Hartford, I have no problem playing him on the wing.”
  • Will he play there tomorrow, “we will see.”
  • On having two days off between games, “we gave them a day off yesterday, only a few guys skated, our energy was as high as it’s been in a practice for a long time. You could feel it, there was a purpose and crispness and intention and enthusiasm. It was a good feel in that practice.”

11:25AM: At Rangers practice on Wednesday, Kaapo Kakko has replaced Ryan Strome on the top PP unit. (Brooks)

The players on that unit include: Kakko, Artemi Panarin, Mika Zibanejad, Chris Kreider and Tony DeAngelo.





The second PP unit includes Strome, Adam Fox, Jacob Trouba and Brendan Lemieux. Filip Chytil and Pavel Buchnevich are rotating in the fifth spot. (Mercogliano)

Marc Staal and Greg McKegg are both practicing but Jesper Fast is not because of a maintenance day. (Brooks)