Recap: Brad Richards on Mike Francesa

Brad RichardsBrad Richards joined Mike Francesa on WFAN at 4:25PM:

  • On the goalie change for the Flyers, “We probably expected to see him this year. Not a whole lot of difference. He catches the other way which is an adjustment but it’s the same game plan. We need a lot of traffic and a lot of pucks at him and to feel uncomfortable.”
  • On anything different from the Flyers, “I don’t know exactly what their plan will be but I think we will see their best game of the series and I don’t think we have seen that yet even though they beat us in our building. I think we will see their best game, they feel that they need to win this coming back to MSG. We need to come prepared and can’t be as undisciplined and get away with it and rely on blocked shots and Henrik making big saves. We need to stay disciplined, play whistle to whistle and go at them as best we can.”
  • On the shot blocking, “That is a good thing about this team, most of the guys, the core guys have been here and can go back to that when needed to be. If you want to win in the playoffs you will need to block shots at some point. It was good, you play a game and each one is presented differently and sometimes you are up and special teams is presented that night. We were up by two and they had a lot of PP time and we were scratching and clawing to stick to that 2 goal lead and we didn’t want them to get momentum and we came up with some really big blocks down the stretch.”

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Alain Vigneault

Recap: Alain Vigneault’s comments today

Alain Vigneault met with the media today following the Rangers practice (Rangers)

  • Any concern about the days off, “No, we are treating this game the way we should be. It’s our most important game of the year so far. We had a good practice, good meeting, good video session and we are going to Philly and trying to win a hockey game.”
  • On Rick Nash, “he is an elite player and elite players find ways to help teams win games. Rick has done that for us. He has the most game winning goals and the last couple of months I have been using him to kill penalties and he has been a good player for us and he needs to continue to be a good player for us.”
  • Are you talking with Nash about not shooting as much and trying to facilitate more, “not with me, he might be having those conversations with his linemates and that is a good line that performed well in the last game and we need them to perform so I am sure they are talking to one another.”

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Read: Why Benoit Pouliot continued playing after his penalties on Tuesday

Benoit PouliotOn Tuesday night, Benoit Pouliot took two penalties in the first period but continued to see his regular shifts with Mats Zuccarello and Derick Brassard.

Pouliot played 13:37, 4:49 in the first, 4:32 in the second and 4:16 in the third.

After the game, Alain Vigneault said “he needs to reign in his emotions. Both of those were penalties and both of them were on the PP so he needs to do a better job in the next game.”

Yesterday, Vigneault was asked why Pouliot wasn’t benched and said “I know Benny’s intentions were good, he felt that the player MacDonald had taken a dive on both of those occasions, I think it was the same player, and he just felt that he didn’t get a fair shake. Sometimes a situation might be that you need to sit down your player and address it and five him a few shifts off and others you need to let them work through it and in those instances I felt that Benny could work his way through it.”

Recap: Ryan McDonagh on WFAN’s Joe and Evan

Ryan McDonaghRyan McDonagh joined Evan Roberts and Joe Benigno at 12:20 on WFAN:

  • How you feeling physically, “I am feeling great, just getting a few games back and starting to feel like myself every time back. Playoffs is not time to rest and they are intense and you need to rest your body.”
  • On game two and three and taking leads, “in game two I think it got away from us defensively, that is something we talked about leading up to game three. When the puck wasn’t going in we lost track defensively. In game three we bared down and won the game in another style. We spent a lot of time in our zone which we don’t like to do but we stayed in good position and blocked shots and found a way to win a hockey game. It was a different type of game than others we have played down the stretch but that is the sign of a good team and finding different ways to win games.”

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Practice: All healthy Rangers are on the ice

All healthy Rangers are on the ice and skating at Rangers practice today at MSG. (Rangers)

Chris Kreider, as Alain Vigneault noted yesterday, is not skating with the team today.

The team is is skating with the same lines:

  • Rick Nash, Derek Stepan, Marty St. Louis (Red jersey)
  • Benoit Pouliot, Derick Brassard, Mats Zuccarello (Red jersey)
  • Carl Hagelin, Brad Richards, Dan Carcillo (Gray jersey)
  • Brian Boyle, Dominic Moore, Derek Dorsett (Gray jersey)

Read: How Ryan McDonagh is performing so far

Ryan McDonaghThrough three games, Ryan McDonagh is averaging 24:54, a minus three, has 2 POM, 3 shots, 5 hits, 3 blocks, 4 giveaways and 3 takeaways.

  • In game one McDonagh played: 22:42 with 6:32 in the first, 7:11 in the second and 8:59 in the third.
  • In game two, McDonagh played 27:48 with 9:10 in the first, 10:21 in the second and 8:17 in the third.
  • In game three, McDonagh played 24:13, with 8:25 in the first, 7:42 in the second and 8:06 in the third.

McDonagh has been on the ice for 46 shot attempts for and 46 against and 26 shots on goal for and 31 against

Arthur Staple writes that McDonagh has made some uncharacteristic mistakes during the series so far. (Newsday)

McDonagh said that he isn’t dealing with any physical issues and his game is about getting prepared mentally. (Newsday)

Read: Discipline and how the Rangers acted in game three

On Tuesday nigh the Rangers took five penalties including cross checking (Benoit Pouliot), holding (Benoit Pouliot), roughing (Dan Carcillo), charging (Derek Dorsett), hooking (Dan Carcillo)

Both of Pouliot’s penalties came on Ranger PPs and Carcillo’s roughing call came after the whistle when he bumped Claude Giroux.

After the Rangers win over the Flyers on Tuesday, John Giannone asked many of the Rangers how they felt about the penalties they took as well as how they engaged with the Flyers and stood up for themselves.

Dan Girardi said that there was a sense of pride in what the team did, “definitely. It will be a physical series and there will be times that this happens and we need to handle it the right way.”

Henrik Lundqvist said, “we were playing with fire a bit. We probably have to be a bit more discipline but you need to play on the edge and be right there. It’s a fine line with a team like that with a good PP, you need to be careful but our PK stepped up big time to save us.”

Derick Brassard said that there was concern with the amount of penalties but added, “we play with emotion and sometimes emotion gets the best of you and tonight we could have done a better job and it is what it is but the PK did a great job so maybe that is something we need to address for the next couple of games but we did a good job.”

Brassard added that the focus is on playing whistle to whistle but sometimes the emotion gets in the way.

Brad Richards said, “there is pride but we need to be smart but sometimes the calls just go against you. We have gotten a lot of calls in our favor so far in the series and they seemed tonight to get some PPs but it happens that you have to kill penalties and the PK stepped up tonight and battled to the intensity level that it needed to be.”

Giannone said on his end of game wrap up on MSG that he spoke with one Ranger who said, “that the team had a collective sense of pride for how the team stood up and said enough is enough both when 2-0 became 2-1 and when the Flyers started to throw their body around both during and after the play. The Rangers felt it was time to send a message to say that the Flyers will not be the only team to run a physical series. Then came time for the third and to win the game and the message from Ulf Samuelsson was to play smarter and the message from Brad Richards was to dumb it down and while that may sound contradictory it resulted in a 4-1 win for the Rangers.”

Read: Rick Nash through three games

NashThrough three games, Rick Nash has 0 goals and 4 assists.

Nash has attempted 23 shots, tied with Brad Richards for the lead, and has 18 shots on goal, 3 shots that missed the net and 2 shots that were blocked.

He has one primary assist and three secondary assists and is averaging 19:11 per game.

Nash is averaging 4:17 per game on the PP and 48 seconds on the PK.

According to Extra Skater, when Nash is on the ice at 5 on 5 the Rangers control 58.8% of the shot attempts and 60.5% of the shots on goal.

Nash’s shots that have missed the net have come from an average of 18.6 ft out and his shots on goal come from an average of 41.4 ft out.

Nash struggled to produce in the playoffs last year.

Adam Rotter: I’ve liked how Nash has played so far, especially last night in the first period where he was very engaged, went to the net and was involved with both goals. You expect Nash to put the puck in the net but it would be a lot more concerning if he wasn’t getting shots and if his shots weren’t getting on goal. In the end though, he is helping to create goals and help win games and that is why the Rangers got Rick Nash.

Recap: AV Squad Playoffs Edition

Alain VigneaultAlain Vigneault joined Bill Pidto on The AV Squad to preview the Rangers first round matchup with the Flyers. This premiered before game 1 of the series :

  • How does your job change when the playoffs come, “now we have to win 4 games before they do and it’s the same opponent. The job as far as getting our team ready is the same. We will show the oppositions tendencies and have a plan to counter and a PP and PK plan and then it’s up to the players to execute. Our guys have done a good job of following the directions and being on the ice and putting a strong game and we have done it under a lot of pressure. At 40 games we had 40 points and a real strong push to get 56 points in the last 42 games, almost all playoff games. For us it’s a matter of doing what we are doing and the things we have done for a long time and putting our best game on the ice.”

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