2020-21 Rangers

Shesterkin in net, Lemieux out against Pens

2:16PM: David Quinn spoke prior to the game and said (NYR):

  • On things they notice when watching video, “One of the things that we are constantly trying to harp on is our puck management, because I think it’s our #1 problem. I think we are doing a better job of it over the last three games. I think we did a pretty good job the other night. It’s the balance of whether to make a play or not. We are starting to do a better job, the number of chances we’ve given up are way down, the Grade A’s are way down. I still think the structure in the D-Zone can be a lot better, it’s something we focused on today. There is not one big thing that has jumped out over the last three games. Obviously I like the direction we are going, we’ve played pretty well, particularly the other night and other than the first period against the Devils we’ve played some pretty good hockey in a short period of time.”

  • Is Lemieux healthy, “Lemieux is fine to play, it’s just, we want to get other people in and after the other night, for a variety for reasons, he can play better too, I didn’t love the penalty he took. He’s a big part of what we got going on here and I know he will get back in and do what he is capable of doing.”
  • On the goalies, “it’s been solid, if you talk to both guys, I think they’d like to be a little bit better. You can’t really blame Shesty for any of the goals the other night, one of them we put in, one got tipped, one went off the back wall right to a guy backdoor and we had blown coverage. The thing I like is that I think we are doing a good job in front of him over the last three games, both of these guys. We feel really confident in both of our goalies.”
  • On Strome, “I thought he did a better job the other night, he held on to the puck a little more, a little more engaged, stopping and starting more. The basics of the game he has to do, he’s an instinctive player and when he is playing off of instincts and doing the basics of the game shift in and out he’s a very good player. That line had some great chances the other night and he was certainly part of the reason. He’s just gotta build off that and take the next step. It was certainly a step in the right direction, but as he and I talked earlier today, he knows there is certainly another level or two that he can get to. It’s got to be a little harder, a little bit more inside, more puck possession and if you do all of those things a little more, you are going to have a much better game.”
  • On Smith coming in for Johnson, “Jack was solid for us the first few games, thought he struggled a little bit the other night, Smitty had a real good game and then I thought he dropped off the second night. We have faith in all seven of our guys. Guys have to play well to stay in and I just thought it was the right move.”
  • On what Jacques Martin brings, “Sully was dead on with everything he said about Jacques, he such a pro, has a wealth of experience, a great teacher, love what he is doing with our defense and PP. He has a great demeanor and been a great fit for us.”
  • On being able to play with a lead, “it’s understanding when you are up 3-1, it’s not taking the stick out of their hands, but it’s the risk/reward factor. You are up 3-1, they are going to make a push, you want to play a territorial game a little bit more than you normally do and there were just too many blind, hope plays to the middle when we could have gotten it behind them, shifted into space and gone and established the offensive zone. Those are things we have to learn, understanding situational hockey. It’s Game 4 and these are games we have to win. When we play like that and you want to come out there with two points. We felt good about our effort, you don’t feel good about the result. There are things you can constantly do to put yourself in position to get those points.”
  • On being frustrated with some penalties, “penalties are going to happen, but they can’t be of that variety. The first game we had eight of them and we’ve done a much better job the last three games, 4-2-2. We are going to have a chance to win every night if those are the amount of penalties we are taking. It’s an indicator if our skating and just being smart. It is frustrating because Pepe is a good player and we need him, but you can’t be taking penalties like that at crucial times.”
  • On Blackwell, “I love his pace, competitiveness, I love the way he approaches the game. You are going to get an honest effort, night in and out. I know him from his Harvard days and thought he was a real good player from afar. I’ve talked to the organizations and guys he’s played for, they speak very highly of him and he’s had a real good camp. He puts his head down and works and we know what we are going to get out of him tonight.”

12:56PM: Igor Shesterkin will make his second straight start tonight when the Rangers play the Penguins. (NYR)


On defense, Jack Johnson will come out of the lineup and be replaced by Brendan Smith. (NYR)

Brendan Lemieux will also be scratched tonight and be replaced by Colin Blackwell. (NYR)

Blackwell was promoted from the Rangers taxi squad and would need to be placed on waivers to return to the taxi squad. Blackwell would not need to be placed on waivers, at this time, to be sent back to the taxi squad. (Brooks)

Blackwell signed a two-year deal in the offseason and 33 games of NHL experience, including 27 with Nashville last season.