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2022-23 Rangers Regular Season

Updates from the Rangers on Sunday

Jonny Brodzinski cleared waivers. (CapFriendly)

At Rangers practice on Sunday, the lines being used were (Stephenson):

  • Artemi Panarin, Mika Zibanejad, Chris Kreider
  • Jimmy Vesey, Vincent Trocheck, Barclay Goodrow
  • Alexis Lafreniere, Filip Chytil, Kaapo Kakko
  • Sammy Blais/Vitali Kravtsov, Jake Leschyshyn. Julien Gauthier


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The Rangers first PP unit remained Chris Kreider, Vincent Trocheck, Adam Fox, Artemi Panarin, Mika Zibanejad. (Stephenson)

The second PP unit featured The Kid Line, Jacob Trouba and K’Andre Miller. (Stephenson)

Gerard Gallant spoke after practice and said (NYR):

On K’Andre Miller getting PP time, “He hasn’t played a whole lot, but it’s a process. He keeps getting better and doing a good job for us so you give him an opportunity there. Not saying he’s going to be there all the time, but if we play two d-men he’ll be in that spot. He’s done a good job, getting confidence and it’s another step in growing his game. We like him, he’s had a great year for us, keep doing it.”

On not making changes to the PP, “Yea, I told you that yesterday…I think the way I left it was that nothing was going to change, and that was my feeling, but, again, things can change like everything else does. I’m happy with it. Not happy with production lately, but happy with the personnel.”

Will Igor play all three games before the break, “you’re looking too far down the road (laugh).”

Who is starting tomorrow, “Tomorrow? I’ll tell you tomorrow (laugh)….unless you can tell me who their goalie is tomorrow, then I’ll tell you who mine is.”

On Halak, “he’s playing much better and, again, I don’t think he was bad, he had some tough goals that he allowed early in the season, he wasn’t as sharp as he was. Now there aren’t any bad goals going in and he’s playing a good, solid game. He’s exactly what we thought we were getting in the summertime. It didn’t start out real well with our team and some of those bad goals that cost him games, but since then he’s played very good, every game he’s played he’s made some huge saves for us. I think he’s on a 4-5 game winning streak and that is exactly what you need. He’s a veteran guy, experienced guy and you knew he was going to get better as the season went along and that is exactly what is happening.”

Is putting The Kid Line back together always in the back of your mind, “Yea, definitely. I think The Kids play well together, I think they are comfortable together. Sometimes…for me, they pass the puck too much and they gotta get confidence at shooting the puck. Kaapo’s got a great shot, Laffy can shoot the puck, Fil is a skilled played. Sometimes they are playing on different lines and try to get too fancy or they try and get Chris Kreider and Zibanejad the puck when they are in shooting areas and we tell them everyday in practice, you got good shots, have confidence in your game, shoot the puck. We need more people shooting the puck and you young kids are goal scorers, that is what you’ve done in junior, college, whatever you played in. We want them shooting the puck and more confident. I love seeing the kids when they play well together. Like I said, we changed the lines a lot, as you know, this year, more than we’d like at times, but I think it’s a good combination and hopefully they will play real well together and hopefully I can keep my lines together.”

Do you think that putting them together forces them to shoot the puck, “yea, definitely, exactly. It’s just them and that is what you want from them. And I think they are a solid line defensively. It’s not just going to be a young kid line that makes mistakes, every line in the league makes mistakes, but I think they are comfortable together with each other they like each other and I think it can be a line for a long time and hopefully that is the case.”

How do you see the Trocheck, Vesey, Goodrow line, “I think it’s two guys that are top-six players, both wingers, both good, solid players and when they play with better players they are both better players. I like both of them, they do a good job defensively and I think Trocheck is a skill guy. Like I said, the line, it’s a makeup of a line that can play against anybody, for me and I’m not going to worry about if they play against the first line or fourth line, they can stay out there and do the job.”

Goodrow said that it could be like his line from Tampa Bay, “I want them to be more direct, that line. Force Trocheck to shoot more pucks, too.”

Do you want to have a checking line, “I call a checking line good players that can score goals, too. I don’t think we have a line that we are going to put out there and say ‘you guys are going to check these guys.’ We don’t have the makeup for those type of players. For me, I think our players like Goodrow and Vesey can score goals too and anytime you are checking guys you are just paying more attention to them, that is all. If they play against the first line tomorrow night I would expect…I don’t want to be defending in our zone all night. I want them to be aggressive and forecheck and be aware who is on the ice against you. That is what I look at the checking line, I don’t think they have to just stand there and be defensive all the time, they can be aggressive forechecking, but they gotta make sure we’ve got a good third man and not giving up odd-man rushes. That is the way I describe a checking line.”

Is that Carolina’s Staal line, “look at those guys, exactly. They are dangerous players offensively, too.”

What do you expect from this fourth line, “Well, the new kid we are trying to figure out. I really like what I see early, he’s a kid that’s going to work hard and compete hard and looks like a solid defensive type of kid. Gauthier’s got unbelievable speed, he’s been in and out of the lineup because of injuries. I think this kid has taken a big step this year, scored some nice goals for us, has more confidence and he’s done real good things. Then you put Kravy over there, a skilled guy and they are sort of the fourth line, but we’ll see how things go with them. I like all of our mixup and when you build lines you sort of start from the top and that is not what is left, because I like all of those players and hopefully they will mix in together. I can’t call them a checking line or really a fourth line. I think Gauthier can add some speed to that line and if he plays the same way he’s played most games then we are real happy with his speed and the kid in the middle has a lot of speed and Kravy’s got some good speed. We’ll see where it goes. It’s a little exciting actually, it’s a pretty good fourth line with talent and skill and speed.”

Is it like when you had Motte on the fourth line and he brought more speed, “Yea, it was a different feel, different presence for sure. There is no Reaves, Reavo made people pay attention when he was on the ice, but it wasn’t the same type of aggressive, forechecking type of line.”

What are you hoping for with Sammy Blais, “It’s been real hard, there is no doubt. He had an extremely bad injury, as we all know, last year and he didn’t play at all. He comes back this year and things haven’t gone the way he wanted them. For us or for Sammy. He’s sitting there with no goals and I think five assists and he’s played some okay hockey at times and other times it looks like he is a step behind, again. We just want him to keep working and have a positive attitude and in this game things change in a hurry. We are hoping for the best with him, keep working, stay with a positive attitude and when you get back in, try and contribute. It’s not about, I don’t want Sammy to go out and think he’s gotta be a 10-hits in a game or start fighting more, it’s not it. It’s about getting back up to speed and getting some confidence and catching a break here sooner or later because he’s a good kid and he’s worked hard, has a good attitude and things just haven’t gone his way and he’s going to have to wait and when the opportunity comes again hopefully things will break for him.”

How did you decide whether Kreider or Panarin goes to the right side, “They decided, it was fine. I like Kreider over there better. Honestly, Kreids likes LW, but I can see him coming down the right side with speed and he gets the puck over there and on your off wing you get the puck in the middle of the ice and he can duck that shoulder down and beat defensemen wide. He hasn’t played a lot of it, but that is what we envision when we talk about it…if he lasts that long over there, hopefully he will (laugh). I can’t make any promises.”