Last night McIlrath tweeted “Finally back in Hartford after a long day of travel. Had a great couple days back home with family and friends! Merry Christmas everyone!”
1:14PM McIlrath is undergoing and MRI on his knee today. (Larry Brooks)
It is the same knee that McIlrath injured a year and a half ago. (Larry Brooks)
8:30PM: “Dylan McIlrath appears to hurt his knee along the boards, needs help getting off the ice.” (Wolf Pack on twitter)
“McIlrath down, flexing his knee, his leg turned awkwardly, not good.” (Hartford Hockey on twitter)
The Wolf Pack are playing the Springfield Falcons tonight.
JT Miller has been called up from Hartford and Dylan McIlrath and Arron Asham have been sent down (Rangers).
McIlrath played in two games, he was a healthy scratch last night against Pittsburgh, and averaged 7:01, was a minus one, had a fight and a high sticking penalty and two hits.
According to Extra Skater, McIlrath was on the ice for 20 shot attempts for and 12 against and 11 shots on goal for and 8 against.
He started 46.2% of his even strength shifts in the defensive zone.
Asham played in three games since being called back up, was a minus two, and played between 3:32 and 6:33 per game. He was also a healthy scratch against the Flames.
Asham was called up on 12/9.
Miller played in two games for the Wolf Pack since being sent down and had 2 goals and an assist.
Miller was last sent down on 12/9
The Rangers used 7 defensemen and 11 forwards in their win over Calgary on Sunday.
On Sunday, McIlrath played 5:08 and had his first NHL fight.
Alain Vigneault said yesterday that with an upcoming stretch of 4 games in six nights, he wants to have seven healthy defensemen around.
Adam Rotter: After playing two games at the NHL level, it will be good for McIlrath to sit for a game to watch things from a different vantage point. At this point it is one game and sitting for one game, or even two or three straight, won’t disrupt his development. If he were to sit and not play for 3 or 4 weeks straight, that would be something else but the organization will send him back to Hartford before something like that happens.
His ice-time broke down as:
- First: 1:44
- Second: 1:15
- Third: 2:09
McIlrath also had a high sticking penalty and recorded his first NHL fight against Brian McGrattan.
McGrattan told McIlrath “good job, kid” after the fight and McIlrath said that it put a smile on his face to hear that (ESPN NY).
Alain Vigneault said after the game that it was a very courageous thing for McIlrath to do.
For his fight, McIlrath was awarded the Broadway Hat.
3:11PM: McIlrath spoke with the media today (Rangers) after practice:
- On last night, “it was surreal. That was the most focused I have ever been for a game. It was my dream come true so I wanted to be 100% focused when I came in. During the anthem I had some shivers and getting some first shifts out of the way. By the second and third I felt like I was in the game. I am happy with how it turned out.”
- On his emotions, “I tried to focus on the ice and not look in the crowd that match. I was doing that during the pre game skate and looking at the banners. The guys were great to help me through along the way. I was nervous coming in at the start but once I got some few bumps it felt like a real game. You are in the trenches and battles and being more vocal on the bench to try and get the guys going. It felt pretty effortless in the third being out there.”
- On what he wanted to do “I wanted to bring that physical edginess and help the team win at all costs. I was fortunate to draw a penalty, too bad we didn’t capitalize but I need to do whatever I can to help us win to stay here.”
- On teammate support, “everyone was really supportive. Anyone who came up sat me down and told me to pretend I had been here the whole time. That is how I tried to approach it with the guys helping me along. I couldn’t ask for anything better.”
- On NHL moments, “the speed and that you will pay if you make a mistake. I know that I made a rookie mistake with that pinch and it shows how skilled the guys are at the next level. They will bury it if you make a mistake. I learned quickly that the NHL is much harder game and also that everyone is always in the right position so if you can do your job it can be lot easier. too
10:31AM: In his NHL debut last night, Dylan McIlrath played 8:55, had one shot blocked, one hit and was one the ice for one goal against.
His ice time broke down as:
- 3:40 in the first
- 3:13 in the second
- 2:02 in the third.
McIlrath didn’t play the final ten minutes of the third period,. He also drew a high sticking penalty from Brandon Dubinsky.
According to Extra Skater, at 5 on 5, McIlrath was on the ice for 12 attempts for and 8 attempts against with 7 shots on goal for and 7 against.
He started 50% of his even strength shifts in the defensive zone, 20% in the neutral zone and 30% in the offensive zone.
McIlrath said that he was nervous and tried to keep things simple (Ranger Rants).
He adds that his pinch that led to the second Columbus goal was a “rookie mistake.” He said that once he settled down he started making better reads (NY Post).
Adam Rotter: McIlrath played about the way that I expected for a rookie defensemen. He made a crucial mistake, he threw or attempted some hits and saw what it was like to play in the NHL. I think that he should get in at least a couple of more games, some more situations and maybe a fight before, at least I think, his return to Hartford. This is an important part of his development and will help the organization focus more on what he needs to work on to be better and to take a roster spot out of training camp next year.
Dylan McIlrath will make his NHL debut tonight and spoke with the Rangers:
McIlrath’s preferred nickname is “diesel” and not Undertaker (Rangers)
- On getting the call that he is coming up, “I almost didn’t believe my coach when he called to tell me. I got off the phone and took five minutes, all the emotions were running through my head. Calling my friends and family….it was the best call I have had in a while.”
- On being on the ice at MSG, “it’s a dream come true. I am just trying to take it all in and not get too overwhelmed. Once the puck drops I need to approach it like any other game. I will enjoy this moment and everything that comes with it.”
- On his approach tonight, “I will just try and stick in the structure that they set out, let the game come to me. When I over think things I get into trouble. I am an emotional player and things happen on the ice and I will let them play out and not think about them too much.”