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2020-21 Rangers

Igor Shesterkin to start against the Islanders

5:03PM: Igor Shesterkin will start in net. (NYR)

2:16PM: David Quinn spoke on Monday and said (NYR):

  • Are you willing to say who is starting, “nope, let you know tonight, in warmups.” (Laughs)
  • On Libor Hajek’s first game, “I liked his game, tough situation, he hadn’t played in a long, actually he played in Europe, but, an NHL game in a long time. I liked how composed he was, I thought, not a lot of minutes, but him and Bitetto did a good job. We talk about Libor and what we think of him as a player, he needs to continue to feel the way we do about him as a player, that is the kind of gap we have to close and I think he took a good step forward the other night.”


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  • On Zibanejad and Covid, “I think he is still working through it a little bit, but he’s off to a slow start and he and I have talked about it, he’s acknowledged that he’s a little frustrated, but there are definitely signs that he is coming out of it. Not only what we saw the other night, but yesterday’s practice. One of the things about him, in the two plus years I’ve been here, his practices have been outstanding, he would always jump out at you in practice, not only how hard he played, but the things he was doing. You are starting to see that more and more with each passing practice.”
  • Injury updates, “Smitty is getting close, for sure. Blackwell skated today, he’s getting closer. Jack didn’t skate today, but he’s making progress and Chytil is still a little ways away.”
  • How important is it to get the top line going, “without question, it’s pivotal for us to have them going offensively and defensively, you are talking about one of our top-two lines. No team can have sustained success if one of your top two lines isn’t being productive offensively and defensively. There are signs that they are coming out of it, Buchie has had a really good start, Mika is starting to come out of it, Kreids has four goals. It’s a shortened season, so we don’t have a lot of time, but as an organization and a staff, we feel that things are going to happen for them sooner than later.”
  • On not revealing who the goalie is, “just something I don’t want to do right now.”
  • On Adam Fox, “people have been talking about him as they should, ever since the season started you are talking about a guy who is not only one of our best players, but game in and out one of the top players in the game, not only from our end of it, but from the other team’s end of it. People always talk about a sophomore slump and things of that nature, he’s having none of it, he’s elevated his game from last year, playing with an awful lot of confidence. It’s not just what he does offensively, he competes hard defensively, putting himself in good position, just a lot of good things going on in his game right now.”
  • On the Islanders, “they are a deep team, structured, well coached, play hard. They make it difficult for you, they don’t give you anything, you have to earn everything you get against them. Quite honestly, we are trying to implement some of the characteristics they have with our group. They go about it the right way, tough, strong, get to nets, keep it simple. It’s a challenge for us, for sure. We have a lot of respect for how they play and how they are coached.”

11:50AM: For the second straight day, David Quinn would not divulge tonight’s starting goalie against the Islanders. (Mollie Walker)

On Sunday, Quinn said of the decision of who to start, “it isn’t an easy one. Shesty is in a little bit of a roll, Georgie hasn’t played in a little while and he’s played well against the Islanders. So the decision that is made was 51-49, so it wasn’t a 100% clear decision.” (NYR)

Igor Shesterkin has three straight wins and has given up five goals in that span.

Alex Georgiev has not played since January 30th, the night of his altercation with Tony DeAngelo, but shut out the Islanders in his first start this season and is 6-2-0, with a 1.80 GAA and .941 save percentage in his career against the Islanders. (NYR Game Notes)

Semyon Varlamov, who shut out the Rangers on opening night, is starting for the Isles. (Staple)

On other players and topics, Quinn said on Sunday (NYR):

  • On Ryan Strome, “I loved his effort the other night, that line was really good, all three of those guys played well. Stromer did a lot of good things, even when he made mistakes, I loved his effort after it. That whole line, everyone talked about Kaapo’s game, which you can argue was his best game as a Ranger, I thought Bread had a really good night, Stromer had a good night. They played at a pace throughout most of the game. When they do that it’s going to be a really good line for us.”
  • On Kevin Rooney, “I have certainly loved his game the last 2-3 weeks. Obviously, having Covid when the season started and then he got dinged in practice during training camp, got off to a little bit of a slow start, no fault of his, and he’s progressed, really understood what his role is here, embraced it, he’s a great teammate and scored some key goals for us so far. There is a lot to like about his game right now.”
  • On Alexis Lafreniere, “This kid doesn’t have a bad day, I love his passion, doesn’t get down on himself, willing to learn, all the things you look for in a young player with that much talent. He wants to get better, loves his teammates, has this infectious personality that is fun to be around. When you add all that up, he has a chance to be a real special player.”

On Friday, Quinn said (NYR):

  • On Adam Fox, “It’s amazing, I don’t want to say easy, how he has made the transition to the NHL, but this is a guy who has stepped in from day one and made an impact both offensively and defensively. One of the things that I think isn’t talked about enough is how hard he competes defensively, his positioning. He’s a lot more well rounded than people might give him credit for and obviously people talk about his puck skills and how smart he is, but defensively he has been really good for us, too. You’d put him up there as one of our best players so far this year.”
  • On Mika Zibanejad, “One of the things that has happened with Mika, he has certainly raised the bar to the level of elite, one of the elite players in this league, so obviously we all watch him, that’s what we compare him to. With the start he has had, with having COVID and really not being able to do an awful lot before the season started, he certainly hasn’t gotten off to start that I know that he wants to, statistically or what we want him to, but he still has done good things, that is for sure, and sooner or later, the points will start coming and he’s going to be the elite player that we all have seen for a while. Not just that stretch last year, but I thought even two years ago he was creeping toward elite status, and that’s kind of what’s happened. I think he’s raised the bar, the expectations, not only here in New York, but I think in the hockey world, the expectations are high because of the bar he has set over the last two years and we have no doubt he’s gonna end up ultimately reaching that level here sometime soon.”
  • On K’Andre Miller, “He’s quietly confident, he’s also hard on himself. He had a good game last night and I was walking by him, I said ‘great job last night, nice win’ and I’m like ‘you can smile and enjoy this, we’ve just taken 7 out of 8, you continue to play big minutes and be a big factor in us winning hockey games.’ He’s taken on a lot of challenges in a short amount of time for us and he sees everybodies best players and he certainly hasn’t missed a beat doing it. His physical skills have been noted, but the thing I like about him is his mental approach, I think he has done a really good approaching this daily in the right matter.”
  • On talking with Kakko himself about not thinking about the player he can became, “maybe not, so much, in those exact words, but that certainly is the gist of a lot of conversations we’ve had with him. I thought last night, he was instrumental in goals one and three, and I know he didn’t get an assist on the first one, but he was a big reason why we scored. If you watch that goal, the third one, he does a hell of a job winning that wall battle and the thing that I love his quickly he got up and sprinted to join the play. He’s really hounding pucks, skating in small areas, winning wall battles and when you do that, and you have that skillset, that is when things really start happening from an offensive perspective and I think he is understanding that. I’m just really happy for him, he had a really good night.”
  • On how Fox’s teammates look to him, “he’s very easygoing, not a lot rattles him, pressure doesn’t get to him, he’s pretty cool, calm and collected off the ice as well, but our guys recognize what type of player he is, not only our guys, but players across the league, you hear people talk about him, I do know other players talk about him after we play them and they talk about the skillset and how smart he is and what he brings to the table. It’s not just teammates that are in a little bit of awe of him from time to time with some of the things he does, but the opposing team does as well.”