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Brendan Smith scratched against Columbus

5:35PM: David Quinn announced that Brendan Smith is a healthy scratch tonight against Columbus and will be replaced in the lineup by Freddy Claesson. (Giannone)

Vinni Lettieri is also scratched and replaced by Cody McLeod. (Giannone)

Alex Georgiev is in net, Lias Andersson will remain on the wing but is being moved up in the lineup. (Cyrgalis)

The fourth line is McLeod, Filip Chytil and Ryan Spooner. (Cyrgalis)

 

 

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Rangers

The Rangers “wilted” and “cheated the game” in the third period

Following tonight’s loss to Detroit, David Quinn spoke after the game and said (MSG):

What frustrated you most, “Just how we wilted. You’d think we’d learn lessons so far…we just cheated the game and when you cheat the game with a 2-0 lead, you get that result. We’ve gotta learn lessons, you can’t cheat the game.”

Should players at this level know how to play with a lead, “they should know but you can’t assume anything at any level. You have a 2-0 lead and their first goal changes everything, all of the momentum changes, we are on our heels. Still, we cheated, our mindset cheats, we cheated and we got what we deserved.”

What do you mean by cheated, “When there is a 50/50 puck we are thinking offense, making hope plays when we don’t need to, forcing plays, didn’t spend enough time in the offensive zone. Every time we are in the offensive zone we are looking to score a goal immediately instead of possessing it and understanding the situation. You don’t want to play safe but you want to play smart and we didn’t do that.”

Was the tying goal similar to the LA goal, “exactly what happened against LA. We come on the ice and stand in the neutral zone and they walk up the ice.”

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Red Wings defeat Rangers 3-2 in OT

First Period:

Second Period:

  • Kevin Shattenkirk (Power Play) Assists: Tony DeAngelo, Kevin Hayes
  • Neal Pionk (Power Play) Assists: Mika Zibanejad, Pavel Buchnevich

Third Period:

  • Justin Abdelkader Assists: Gustav Nyquist
  • Andreas Athanasiou Assists: Frans Nielsen, Niklas Kronwall

Overtime:

  • Dylan Larkin Assists: Andreas Athanasiou, Mike Green

Stats:

Adam’s Thoughts:

  • There are no “good” losses but there are certainly “bad” losses and this was one for the Rangers.
  • They had this game in hand going to the third and then they allow an early goal, a late goal and have a terrible OT that leads to Detroit’s winning goal.
  • 3 on 3 is hectic, and there is a long change, but Kevin Shattenkirk was on for the final 1:56 which included him icing the puck. That is certainly not the ideal situation.
  • Henrik Lundqvist had every reason to smash his stick on the crossbar after the winner in OT. He was strong, as was Jimmy Howard, but his teammates did him no favors by backing up on the tying goal and their defense on the winner.
  • You know that the Rangers are going to have games like this, but the frustrating part is that Brendan Smith’s gaffe leads to the first goal, they make the same mistake they did against LA by backing up and not pressuring in the neutral zone and then Shattenkirk and Zibanejad, while likely exhausted, don’t defend the winner properly. There are some young players on the ice when these moments happen but for the most part it’s the veteran players who are letting these things happen.
  • It’s also not as if the Rangers gave up a third period lead and lost in OT to a contender or a team that is vastly better. The Red Wings are in pretty much the same spot as the Rangers and it’s another part of what makes this one sting. The Rangers let this one get away and, as a group, they will need to learn from it and get better.
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Rangers

Tony DeAngelo has been producing since getting into the lineup

Since returning to the Rangers lineup, after being out for six games, Tony DeAngelo has 1 goal, 3 assists and 6 shots on goal.

He is averaging 17:38 since returning and 18:25 overall on the season.

David Quinn said earlier this week that DeAngelo has “played well” and “done a lot of good things”. (NY Post)

Quinn noted that he has liked how DeAngelo has moved the puck, defended and believes he can be a “well-rounded” player.” (NY Post)

He adds that DeAngelo has been “very coachable” and can handle bigger players because of his quickness and stick. (NY Post)

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Updates from Rangers practice on Thursday

4:30PM: Zuccarello won’t make the trip this weekend but Jesper Fast and Brett Howden are both ready to play on Friday. (NYR)

Henrik Lundqvist is slated to start tomorrow and the plan is for he and Alex Georgiev to split the weekend games. (NYR)

1:23PM: Boo Nieves was sent to Hartford.

12:31PM: Mats Zuccarello is not skating today at practice and is being listed as day to day with a groin injury. (NYR)

Jesper Fast is also not skating with what the team is calling a maintenance day. (NYR)

Brett Howden is on the ice at practice today. (Cyrgalis)

The lines being used at practice today are (Cyrgalis):

  • Vlad Namestnikov, Mika Zibanejad, Pavel Buchnevich
  • Chris Kreider, Kevin Hayes, Ryan Spooner
  • Jimmy Vesey, Brett Howden, Cody McLeod
  • Filip Chytil, Lias Andersson, Vinni Lettieri

Brady Skjei is skating with Tony DeAngelo, Marc Staal is skating with Neal Pionk and Brendan Smith is skating with Kevin Shattenkirk.

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Some of what David Quinn said on the radio earlier today

Rangers coach David Quinn was on ESPN Radio on Wednesday and said:

  • He thinks that Pionk and the Rangers were able to catch Montreal a little bit tired on the game winning goal.
  • On how Pionk has responded to being scratched earlier in the year, Quinn said Neal has made the most of his opportunity since coming back into the lineup.
  • “One of the things I think we have had is a mental toughness and some resiliency. We have been building in this direction, it was a little bit frustrating the first 7-8 games where we were playing pretty well and not getting rewarded. The bottoming out was probably against Calgary where we thought we played really well but lose 4-1 and go into a little bit of a tailspin and ever since that San Jose game we have turned things around a little bit, mentally tougher, haven’t let situations get us down and put us in a position where we have won four in a row.”
  • On hard work, “the league sets that standard, I don’t think anyone goes out there thinking they are gonna be lazy, I think they think they are working hard  but there is a whole new level at this stage where you have to redefine it. The best news for us is that some of our veterans are our hardest working guys and the best way to get the young guys help redefine what hard work is. No one works harder than Hank Lundqvist, Zibanejad works his tail off day in and day out. When you have guys like that setting a great example it makes it easier from a coaching perspective to have the younger players understand what hard work actually is.”
  • On Henrik Lundqvist, “he is such a presence on and off the ice. I’m not surprised he is playing at the level he is at his age. He is a guy that is incredibly committed on and off the ice and is a true professional and takes care of himself away from the rink. He loves playing for the New York Rangers, it means everything to him. He wants to be part of the next run here and as good as he has been on the ice, he’s been that good off the ice.”
  • How do you get players to show up consistently, “that is a challenge for every coach. Everyone is trying to get that out of all of our top players. Hayes and Kreider are two guys that are key for us moving forward. You are not going to have 82 great nights but how bad is your bad? The floor is just as important as the ceiling when watching and evaluating a player. Both of those guys have done a good job of not only raising their ceiling, but their floors. They are not having those really bad nights that can really hurt your team. Both of them want to come back and prove they are part of the future here and I think those things give themselves a chance to have a better season.”
  • “This is a game of will and toughness and when something happens to a teammate you gotta stand up for them. Our guys understand that and it helps bring the team together, rallies the guys and creates a bond that you can carry forward.”
  • On expectations and Chytil and Andersson, “expectations are that we want to win. I know about the letter and the direction we took last year but there is no reason we can’t win. How much? Who knows but on a daily basis we are trying to get better and trying to move forward daily. Chytil and Andersson are a big part of our future. I really liked Filip’s game last night, Andersson came in and did a good job. Howden has been outstanding for us, DeAngelo has played well, Pionk has played well, Vesey, Hayes. We have a lot of good things going. We just want to continue to build daily. The winning and losing takes care of itself.”