7 PM: Gerard Gallant met with the media after practice and said (NYR):
- On the line changes and bringing The Kid Line back, “we toyed around with it and tried some different line combinations, I didn’t mind last nights, but I sat down in the coaches room and the coaches and we like what we threw up today. We’ll see, gives us a little bit more depth on each line.”
- On The Kid Line providing a spark, “We want to win hockey games. I thought we played well last night, but obviously we didn’t come out with any points and that is disappointing. The Kids played really well together last year and we’ll give it a chance and see how it goes.”
- Did you get any explanation on the trip on Kakko, “No, they did give any explanations. It was a tough call. I’m sure, once the puck goes in the net, that they say they should have called it, but it’s the way it goes. Sometimes they go your way and sometimes they don’t and they didn’t last night.”
- Did you need Shesterkin to make some saves last night, “He played well, I can’t fault him on those goals, I really don’t. Mistakes happen and they didn’t get a lot of chances, but I’m not going to fault him. He’s been our best player for a year and a half now.”
- Any concern with Trouba and his maintenance days, “It’s maintenance and nagging injuries and that is what guys go through during the season. It’s what he does and has to do and he gets ready for the games as much as he can and it’s part of our game and what happens. He’s a warrior and plays hard every night for us.”
- Is Lindgren ready to come back, “It sounds like it, but not confirmed yet. He’s still day to day and I’m sure the trainers will tell me on the plane what the plan is, but he’s doing real well, we’ll see.”
- Chris Kreider, Mika Zibanejad, Jimmy Vesey
- Artemi Panarin, Vincent Trocheck, Vitali Kravtsov
- Alexis Lafreniere, Filip Chytil, Kaapo Kakko
- Sammy Blais, Barclay Goodrow, Ryan Carpenter
Ryan Lindgren and Julien Gauthier are practicing and Jacob Trouba is not practicing with what the team is calling a maintenance day. (Brooks)
Adam Rotter: This is basically back to how the Rangers were going to start the season and then Kaapo Kakko was moved to the top line, Vitali Kravtsov got hurt and Alexis Lafreniere was moved up and they stuck with that top six for most of the way so far. Now they are going back to this and trying to lengthen the lineup with three scoring lines and a third line that has proven to have chemistry and create offense. I don’t think Kaapo Kakko did anything wrong to be moved off the top line, but bringing The Kid line back together gives the Rangers something that they know works and can hopefully bring production at 5-on-5.
Does it hurt the top-six? Yes, because Jimmy Vesey isn’t as good as Kaapo Kakko and Vitali Kravtsov is still a wild card, but the remaining four players are the ones who need to lead the Rangers.