2020-21 Rangers

Phil Di Giuseppe will play tonight

12:58PM: David Quinn spoke this morning and said (NYR):

  • Any lineup changes, “Di Giuseppe is in and Gauthier is out for today.”
  • How do you make up for inexperience, “Well obviously time is the best an anecdote for experience and that is really the only thing that can happen, but what is important for us is constantly focusing on making the next step and not worrying about where we eventually want to be as a player or a player eventually wants to be, it’s just getting better on a daily basis, whether it’s an individual or just colelctively. We focus on our game and dial in mentally and put in the mental and physical effort we have a chance to win and we’ve proven that. We’ve been a little bit inconsistent with those areas, we certainly know we we are going to have to be consistent with that for 60 minutes and be consistent with the mental and physical effort for the rest of the year.”

  • Are you surprised with what you have gotten from Blackwell, “Obviously when a guy scores the way he’s scored and he’s never done it in this league, it’s a little bit of a surprise for sure, but we knew he was a good player, I knew he was a good player and sometimes guys like him who have been up and down and haven’t spent a lot of time in the NHL, sometimes it’s opportunity and he’s made the most of his opportunity and I give him a lot of credit, he’s a great teammate, guys love him and he’s done a lot of good things for us.”
  • On Kakko, Lafreniere and Chytil, “I’m expecting what they are capable of giving us. I think Kaapo has really made some great strides, I’ve really liked Laffy’s game the last 2-3 games, Fil is starting to play better. I know everyone refers to what they were doing two months ago, but I think that when you have players this young, they are not the same player they were two months ago, so we are curious to see how this looks. There was a lot of discussion about what our lineup should look like moving forward and it doesn’t mean that we are tied to it for 60 minutes or 19 games, but it’s something that we want to start with tonight and see how it goes.”
  • On Gauthier being scratched, “You just be honest with the player and tell him what the situation is and we think Di Giuseppe gives us a little bit more simplicity to what we think we need tonight against Pittsburgh. Sometimes it’s just match up driven. Julien has done some good things, he continues to improve, but right now, especially now with Howden back and Kravtsov here, there is more competition and the landscape of our forward group has changed, with 14 forwards, we haven’t had that very often if at all since I’ve been here, so it does give us depth and sometime a guy who might be doing good things and might be playing well is out of the lineup. There is nothing wrong with competition, there is nothing wrong with that and I think it will help elevate everybody’s game when you have that set up where you have people can come in and out of the lineup.”
  • What is next for Lafreniere to get more minutes, “Get him on the PP will certainly increase those minutes, I think that is a big piece of it. Everybody looks at the total minutes and if he’s playing 12 of the 5 on 5 minutes, that is pretty good minutes, but the guys that play the high minutes are the guys killing penalties and on the PP and right now he’s not on either, that doesn’t mean that can change, matter of fact, he and I had a conversation about that yesterday, about the direction of his game and where it’s going and you want to reward him if he continues to play well. I anticipate that if he continues to play the way he has, he’ll get rewarded and those minutes will go up in a different area.”

11:39 AM: Phil Di Giuseppe, who was scratched for Vitali Kravtsov on Saturday, will play tonight against the Penguins. (Stephenson)


Julien Gauthier will be scratched.

Igor Shesterkin will start in net. Kaapo Kakko is with Filip Chytil and Alexis Lafreniere and Vitali Kravtsov will start with Di Giuseppe and Kevin Rooney.