5:16PM: David Quinn spoke after practice and said (NYR):
- On why Kakko was taken off the Panarin line so quickly to start the year and why he is back, “It was short lived because I just didn’t love how things were going. I do like the way he’s played lately and right now with our lineup, that is our best look.”
- On Libor Hajek, “Libor has had a tough go of it the last two years with injuries, and that is really the reason why he is in the situation he is in. He had a great start when we called him up two years ago, hurt his shoulder and last year he was up early and had some ups and downs but, was still having some good stretches and then got hurt again and that is when Lindgren came up and kind of grabbed that spot. To no fault of his own, the last two years haven’t been easy for him, but he works hard, skates, is coachable and I am anxious to see him play, because this kid is a good player and a good NHL player and I’m excited for him to get this opportunity.”
- On Shesterkin starting over Georgiev, “Under the circumstances, Georgie has been under a lot the last 48-hours and maybe give him another day or two to kind of unwind a little and get back into the groove of things, so we are going to play Shesty tomorrow., for a variety of reasons.”
- Does Shesterkin have a chance to go on a run or will you go back to the rotation, “Georgie is going to play for us, for sure. I have no idea what is going to happen after tomorrow night, the plan is to play Georgie again, but all the sudden if something crazy happens or Shesty does something that we feel will give us a better chance to win the next night, we will do that. I don’t want to tie ourselves down to any commitment, but right now the plan would be to play Georgie.”
- Does the postponed game Saturday factor into the goalie choices, “that is certainly part of the decision making process for how is playing and not.”
- On Brendan Smith and Jack Johnson, “both are day to day, I don’t expect either one ready for tomorrow.”
- What do you need to see from Hajek, “he has all the physical tools and sometimes he can get in his own way mentally. He’s a guy that really wants to please the coaches, doesn’t want to let his teammates down, such an incredible person, that may get in the way of his play. I think I sense a little bit different of swagger with him right now, that is all part of growing up. He’s a young kid and a ton of potential and we think very highly of him and are excited to see him play tomorrow.”
12:52PM: Igor Shesterkin will make his second straight start on Thursday when the Rangers host the Capitals. (NYR)
Last week David Quinn said that he planned to alternate Shesterkin and Alex Georgiev from game to game regardless of the result.
Libor Hajek will make his season debut tomorrow in place of Brendan Smith after Smith was injured in the first period of Monday’s win over Pitt. (NYR)
Kaapo Kakko, who missed Monday’s game after being put on the Covid list, returned to practice today. (Carpiniello)
Jonny Brodzinski, who was called up and played on Monday, was sent back to Hartford.