Updates prior to the game against the Coyotes

David Quinn met with the media this evening to discuss the game against Arizona and said (NYR):

  • Lias Andersson is out with the return of Pavel Buchnevich and Mats Zuccarello
  • On Andersson sitting, “I think Lias needs to take a step back and we need to help him become a better player.”
  • On Andersson this season, “inconsistent, which is not abnormal for a 20-year old. He’s done some good things, he has done things he needs to be better at. Normal challenges for a 20-year old. We think it’s best for him to be here whether he is playing every game or in and out and doing extra stuff after practice. We just feel that this is a big piece of his development. I feel bad for him because I know the expectations are so high for a guy that was drafted two-years ago but we all have to realize that people progress quicker than others and he’s gonna be a great player for us. No one has ever been more excited about him than we are today but we feel…he’s not the first 20-year old to sit out a hockey game. He’s been here for 16 and he’s played 16 and he’s sitting out 17, that has happened a lot in this league.”
  • On Buchnevich before he got hurt, “there was much more simplicity to his game. I think that sometimes when you have that amount of skill you are looking to make highlight reel plays and making a difference very time you have the puck and one of the things I think he did before he got hurt was being patient and playing the situation and playing fast and beating people off of walls and there was a pace and an honesty to his game and when he does that he is a dynamic player.”
  • Adam McQuaid will be back very soon and could have played tonight but is still day today.

The lines used during warmups tonight were (Stephenson):

  • Filip Chytil, Mika Zibanejad, Mats Zuccarello
  • Chris Kreider, Kevin Hayes, Pavel Buchnevich
  • Vlad Namestnikov, Brett Howden, Jesper Fast
  • Jimmy Vesey, Ryan Strome, Matt Beleskey

Brendan Smith returns on defense in place of injured Kevin Shattenkirk.


Artemi Panarin Rangers Kevin Hayes Rumors Mats Zuccarello Rumors

The latest rumors on the Rangers, Hayes and Zuccarello

On the 31 Thoughts Podcast this week, Elliotte Friedman spoke about the Rangers, Kevin Hayes, Mats Zuccarello and Artemi Panarin.

On Panarin, Friedman said that while Chicago might be trying to clear space to bring him back, “until I’m told differently, If I’m putting money on it, I’m betting on the Rangers.”

On Zuccarello, Friedman said, “Zuccarello is an interesting one, I could see Nashville liking a guy like him. But if you told me that Zuccarello signed an extension to stay, I wouldn’t be surprised.”

On Hayes, Friedman said, “The one thing with Hayes is that they really tried to sign him and the two just didn’t agree. I don’t have a problem with that if you perceive your value one way and you disagree with the team, then there is nothing wrong with going to open market but it says to me that if they couldn’t get it done last summer, why are they going to be able to do it now. I think Boston will be in on Hayes, Winnipeg will be in on Hayes and Colorado and probably more. He’s a center there is going to be a lot of people in on Hayes.”

Hayes is ranked 3rd on TSN‘s Trade Bait Board, Zuccarello is ranked 11th and Vlad Namestnikov is 19th.

Adam Rotter: The belief from many around the NHL is that the Rangers are really high on Panarin and that Panarin has serious interest in coming to the Rangers. He’s going to get a high cap number, maybe double digits, from anyone, so he will have his pick from the teams that can afford him. The Rangers can afford him and he would be a big-time addition.

With Zuccarello, he wants to stay and I believe that the Rangers would like to keep him, but Zucc would have to leave a lot of money on the table to stay in New York. Over the past two years there has been so much talk about the Rangers trading pending UFAs and them possibly returning and while it hasn’t happened, I think Zuccarello is the best candidate for that. Again though, for that to happen, it will have to be on the Rangers terms.

With Hayes, I really think it comes down to no-trade/no-move protection. There is likely an easy outline of a deal in terms of money and length (probably 5-6 years around $6 million+) but if Hayes were to sign long-term I’m sure he would want the security to know he would be in control. The Rangers are in a spot where they want to keep everything flexible and, similar to Derek Stepan, have the ability to move Hayes if they choose. That is where I believe the main issue lies, though it’s entirely possible that the main issue lies with the actual term and dollars.

Hayes has worked extremely hard to get to this point in his career and more than deserves to cash in. He can certainly make a lot of money staying with the Rangers but there are likely to be situations around the league that could land him more. If he is unsigned around Feb 1, a month after they can start talking extension and little less than a month before the deadline, I think he will get moved to a contender and the two sides could look to re-engage before July 1.



Rangers updates from Thursday

4:19PM: David Quinn spoke after practice and said (NYR):

  • On the PP, “one of the things we have to do a better job of is moving the puck when we are trying to figure out what to do with it. We need to manipulate the PK and move pucks quicker, playing a little bit of catch and get the looks that we want. We are holding onto it a little too long so we need to be quicker with our puck movement.”
  • On Zucc and Buch, “looks like a full go for both of them.”
  • On McQuaid, “he was feeling really good after yesterday’s practice so I will get a feel for his availability based on how he felt today.”
  • What do Buch and Zucc add, “good hockey minds, move pucks quickly, play with pace, have had success with PPs before. It may take some time, we have to be patient, they have both been out for a while so I think everyone has to temper their expectations for what they will be able to do for us tomorrow night. They give us a pace, intelligence and when the dust settles and they get acclimated our PP will benefit from having them back.”
  • “I would love to have some continuity and go with the same lineup and lines for an extended period of time, that would certainly help all of us.”
  • On Lias Andersson’s development, “as I have said before, so much of that is individualistic and each guy has different needs. Some guys will benefit from staying here even though they may not be playing the amount of minutes, but it will help with their development and turn them into the player we think they are capable of being. Other guys need to go down and play 18-20 minutes a night as a forward. We are still trying to figure that out right now he is staying here and we will work with him to get him better daily and whether that is 10-12 minutes per game or 18 minutes in a game or he sits three in a row and practices hard and does extra stuff, that is something we will determine as we move forward.”
  • Andersson will stay here?, “Right now that is the plan.”
  • Some of what Buch and Zucc bring, “when you get two guys of their caliber, the players feel a little bit more confident. I think that has been a little bit of our problem, we haven’t played with a lot of confidence or swagger but I think that having two guys like that back in the lineup will give us some swagger and confidence.”
  • On McLeod, “I think he is a couple of weeks away, 2-3 weeks away is what I would guess. He has started skating a bit.”
  • On Beleskey, “he’s done some good things, he gives us that physical element. He’s played in the league, tries to do everything we ask him to do in our structure, I like his intentions. I think he is still getting back to playing at this pace.”

4:17PM: Mats Zuccarello spoke after practice and said that he isn’t dealing with any issues and has been feeling good the past few days. (NYR)

He said that he had never dealt with a groin injury before and thought at the beginning that he could just play through it.

2:14PM: David Quinn noted today that both Mats Zuccarello and Pavel Buchnevich are likely to return to the Rangers lineup tomorrow night. (Stephenson)

Lias Andersson is possible to be scratched with the two returning forwards but Quinn said that he expects Andersson to stick with the Rangers for now. (Stephenson)

The lines used today were (Stephenson):

  • Chytil, Zibanejad, Zuccarello
  • Kreider, Hayes, Buchnevich
  • Namestnikov, Howden, Fast
  • Vesey, Strome, Beleskey

Marc Staal was skating with Neal Pionk, Brady Skjei with Tony DeAngelo and Freddy Claesson, Brendan Smith and Adam McQuaid rotated on the third pair. (Stephenson)

The PP units today featured Neal Pionk, Mika Zibanejad, Kevin Hayes, Chris Kreider and Mats Zuccarello in one group and Tony DeAngelo, Brett Howden, Pavel Buchnevich, Filip Chytil and Jimmy Vesey in the second group. (Stephenson)



Wednesday’s updates on the Rangers

At Rangers practice on Wednesday, the lines used were (Cyrgalis):

  • Filip Chytil, Mika Zibanejad, Mats Zuccarello
  • Chris Kreider, Kevin Hayes, Pavel Buchnevich
  • Jimmy Vesey, Brett Howden, Jesper Fast
  • Vlad Namestnikov, Lias Andersson, Ryan Strome

Brady Skjei is skating with Adam McQuaid, Freddy Claesson is skating with Tony DeAngelo and Brendan Smith is skating with Neal Pionk. (Cyrgalis)

Marc Staal did not practice but David Quinn said that he is okay. (NYR)

David Quinn spoke after practice and said (NYR):

  • On McQuaid, “the timing is perfect with Shatty going down and Adam coming back and being a full go. Good timing from an injury perspective.”
  • Do you know when McQuaid will be ready, “hoping for Friday but he will be in a day to day situation. He has missed a lot and been out for a while so that will be more of a day to day situation.”
  • On how long it took for McQuaid, “surprised after the first day or two but after we dug deeper and had all the proper evaluations we knew it would be a timely situation.”
  • Is Zuccarello back for the next game, “that is the plan but with these situations you never know so we are day to day, like we all are in life. (Smile)
  • On the players who are out, “Both Zucc and Buchnevich and Cody, talking about three guys who are a big part of what we have going on. Three NHLers that bring a different element to our lineup. We have missed them but every team has injuries and you have to overcome them.”
  • On Buchnevich, “same situation. Hoping for Friday.”
  • On Zuccarello, “I thought his game was starting to come and he was playing well and it was unfortunate, the timing of it, he has worked really hard to come back, I know he wants to come back but it didn’t make sense for him to be in a situation where he w as in and out. We want to make sure that when he does come back it’s full go. We have missed him for sure, a guy that has had a lot of success at this level, been a point producer and we have missed his offense.”
  • Georgiev will play tomorrow and when asked if he will return to the team for Friday, Quinn said “we will see.”
  • On the PP discrepancies, “we have done a really good job of doing certain things but when it comes to earning your ice and making people defend you and drawing penalties, we tend to slow down at the wrong time. Whether it’s the neutral zone or offensive zone where it looks like someone will be able to defend us, too often we concede that they will be able to defend us and we don’t earn our ice. You have to earn your ice and gotta move your feet when you have the puck and too often we are slowing up and allows us to be defendable and not draw penalties. We’ve gotta play faster and determined with the puck, harder to play against.

McQuaid said that he is feeling better and progressing with his injury. He said that he doesn’t have a specific return date but that he wants to get back as soon as possible. (NYR)



Kevin Shattenkirk out 2-4 weeks with shoulder separation

12/12 – 11AM: The Rangers have announced that Shattenkirk will miss 2-4 weeks with a shoulder separation that he suffered on Monday against Tampa.
10:11AM: Shattenkirk left the arena in a sling on Monday. (NY Post)

12/10 – 8:59PM: The Rangers have announced that Kevin Shattenkirk will not return to tonight’s game against Tampa because of an upper body injury.

Shattenkirk had played 7:38 in the game before getting injured 4:50 into the second period on a play along the wall with JT Miller.



Where should Lias Andersson be playing?

In 16 games with the Rangers this season, Lias Andersson has 1 goal, 2 assists, a minus two rating, 16 shots on goal, 23 shot attempts, 25 hits and a 45.1% faceoff percentage.

Andersson is averaging 10:54 per game overall and 11:04 in the past 10 games.

In the last seven games Andersson is averaging 11:18 but has played fewer than 8:30 thrice.

Jeff Gorton said that he believes Andersson has been “effective, progressing and playing the right way” since being called up.  (NY Post)

He added that the Rangers are developing Andersson to be a 200-foot player that will be with the organization “for a long time.” (NY Post)

Gorton said that the Rangers are assessing Andersson’s spot “all the time” and that conversations about what is best for him and the team will happen when everyone is healthy. (NY Post)

Andersson said that he will leave the decision to the organization but that he would take the opportunity to play fourth line in the NHL “anytime.” (NY Post)

He said that he doesn’t feel as if he is being “buried” on the fourth line but adds that he wants to improve his offensive game and be someone who plays in the top-six. (NY Post)

Adam Rotter: Andersson will play most of this season with the Rangers, either because of injuries or after the trade deadline, but I don’t think another short-term stay in Hartford would be the worst thing in the world. There is definitely an argument to be made about keeping him with the Rangers and around David Quinn, even if it’s around 10 minutes a night, but he also needs to play and he can likely double his ice time in Hartford. Again, I think that Andersson will play close to half the season with the Rangers and will get more ice time later in the year, but he needs to play and he can do that in Hartford if everyone on the Rangers is healthy.