2020-21 Rangers

Kinkaid in net tonight, Kravtsov could start practicing tomorrow

5:16PM: The NHL has announced that Brett Howden is on the Covid list. Phil Di Giuseppe remains on the list.

1:03 PM: Kris Knoblauch spoke after the morning skate and said:

  • On going with Kinkaid, “that is a group decision, Quinny and Benny talking mostly and them getting my thoughts, but ultimately it’s Quinny’s final decision and it takes our thoughts, Benny and myself, but I think Keith has played really well, really sharp, I’ve seen him twice in Hartford and he stood on his head. The other game against Washington was really solid too. We felt he deserved it, earned it and you always want players, some accountability, that when they do something well that they have the opportunity to follow through. I think Keith’s play warranted him to get another start.”


  • On the kind of player Vitali Kravtsov can be, “We anticipate that he will be on the ice tomorrow if everything goes well. I know Kravy quite well from last year and the second half of the year he was really good for us. There was definitely some disappointment at the beginning of the year, he had his heart set on being with the Rangers and that wasn’t to be, but when he re-joined us in December he was great in everything we asked him to do. He played hard, was blocking shots, I anticipate with him being here that he will make the team better. What his role is in the future, I don’t know, there are going to be some practices and getting him up to game speed and the systems and speed of the play, but I think he will be a big benefit for the team in the future.”
  • On what he has learned about the team, “I think it’s just a short period of time and right now it’s pretty much a good time, you have the 9-0 win against Philadelphia, the two split games against Washington, who might be the best team in the NHL right now. Guys are feeling good about themselves and I don’t know if that is the case all the time, the excitement, enthusiasm on the bench and in practice, that is what I see right now, but I’m coming here for a very short period of time and seeing a small window of what this team is like. That is what I see right now.”
  • How close is Shesterkin to returning, “I believe that he will be on the ice tomorrow, he was on the ice the last couple of days. Being on the ice for our practice tomorrow and Wednesday and we will see about playing on Thursday. Again, that is not my decision, but he’s very, very close.”
  • On Chytil, Kakko, Lafreniere, “I’ve been able to evaluate their games after watching the video and on the ice, but I think that when the three of them are skating and checking, they are really effective and for the most part I have seen that. Sometimes as a coach you are hesitant to throw three young players, like they are, and get them caught against Ovechkin or Kuznetsov or Backstrom. As a coach, you get a little hesitant, but from what I’ve seen, they’ve been playing really well. I said it after the second game against Washington, they deserved more ice time than they got, but with the way all three skate and their playmaking ability, if they play tenacious it will create good scoring chances and I think they have and they are just close really to capitalizing and contributing more offensively.”
  • Have you had a conversation with those guys, “Yes I have. I talked to them and discussed the coach’s mindset in the game and what they are thinking and often coaches make mistakes and players make mistakes when they are on the ice and so do coaches. I’ve had some time to reflect and really evaluate their game on video and show them things that I liked and some things they could improve on. For the most part, their game is good.”
  • On Kravtsov as a person, “My thoughts are that he’s great, I loved Kravy, having him there. His attitude in the second half was good. I know there was some disappointment at the beginning of the season and his heart wasn’t in it 100%. He joined us, I believe it was December 5th or 6th and from that day on, he was 100% committed. As a person and a player, I have a lot of respect for him and I think he’s going to be one heck of a hockey player in the future.”

11:06 AM: Keith Kinkaid will start in net for the Rangers tonight against Buffalo and Alex Georgiev will back up. (NYR)

Igor Shesterkin skated with the team at today’s morning skate. (NYR)

Brett Howden did not skate this morning and is OUT tonight. Julien Gauthier will take his spot in the lineup. (NYR)

Vitali Kravtsov, who has been in New York quarantining, can begin practicing with the Rangers tomorrow if he passes his Covid-19 protocol cardiac screening. (NYR)