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2021-22 Rangers

Mika Zibanejad is in Covid Protocol (Update: False positive and cleared to play on Sunday)

5:02 PM: The Rangers have announced that Zibanejad’s had a false positive, that he cleared protocol and will be available to play on Sunday. (NYR)

1:47 PM: Gerard Gallant spoke after practice and said (NYR):

  • What was the focus on at practice, “just touching base like we do every practice, the first part was high-tempo to get them going again after a day off and then we worked on the d-zone and forecheck. We try to cover a couple of things every practice, I liked the practice this morning, it was good, hopefully, it turns into a good game for that.”


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  • On the defensive improvement from the first Toronto game to the last one, “Yea, I think since we had the three days of practice and cleaning stuff up it’s been a lot better, we lost in Toronto, disappointing, but we played a pretty good hockey game, it was pretty solid from everybody and that game could have gone either way in my opinion.”
  • Do you think that if you limit scoring chances you will have a chance to win, “definitely, that is what you want. Game starts and you want to make sure you have a chance to win and the last four we’ve had an opportunity to do that. We are playing the right way, we weren’t happy with the first 10-11 games, we talked about it and we knew we were winning because our goalie stood on his head, and that is still winning, but we wanted to clean our game up and so far we’ve done that the last 4-5 games.”
  • On being home for a bit, “it reenergizes your team, it was a tough go, we had 2/3 of our games on the road and traveling to Canada and customs and all that, but we got it out of the way and now we have more games around the NY area and that will help. I like the way we’ve played the last four games and our energy has been good and we want to continue that, but just because we are at home doesn’t make it easier, you have to make sure you show up and play those games hard and be ready to go.”
  • Is there a difference between how you play at home vs the road, “I don’t want there to be, sometimes there is. Sometimes you are back to back on the road…I watched the game last night, Winnipeg Jets, perfect example. They had a big, emotional game in Edmonton, traveled to Vancouver after the game and they looked a little bit flat the first 5-6 minutes and after that they played a real good hockey game, they lost 3-2, but it’s not easy for players traveling on the road and the second game and usually, what I find in the second game, and the commentary guy said it last night, usually it’s the first 5-7 minutes of the first that is the toughest and then your body gets into hockey mode again.”
  • On Adam Fox, “They are probably like I am, they are aware he is one of the top defensemen in the league and he makes those plays and has a lot of skill and talent and brings it every night for us. Definitely, everyone knows who Adam Fox is now.”
  • On Julien Gauthier, “You just keep the positive, keep playing him, let him go. We haven’t coached him any different, he was disappointed a couple of times being sat out of the lineup, but that is what coaching is all about. He’s watched video, worked hard in practice and I think his game has been really, really good the last three games. Just continue what you are doing, goats and that is what we want from him. We talk about young players all the time, hopefully this is the turning point in his career. That is what we talk about, sometimes they get it at 18, some times it takes until 23-24.”
  • Is it about the player feeling he has trust from the coaching staff, “Mentally it’s in your head sometimes, they get in their own way, I’m not saying with Gauthier, but…he’s had a chance in other organizations and they all rise in different times and hopefully this is a time where he said he wants to be a full-time NHLer and playing like it the last three games and it’s the best thing that happens for me, seeing him play the last three games, and earlier games he made some mistakes and we had to sit him out, that is part of hockey. Right now he is a confident kid and that is what we like to see.”
  • On K’Andre Miller, “he comes to the rink, he plays, he makes some good plays, is confident, handles the puck more. He’s making mistakes, they all make mistakes, but I like what I’m seeing for sure.”
  • Have you seen Miller get better and better, “100%.”
  • Do you want to see more offense from him, “Once in a while, yea, when he gets ice like that, the way he skates, definitely. I do want him to force plays like that, but he had the room to do it and he’ll get the confidence to do that and it was a beautiful goal.”
  • What is his upside, “real good hockey player, real good defensive hockey player, he skates well, and everything and to do what he is doing at his age, I’m real happy with him.”
  • Do you have to remind yourself of their age, “seriously, about a month ago I looked at their ages. Through camp I didn’t look at their ages…but that is what he is, he’s 21-years old and playing defense in the NHL and top-4 minutes every night and we like what we see.”

1:26 PM: Greg McKegg skated in Zibanejad’s place next to Chris Kreider and Barclay Goodrow. (Stephenson)

11:06 AM: The Rangers have announced that Mika Zibanejad will not practice because he is in COVID Protocol.

Zibanejad had COVID at the start of last season.