2020-21 Rangers

Igor Shesterkin to start on Tuesday against Pittsburgh

3:45PM: David Quinn spoke after practice today (NYR):

  • On tweaking the lines, “Like we’ve mentioned, when you make one move or want to make one adjustment, your whole lineup changes and one of the things we thought is getting Blackwell on that line with Strome and Bread gives it a little bit of a different look, we’ve liked the way Kaapo has played, it had nothing to do with Kaapo, but it does give it a bit of a different look moving forward. Kaapo is playing with Lafreniere and Chytil and they are not going to see everybody’s top pairings or top two lines and just the way our lineup is right now, it doesn’t mean Kravy is going to be down there forever or even during the whole game, you can move people around, but right now, with our lineup and the players we have at our disposal, right now it’s the best lineup we feel we have tomorrow.”

  • On talking with Kakko about moving lines, “I’m anxious to see it now. Kaapo and I talked today for sure and it’s something that you just want to let him know and give him a little reasoning why you are doing it. I really like Lafreniere’s game the last few games, I think Chytil is starting to play better and Kaapo has played well. I’m not worried about what they looked like before because when you have such young players they change, they get better, you hope and all these guys continue to improve and I’m anxious to see how they played together because I think they have the ability to do some good things and they are getting better responsibly defensively, but I also think there is going to be an offensive element they might be able to bring. I’m anxious to see how they play together.”
  • Why move Blackwell up, “I just think it’s a little bit different look for that line, he’s had success with them in the past. He’s got a little bit more of a Jesper Fast to his game than Kaapo has, to me, it’s not necessarily putting all the best players together, it’s putting guys together that work well together, have a little bit of balance and chemistry in each line and that is kind of how we feel right now. That might change during the course of the game, but it’s something we want to look at for tomorrow night.”
  • On Kravtsov being on the fourth line, “Nothing has changed, he is playing tomorrow. It’s just, the players we have, this is the best lineup we feel we have for tomorrow night and there really isn’t more or anything less to it, when you have a new player, a guy that has played one game, you are still trying to figure out good line combinations with him and it might change, we really liked his game the other night and anxious to see him tomorrow.”
  • On the games this week, “Two teams that have played really well and fighting for first place in our division. We’ve had great games with them, I know obviously we haven’t had a lot of success against them, but we have had great games and just another opportunity to continue to move forward. We understand what is in front of us tomorrow night, one of the hottest teams in the league, they have played really well the last month and we are going to have to be on the top of our game to give ourselves a chance.”
  • Why do you think Pittsburgh has been so difficult, “They are quick, well coached, we’ve probably played well against them, just haven’t been able to find wins, we lost two tough games early in the year to them. We lost a tough one the last time we were in there, the second game we played really well. Just one of those things, they are a good team, they are deep and we just haven’t found a way to capitalize on some of the chances we’ve had.”
  • On the goalie for tomorrow, “Shesty will be in net tomorrow and still not 100% sure what our lineup will look like.”
  • On the consistency of the offense, “The Buffalo games were a little bit different, I thought the first game we had a little bit more quality scoring chances, their goalie played very well, so I thought our chances were what we wanted them to be, but we just didn’t capitalize. The second game they weren’t anywhere near as Grade A we had the first night. We’ve talked about it forever, we have a team that sometimes plays too much east/west and when we thrive off of that we don’t score as many goals as we do when we base our offense on playing a little more north/south and then a byproduct of that is we are able to play more east/west. When we primarily try to create our offense going east/west and try to pass the puck in the net, we have a hard time scoring. When we play a little more straight lined and attacking off the rush that opens up opportunities to make passes east/west. To me that is the secret to our success offensively.”
  • Can Kravtsov play the LW, “Yea, he has done both so we feel very comfortable putting him on the left as well.”

12:58PM: Igor Shesterkin will start for the Rangers on Tuesday against the Penguins. (NYR)


The lines the Rangers used at practice today were (Stephenson):

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

Brett Howden, in his first practice since coming off the Covid list, is skating as an extra. (Stephenson)

The PP units being used are (Stephenson):

  • Artemi Panarin, Chris Kreider, Ryan Strome, Mika Zibanejad, Adam Fox
  • Kaapo Kakko, Colin Blackwell, Pavel Buchnevich, Jacob Trouba, K’Andre Miller