The Rangers acquired Raphael Diaz on Wednesday and Glen Sather said that Diaz was a player the team tried to acquire in the past and that he brings the ability to move the puck, make a first pass and play on the PP.
Alain Vigneault said yesterday that Diaz was brought in as a “depth guy” but if/when he gets the chance to play and if he plays well he will stay in the lineup. He added, “I will use the players that give us the best chance to win. Right now he has been brought in as a depth defenseman and we will see what happens.”
Diaz has played 134 NHL games, has 5 goals, 38 assists and has played:
11-12: 18:00 in 59 games
12-13: 21:33 in 23 games
13-14: 19:33 in 52 games (19:54 in 46 MTL games, 16:58 in 6 VAN games)
2:58PM: Diaz says that he likes to be an offensive player but the key is finding the right moment to jump into the play. He added that he will get an understanding of the Rangers system when he meets with the coaches on Saturday. (NY Post)
Alain Vigneault met with the media yesterday after the Rangers practiced and before they went to Carolina (Rangers):
How good was it to have Marty practice today, “for me, Marty had played 5 games in 7 nights prior to last night and yesterday was a challenging day. We went through a nice 35 minute practice with him though Hags didn’t skate today, he got an extra maintenance day, I think that for the most part we did what we had to do in practice. We worked on a couple of areas and we will get ready for a big tough game tomorrow.”
Will you have Zucc, “I would say right now that it’s a game time decision. He had a good practice today and I spoke with him briefly at the end of it and he felt pretty good. I think they were going to talk with the doctors a little later and make a decision.”
In his debut for the Rangers last night, Marty St. Louis played 20:11 and led all Rangers forwards in ice time.
St. Louis played 6:28 in the first period, 6:00 in the second period, 7:19 in the third period and 24 seconds in OT. He played 1:40 on the PP and 28 seconds on the PK.
St. Louis was a minus one, had 3 shots on goal, 2 shots blocked, 1 shot missed and 1 hit.
At 5 on 5, St. Louis was on the ice for 31 shot attempts for, 13 against and 12 shots on goal for and 10 against. (ES)
Brad Richards said after the game on MSG, about his line with Carl Hagelin and St. Louis, “we felt good at times. It’s tough, we plan on being a lot better but there were certain things. We may have made too maby passes at certain times. It’s a first game and a long 24 hours for Marty being in St. Louis last night and up here today. We are trying to talk our way through and get used to the way that we play here but I see a lot better chemistry.”
On tomorrow, “I don’t know. We will have to talk about and we will see.”
Are you cleared to play, “I don’t know.”
Is the pain a lot less, “Yes, I feel good, I feel that I can do most of the things out there.”
On team with him being back, “I think we have had a good team all year, we have good D, good goalies and we have four good lines. We have skills and speed and some heavy bodies who can do different things. I think we are a solid all around team.”
On Marty and the PP, “he is a world class player, probably the best player in the league the last five years. It’s gonna help us to score more goals and win more games. It’s nice for us as the younger guys to learn from him, he is a good pro player and one of the best in the game.”
Was Marty an inspiration for you, “obviously…he is almost as tall as me (joking) of course. He is something for sure that you look at and see that it’s possible to be a shorter and succeed and for sure he is a role model in that way and not just that but how he plays and what he does out there.”
1:35PM: It will be a game time decision whether Mats Zuccarello returns to the Rangers lineup tomorrow in Carolina according to Alain Vigneault. (Andrew Gross)
Zuccarello said that he feels ready to play but doesn’t know if he will. (Gross)
On Tuesday, Alain Vigneault said “I think he is day to day now, I don’t expect him tomorrow. It’s just a pain thing. As soon as he can handle the pain taking a pass and he can shoot the puck now, as soon as he can handle the pain. It shouldn’t be much longer.” (Vigneault)
Marty St. Louis joined Michael Kay and Don La Greca on ESPN NY at 3:15PM:
How did it feel to be at MSG as a Ranger, “it felt great. It was a busy day for me. Things happened fast, getting to the rink and organized and getting on the ice. I was able to break the ice that fast, not think about it too much and just play the game.”
On being with Richards and Hagelin, “I don’t know, I saw yesterday that we had a lot of good looks early on….not only do I have to get acclimated to my line mates but also 17-18 guys in the locker room. Trying to get a feel for how they play the game, situational stuff and PP. For me, it’s hard to get adjusted really quick but I got a practice under my belt today and keep building it up and getting better everyday.” To read more of this story, click here