2020-21 Rangers

Shesterkin in net against the Capitals

4:50PM: David Quinn spoke this morning and said (NYR):

  • On Igor Shesterkin, “He’s gonna play tonight and I think he proved through those games that he played, the two games he played when he came back, he certainly looked healthy. I think he is in a great place mentally, I think he feels really good about where he is physically, I don’t think he’s concerned about ant opportunity where he might re-injure himself. He’s in a good spot mentally and play tonight.”

  • Is Igor gonna get a bunch of games in a row, “it’s certainly an opportunity for him to do that, that being said, we do have faith in our other goalies and to me it’s going to be game by game and see where things go, but he’s in a position where he might be able to do that.”
  • On what he learned while being out, “Some of those things I had recognized before I got Covid, it was something we addressed as a team after the first Bruins game, loss in Boston, one of the things we talked about was some of the things we have to do better as a group. We were including everybody, not just the players, but the coaches. We really felt good about that game in Boston, we felt good about that first Flyer game, even though we lost in OT, after a rusty first period I thought we played really well after that. Getting the news we weren’t going to have Fox and Buchnevich before that game, our guys responded well. Just some of the things we talked about I’d rather keep internally, but things, what it really did more than anything is confirm the things that I knew a) that I had to do better and we needed to do better as a staff.”
  • On Adam Fox, “I think it’s gone to another level all year, not just the last month. He’s getting rewarded statistically, everybody is playing a little bit better, our top players have all played better in the last three weeks, that is why we are scoring more, he certainly benefits from that, but I thought he was playing great hockey since the get-go of this year. People talk about someone having a sophomore slump, I thought he elevated his game from last year right from the get-go this year. I think people are always curious whether a rookie can back up what they did his first year and he certainly not only backed it up, but brought it to another level and I’m not surprised he is getting the accolades and attention he is getting.”
  • On the Chytil, Lafreniere, Gauthier line, “We have thought about it, talked about it, they get the goal late, I thought they got better as the game went on the other night, they got off to a little bit of a slow start, but watching the game, and I felt it during the game, they got better as the game went on and had a great shift at the end of the second period, drew a penalty had some good shifts in the third. When you have a young line you have to be patient and allow them to grow and depending on the game situation there may be some changes to give a little bit more of a veteran presence and mix the lines up.”
  • On guys like Blackwell and Rooney taking time away from younger guys, “It’s something we talk about a lot. We want to win, I know we have great young players and you want to let them develop and you’ve touched on it, and everyone touches on how hard it is to develop in the NHL. There is only 60 minutes in a game and ideally you’d like to let them play 15 minutes a night, I know I’ve said this a little bit before and I know Kris mentioned it a couple of times, I looked at the minutes the other day and I was a little pissed at myself for not playing those guys more. There are so many factors that go into these decisions, you also want to play people that are playing well because you have a team to coach and a locker room to answer to as well. It’s a balancing act. These kids have handled it well, to me, I think the minutes played will go game to game, it’s not a straight trajectory line how players develop, sometimes they do have to learn hard lessons and not always get everything they want, but you can’t take away their confidence, so there are so many factors that go into these decisions and it’s constant conversation amongst our staff about what the right thing to do, not only for the player, but for the team because inevitably you are held responsible by the team and that is something we have to keep being aware of. It’s not just about one player, but we are also aware of the situation we are in and that we’ve got good young players that are going to be a big, big part of our future and we are trying to accelerate that, obviously, but we also want to win hockey games. There are guys in this league that want to win, we’ve got players here that are in different stages of their career and want to win now. There is so much…those conversations aren’t five minute conversations, they are long conversations.”
  • On scoreboard watching, “It’s a lot easier to scoreboard watch when you only have seven other teams to follow, so the nights that we don’t play you watch the games that have an impact on your division, I think everybody has been scoreboard watching since Day 1 because of the unique year we are in and we know the teams we have to jump ahead of. I think that is natural, but when we come to the rink this morning it’s much more about getting ready to rebound and play a very good Washington team that is number one in our division and that we’ve had great games with. I think everybody scoreboard watches the nights we don’t play and after the game I’m sure we will do a little scoreboard watching, but I think that is just natural.”
  • How do you approach the final 22-games, “we think these young players can help us achieve our goal, it may not be in the ideal way that people think it can be, where people are going to play 17-minutes a night and always be in PP situations or situations that everyone wants them to be in, but there are other ways that they can help. It’s part of the learning process. We think every player in our lineup can help us get where we want to go and achieve our ultimate goal, that is kind of how we approach it.”
  • What more are you seeing from Fox, “I think he was very consistent last year too, but I just remember at the end of the year and he was on the top PP unit for a while and I remember having a conversation with him and the way he was approaching it, he was acting like he didn’t belong or deferring to everybody. This year there is just another level of confidence, he knows he belongs, certainly has embraced the challenge of being the #1 PP defenseman and I just think there is another level of confidence. I’ve always thought he was a consistent player, there aren’t many nights when the game ends and you don’t think Adam Fox had a good night, to me, that is being a great pro, how bad is your bad and he doesn’t have many bad nights and when he does have a night where he may not be on his “A” game, he’s certainly still an effective player for us.”

11:43AM: Igor Shesterkin will start for the Rangers tonight against the Capitals. (NYR)


The lines used at practice today were (Walker):

  • Chris Kreider, Mika Zibanejad, Pavel Buchnevich
  • Artemi Panarin, Ryan Strome, Kaapo Kakko
  • Alexis Lafreniere, Filip Chytil, Julien Gauthier
  • Phil Di Giuseppe, Kevin Rooney, Colin Blackwell