2020-21 Rangers

Igor Shesterkin to start on Thursday

6:09PM: David Quinn spoke after practice today and said (NYR):

  • Who is your goalie tomorrow, “Shesty will be in net tomorrow and really haven’t made any final decision on lineup yet. “
  • On Vitali Kravtsov, “For me it was the first time I’ve been on the ice with him since last year in the bubble. We’ve all loved his skill, hockey IQ, certainly had a good year over in Russia. We do want to get him into a game, not just get him into a game, he continues to earn an opportunity to get into a game and we haven’t made a decision on when that will happen yet.”

  • On the spot Kravtsov could potentially take, “We want to put our best lineup out there now, we are obviously in a situation where we want to make the playoffs, playing good hockey, feel good about the direction we are going, and want to continue to move forward and give ourselves the best chance night in and night out, so that, really, at the end of the day, what our decision-making process will be.”
  • On putting Kravtsov in an offensive role, “We certainly recognize that with his skillset he’s a guy that has created offense his whole life, he’s not that fourth-line type player. When he does get in, we are aware of that and know we need to put him in a position to succeed, just like we want to do with every player we have. That isn’t lost on us as a staff.”
  • On the growth of the young players, “they have done a really good job, it’s certainly been fun to watch and a couple of them, obviously, had some bumps in the road with Chytil getting hurt and Kaapo having Covid, we thought those guys were having really good years and unfortunately, we went through those stretches where they weren’t available to us, that certainly hurt. Gauthier continues to improve and Fox and Lindgren have made big jumps, K’Andre Miller continues to play well, Libor Hajek had a really good night last night. There are good things going on. Laffy keeps getting better and better, as we’ve touched on, it’s a hard year for a rookie, an 18-19-year old rookie because of the circumstances, he didn’t have three and a half weeks of training camp, don’t have six exhibition games and you kind of throw it into the fire without giving yourself a chance to learn your way a little bit. We are really happy with the progress of a lot of these guys.”
  • On not overlooking the Sabres, “we certainly know what is in front of us and we know what is at stake. We can’t afford to take anybody lightly in this league, nobody can. I’ve always said this about the sport, it’s the most effort driven sport that there is because it’s played in such a small area, it’s so physical or can be physical and it’s so fast. When you bring in effort, effort can overcome maybe a lack of talent and we certainly are aware of that and need to continue to approach night in and out with an effort that is going to give us a chance to win, regardless of the opponent. We’ve had tough games with Buffalo, nothing has been easy with them and it would be a grave mistake, from our end of it, to take anybody lightly and we are constantly trying to measure ourselves against ourselves, our effort and commitment to winning can’t change regardless of our opponent and we want to make sure we put ourselves in the best position to win night in and out regardless of our opponent.”
  • On Ryan Lindgren, “He’s always been a tone setter and always been a guy who never backs down from anybody. One of the things that has happened in the last year and a half since he’s been here, the thing I’ve really been impressed with with him is how his decision making has improved, his skills have improved, puck skills have improved, he’s always had that grit element and always been a good defender, but the thing that I’ve been really impressed with, and has really been a key to his success at this level, is his skillset and how much it’s improved. He does a heck of a job complementing Foxy, but I think he’d complement a lot of defensemen in this league.”
  • Could Rooney, Gauthier, Blackwell mimic the Isles fourth line, “Well, maybe in eight years when they’ve had that amount of games and that experience under their belt they’d be able to match that. I was actually just talking to JR about that, about the teams we play and the number of games we face night in and out. That line has an element to them with the way they play, but they also have an abundance of experience. I understand the direction of the question, these guys do have the ability to play that type of style, which certainly brings a different element to our team.”
  • What do you need to see from Kravtsov before putting him in, “As much as it’s about what he’s doing, it’s about what people in the lineup are or are not doing. We win 5-2 last night, feel good about the way we played, feel good about the way a lot of guys played. Our decision to get him in, there are two parts to it, it’s us wanting to get him in and him earning the opportunity to get in, but also someone might not deserve to be in the lineup, so there are a couple of things that go into that decision making process. That is kind of where we are at with when he will get in.”

4:30 PM: Igor Shesterkin will start for the Rangers on Thursday in Buffalo. (NYR)


Brett Howden, who has been on the Covid list, will undergo cardiac screening tomorrow and skate on his own at the MSG Training center if he is cleared. (NYR)