4:05PM: Igor Shesterkin will start for the Rangers on Saturday.
In his return to the lineup last night, Shesterkin stopped 41 of 44 shots.
Kris Knoblauch spoke after practice and said (NYR):
- On the goalie and the lineup, “As for the goalie, Igor will be starting tomorrow. As for the lineup, we haven’t decided yet. I’ve talked to Quinny obviously and we are still sitting on a couple things, everyone is healthy, but we just don’t want to commit to the lineup yet. “
- On the communications with Quinn, “Everyday has been a little bit different. Game days usually we will talk the day before and give us an update on lineup and who we are going to play and then in the morning, probably go over more systems, we have a pre-scout that we show the players on the other team’s systems and talk about certain points about what is necessary to show the players and what we need to talk about. We don’t have a set schedule, every day is a little different, just because there is so much uncertainty, the lineup, Covid and if someone is missing or hurt. Just everything is pretty informal, but usually touch base a couple of times a day.”
- Has anything changed with Kravtsov’s status, “I can’t comment on that, I’m not sure what the plan is with Kravy and when he is coming back. I don’t think he’ll be coming right away, but things could change.”
- On K’Andre Miller, “I think his biggest attribute is how much ice he covers. He’s such a good defender, not only with his size and reach, but he’s an exceptional skater and covers a lot of ice. It’s very difficult to play against and then you get into battle against him, more often than not he is winning those battles because he is so strong and I know the team has relied on him a lot through the season, has a lot of responsibility on the PK, PP, top-four minutes, even strength. It’s a lot of heavy lifting for a young defenseman in the league and he has accepted it and not only accepted it, but excelled at it.”
- On the differences between coaching at different level, “Obviously the skill level in the game is a lot higher than it would be in junior or the AHL. The speed, also, but probably the biggest thing for a coach to get used to is managing the schedule, you don’t have very much practice time. In the AHL you are getting three and maybe more practices per week, this year, more, just with the schedule it is there. Here, in the NHL, right now you are getting a team practice maybe once a week and it’s probably for 25-30 minutes, so there is not a whole lot of time to work on things. You need to communicate with your players through video and individual meetings and that is the biggest difference I’ve found out in my short time here.”
- On Igor Shesterkin last night, “I thought he looked tremendous and made some really big saves and in the first period, I’m not sure what the score was, but it was tight and the save he made on Giroux. I thought he played really well, that we gave up some really good scoring chances and at the end of the day the scoring chances were every equal, so I think that says a lot of how Igor played.”
- On his personality as a coach right now, “As for my coaching style, I think it’s very similar. Certainly there is some aspects that are different, when you are with the team a little more you get more invested and the demeanor changes a little bit, but I just feel that wherever I’ve coached, just be the same, coach as who I am. Whether that is as an assistant, head coach, junior, pro, wherever it is. I try to stay the same.”
- Has Quinn addressed the team at all, “He has not talked to the team collectively, I know he has talked to many individuals throughout this time.”
- On Alexis Lafreniere, “Young guy who obviously has a lot of skill, can make some plays, I think there is a tremendous amount of pressure he puts on himself and just not allowing himself to be the player he is. Going from junior hockey and having so much success and then becoming a pro, not only is there an adjustment to the game and style, but also, as I mentioned before, the amount of pressure he puts on himself. He wants to be a dominant player in the future and a good player right now and it just doesn’t happen overnight and it takes a lot of work. There is so much promise in him, he will get there.”
- On expecting the Flyers to be physical at the start , “There is also referees on the ice and we are able to capitalize on after the whistle penalty early in the second period, we just have to make sure we move the puck quick and not allowing ourselves to be checked. It’s going to be a physical game and certainly I hope we can match that physicality also. Our playing style between the two teams are a little bit different, but each team brings it’s own. It’s different each game, the game is very important for both teams, both teams have aspirations to make the playoffs and have to climb the standings. Ultimately just winning the game is most important.”