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2019-20 Rangers MIka Zibanejad

Mika Zibanejad OUT against Nashville, Georgiev in net

6:30PM: David Quinn spoke with the media on Friday and said (NYR):

  • On Ryan Strome, “you see his trajectory, that you want to see in all of your players, he’s gradually gotten better. I think he has been more thorough in all three zones, obviously he’s been productive offensively but the other aspects of his game that he’s added has certainly made him an impactful player for us.”
  • On not having Mika, “you certainly prefer to have him there and with our youth situation down the middle, you think ‘boy we really miss him’ and we really do, that being said, I thought Fil Chytil had a second-line center type of night. The question is can he do it over and over again. I thought Howden had a really good night, I thought Lias Andersson had his best night. The good news for us is that all of those guys had really good nights, now, can you follow it up.”
  • On Chytil, “how quick he was, how decisive, he was on the right side of the play. His willingness to compete and battle every shift, when the puck was in the neutral zone, offensive zone, d-zone, there was an element of quickness and decisiveness in every area that he is going to need to have.”
  • Mika is not a head injury, “it’s more neck, upper, that area.”
  • Same lineup tomorrow, “yes.”
  • On Brady Skjei, “you can see it in his face. He wants to do so well, so badly and sometimes that is his biggest problem. One of the things you see when he’s playing well is the confidence in his look, the gaps, when he gets to a puck he’s decisive. To me it’s his gap that can tell you whether he is feeling good about his game or not, I thought he had a really good game the other night.”
  • Does Skjei get down on himself too quickly, “100%, without question. He cares so much and not only does he want to do well for himself, teammates, coaching staff, organization, he’s that type of human being. Every player wants to do that, I think he does it at another level, it can kind of get in his way, being the player he is capable of being consistently, that is something he has to continue to work on and overcome.”
  • On Lindgren, I thought he had a really good night, picked up where he left off from training camp. His skating, compete level, decision making with the puck, his puck skills are better. Thought he had a good night.”
  • On conversations with Marc Staal, “we talked at length today. He understands what he needs to do to get back. He’s a guy that I really think will elevate his game to where he is going to be in night in and night out, at least I hope so. We need him, we need veterans and guys that have been in the league for a while. I’m expecting him to get back to where he needs to. If he does what I know he is capable of doing he’s going to be in the lineup, we want to win hockey games and at the end of the day that is what it’s about. I think he’s smart, when he’s playing well he plays with an edge to his game, strong defender, good gaps, good PKer. He’s as likeable a guy as there is and has a presence about him. Those are things that we need.”
  • On consistency, “we’ve done it two of the last three games, but that is not enough. As I’ve talked about, you can’t have the dropoff that we had. You can’t go from playing well against Buffalo and then having that colossal drop that we did against Boston. We had a better performance against Tampa than we did against Buffalo. We have to find that level where if you aren’t having a great night and aren’t feeling it, you have to be able to survive and not have what happened to us against Boston happen.”

12:23PM: Mika Zibanejad has been ruled out for tomorrow’s game against Nashville with an upper body injury. (NYR)

Zibanejad has been listed as day to day since he was injured in the first period of last Sunday’s loss to Boston.

Alex Georgiev will be in net and Marc Staal will be scratched. (NYR)


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2019-20 Rangers

David Quinn on Fox, Kakko, Chytil and more

David Quinn spoke with the media on Thursday after practice and said (NYR):

  • Did the team feel looser today, “winning will do that, the way we won will do that, so I think everyone felt good not only about the result but about how it transpired, they should feel good.”
  • On Adam Fox, “we’ve always liked his instincts, offensive play, great ability to get us out of our own end. The thing I’ve really liked about his game, I’ve said this before, people were wondering how quickly he could adapt to the NHL level from a defending and skating standpoint and it’s been, easy would be the wrong word, quicker transition than I think anyone had anticipated.”
  • What stands out about Fox, “there are a lot of different ways to defend, I love his anticipation, he competes when he is in a battle regardless of a size advantage or disadvantage. He has a quick stick, is aware of his body position, for a guy that young, to be able to put himself in those positions and understand that so quickly is a great sign.”
  • How much do you think Fox being at the Worlds helped, “it never hurts to be around NHL players and compete against NHL players and have that type of opportunity before he got here, I think made this transition a little easier than if he hadn’t had it.”
  • On Mika for Saturday, “he is still day to day, he is getting better, had a better off-ice workout today. It’s possible, if he skates tomorrow, if he doesn’t then it will be tough for him to play.”
  • On Kaapo Kakko’s game Tuesday, “I thought before the goal he had all of that from the get-go, he had more jump in his step, more physical, engaged in more battle and as that game was going on he was gaining more confidence with each shift because he wasn’t hemmed in our zone, did a real good job on the half wall a few times in our own end, he was a lot more responsible defensively. Offensively he hounded pucks more and in a short period of time I thought he started feeling better about his game just within the game because of the shifts he was having and that can happen.”
  • Do you think he will carry that confidence over, “I think he will take, we hope he takes it, but I think he will. He’s a guy, you could even sense it today, was felt better in practice, looked like he was breathing a little easier, wasn’t as tense and putting as much pressure on himself. One of the things, even at the end of the Bruins game, I thought that line in the last 10-12 minutes was pretty good, it was why we kept them together and I thought it carried over to the Tampa game.”
  • On Chytil, “I really liked his game. A lot of things he did inconsistently last year, even within games, he was doing consistently. He was certainly engaged, in way more battles, inside people, on the right side of the play, very little cheating in his game if any, I thought he did a really good job in our breakouts. There was a pace to his game, confidence to his game that you didn’t see an awful lot of last year, you saw flashes of it but for 60 minutes you saw it from the drop of the puck until the buzzer sounded.”
  • On his read of the team after 10 games, “I think we are trying to find consistency and what it’s going to take to have success. I thought maybe, I was talking about this with a couple of the players, those first two games really deceived us about what we were going to have to do to be successful.”
  • In what way, “We score six goals in the Winnipeg game, even though we were fortunate to get out of there with a win. The Ottawa win and the goal that everybody was talking about and then, unfortunately to sit there and live with it for a week, maybe we convinced ourselves we were somebody that we really can’t be. I think throughout this homestand we got a little bit of an eye opener on what it’s going to take for us to be successful and the good news is that two of the last three games we have put together two good performances and won hockey games and in-between we showed how we certainly weren’t going to be able to have success. When you play more games you find out what it’s going to take to win and also what you can’t do if we are going to have the season we think we are capable of having.”
  •  Can you stay afloat with this young of a team, “if we keep playing well and moving in the direction we are with the tenacity and simplicity and intentions that we played with against Tampa then we have a chance to win hockey games.”
  • Is three 21-defensemen  a lot, “it is a lot. These guys are going to have peaks and valleys like most 21-year olds. One of the things we like about these guys is they play with passion and compete, there is an excitement to their game, they don’t let mistakes bother them. Hajek’s game continues to improve, I thought he had a really good night against Tampa. Foxy has been good from the get-go. Lindgren stepped in and did a really good job the other night but we have to be aware that there will be peaks and valleys.”
  • What happened on the change leading to Tampa’s goal, “one of the all-time worst changes you will ever see in the sport of ice hockey. Just 5 guys that made 5 bad decisions. Hadn’t practiced those 5 on 0s against Georgie, so I didn’t like his chances>”

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Chris Kreider Chris Kreider Trade Rumors

The latest on Chris Kreider and his potential future with the Rangers

10/31/19 | Frank Seravalli listed Kreider at #1 on TSN‘s trade bait board, noting that he could potentially fit with St. Louis as they deal with Vladimir Tarasenko’s injury.

Elliotte Friedman wrote at Sportsnet that Kreider would be “perfect” for St. Louis.

10/17/19 | According to Pierre LeBrun at The Athletic, the Rangers and Chris Kreider’s agents had “very short” contract discussions this past June and have had nothing since.

When Jeff Gorton was asked prior to the start of the season about any extension talks with Kreider, he said “no, right now I haven’t talked to Chris or Matt Keator lately. We had some conversations over the summer and right now we will let him play hockey and let those things work itself out.”

Kreider, a pending UFA, said before the season that his situation was “all good” and that he didn’t anticipate any issues heading into the final-year of his contract.

In late July, with the Rangers in the middle of a potential salary cap situation, it was reported that Kreider’s name was “everywhere” and that the Rangers wanted the #16 pick from Colorado at the draft for him.

LeBrun notes that Kreider, 28, has an 11-team list of places he can’t be traded without approval and that he could be a “rather sneaky deadline addition for a contender.” (The Athletic)

Adam Rotter: At this point it seems more likely than not that Kreider will be moved though if the Rangers are in and around a playoff race that might change. I think that the Rangers held on to Kreider last trade deadline because they wanted to extend him but that Kaapo Kakko and Artemi Panarin showing up changed that. Panarin because he took Kreider’s spot on the top line and Kakko because, although it’s down the line, I think the Rangers want to maintain as much cap flexibility as possible for wingers. He has a big role not just on the ice but as a leader and mentor to many of the young players, which is why the Rangers have always put such a high price on him in trade talks, but, just like so many of his teammates before him the past two-years, his time as a Ranger may be coming to an end.


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2019-20 Rangers

What David Quinn said after win over Tampa Bay

David Quinn met with the media following the win over Tampa and said (NYR Game Notes):

  • Did you see them raise their compete level, “yes, we were certainly more engaged, embraced the battle instead of avoiding it and once that happens you start rolling and have a chance. I thought we did it for 60 minutes.”
  • On the young players scoring, “we obviously think a lot of these young players and when you are in the NHL at that age you will have your peaks and valleys and one of the things we loved tonight was how some of the guys responded from having off nights two nights ago. You bring up Chytil and Lindgren and they step in and do a nice job. One of the things we have watched in Hartford is that those guys are doing a great job developing our young players, the environment down there is an environment that will help our young players when they are down there. Kris Knoblauch and his staff have done a hell of a job down there and we are fortunate to have that staff down there and these guys went down there and did what they needed to do, embraced the challenge of going down. They were disappointed when it happened but they didn’t sulk about it and they went down and got better and we reaped the benefits of that tonight.”
  • On Chytil’s game, “a whole different Fil and we saw flashes of it last year but, again, the guy turned 20 this past September..his battle level was so much higher, on the right side of the play, wasn’t much cheating in his game, if any at all, obviously we all recognized his skating and stick skills, that line was good tonight, really good and he stepped in and, I thought, had his best NHL game.”
  • On sitting Staal, “we bring up Lindgren and a lot of things go into these decisions and it was something that I thought was needed and the best thing for our team right now.”
  • Is it something we may see more, “listen, we want to run a meritocracy here and guys that play will continue to play. I have a lot of faith he will play to his capabilities and be in the lineup consistently.”
  • On Lindgren getting involved physically early, “he does that instinctively, when he gets out there you know he is out there and when the puck is in the corner you have to be ready to battle because he plays with a purpose and plays angry. One of the things that we’ve loved is he has improved some of the other areas he will have to improve on to be a regular NHL player. His puck skills have gotten better, his hockey sense has gotten a bit better and he’s playing within himself. I liked his game tonight.”
  • On Adam Fox’s game, “I thought he was outstanding tonight. We are not playing the sisters of the poor either, we’re playing the Lightning and his poise continues to impress me night in and night out. A guy who can step in and play with his poise, deception, his compete level is higher than people may have thought when we traded for him. There was a question of whether he would be able to compete at this level right out of the game and would his skating allow him to play and he answered those questions quickly. I was actually stunned when I liked at the stats and saw he only had one assist, you’d think that with the plays he has made he would have a lot more points but he got one tonight.”
  • On the conversation with Staal, “obviously not an easy one. I can tell you how much respect I have for him, I like the game and it’s all legit and true but it doesn’t make anyone feel better. Those are always hard conversations but I have a lot of faith he will get back to doing what he needs to do to be in the lineup consistently, he’s an important part of our team. Every now and then it doesn’t hurt to sit out, people have a hard time with it and don’t like hearing it, I don’t want anyone to enjoy it but it was something I felt was needed.”
  • How much of a jolt did Chytil and Lindgren give, “maybe it played a little part of it but I think the guys were truly embarrassed about what happened the other night and guys looked in the mirror and realized what they were going to have to do to have a chance. Obviously we are down our number one center, which is never easy, and I think our guys did a hell of a job rallying around each other and playing the way they need to play to get two points.”
  • On puck management, “it’s the best it’s been all year, a couple of their odd-man rushes in the third period were the result of us having offensive chances, sometimes you give up a chance because you got a chance, I can live with that, it wasn’t bad reads or not making good decisions, we were trying to score a goal and all the sudden they are going the other way. I really liked an awful lot about our game.”

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2019-20 Rangers

Rangers play their best game of the season in 4-1 win over Tampa

First Period:

  • Nikita Kucherov (4) ASST: Brayden Point (4), Steven Stamkos (7)

Second Period:

  • PPG – Kaapo Kakko (2) ASST: Ryan Strome (7), Artemi Panarin (5)

Third Period:

  • Filip Chytil (1) ASST: Pavel Buchnevich (6)
  • Adam Fox (1) ASST: Chris Kreider (4), Ryan Lindgren (1)
  • EN – Ryan Strome (3)

Three Stars:

  • 3: Adam Fox
  • 2: Alex Georgiev
  • 1: Filip Chytil

YouTube Poster

Stats:

Adam Rotter:

  • This was everything the Rangers could hope for this season. The Rangers have this motto of “Fast, Physical, Relentless” and they were all three tonight in a big way. They won battles, beat Tampa to pucks and ultimately got rewarded in the third for how much better they were in the game.
  • Filip Chytil was terrific and certainly looked like a player who doesn’t want to be back in Hartford. It’s all about sustaining it and bringing that effort consistently but he was hard on pucks, created offense and looked like the player he should be at this point in his young career.
  • This was Kaapo Kakko’s best game of the season as well. He looked confident with the puck, was putting the puck on net and while he had that one shift where he carried the puck all through the zone before losing it, his overall game was far better than it’s been. It was nice for him to get rewarded with that wonky goal but hopefully he too can carry this forward.
  • Also playing his best game of the season was Adam Fox. Fox has been steady and good all season but he was at his best tonight.
  • Ryan Lindgren was good in his debut, Libor Hajek was really good and Chris Kreider probably had his most forceful game of the season. Overall, just about everyone on the Rangers had a good to great game.
  • Alex Georgiev was terrific and I’d expect that based on his performance he will get Saturday in Nashville, even though it will be over a week between starts for Henrik Lundqvist.
  • I’m guessing Marc Staal will sit again on Saturday based upon how the team played overall and while Micheal Haley’s fight may or may not have sparked the Rangers, if Mika Zibanejad is ready to ready, Haley will sit.
  • So it was the Rangers best game of the season and now we have to wait until Saturday to see how they follow it up.

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Marc Staal

Marc Staal scratched against Tampa Bay

7:11PM: Marc Staal is going to be a healthy scratch tonight for the Rangers against Tampa Bay.

This is the first time in Staal’s career that he is a healthy scratch. (Larry Brooks)

Ryan Lindgren is in Staal’s place and will be paired with his former Team USA teammate Adam Fox. (Stephenson)

Adam Rotter: Staal has been struggling this season, looked slow and has been ineffective nearly every time the puck is around him. Still, the fact that Marc Staal is being scratched by the Rangers is a big deal. I don’t expect this to be long-term, especially if Brady Skjei continues to struggle, but once he’s been scratched once, it can certainly happen again. Staal, with his stature and tenure with the Rangers, being scratched also has to be a message to everyone on the Rangers that spots in the lineup need to be earned every day and that past performance will only take you so far.

It’s ironic that it’s tonight, on the night of Kevin Shattenkirk’s return and Dan Girardi’s pre-game honor. Staal is the last of that era of Ranger defensemen, though you could argue for Brady Skjei’s inclusion, and this will open up even more questions and discussion about his future. He has one-year left on his contract after this season but with all the dead money the Rangers already have on the cap for next season, buying him out is no sure thing.


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