Read: Alain Vigneault on hits and responding to them

Alain Vigneault.png10:34AM: On the latest episode of the AV Squad, Alain Vigneault was asked about how the team responded to the hits put on by Alex Burrows and Chris Neil.

Vigneault said, “I think you have to be careful. The Vancouver game, 40 seconds left, and the game is basically over and we want the two points and to get out of there. The Ottawa game, there is more time on the clock and we are down by a goal and we get shorthanded on that one. Sometimes, hitting is part of the game and you need to take a hit and suck it up and take care of it at another moment. A 3-2 game when we are down and end up shorthanded, yea we respond with a little pushing and shoving but sometimes you need to be careful there.”

He added, “I think every situation is different. Bot of those hits, you could say are questionable but hitting is part of the game and we threw some big hits in that game, Benoit Pouliot right in front of our bench drilled one of their guys, hitting is part of the game. “

Brad Richards said that the Rangers will have a “pack mentality” and that if someone goes to respond for a hit he will have the backup of his teammates. (NY Post)

Richards said that you can’t prevent guys from getting hit but they can be there to support them. He adds that the best response is to score on power plays that come from those players being hit. (NY Post)

Read: The decision on the defense

Kevin Klein1With Ryan McDonagh’s expected return to the lineup for game one against the Flyers, the Rangers will have a decision to make on their defense.

It’s expected that the decision will be between Raphael Diaz and Kevin Klein for the third line right defense spot and Alain Vigneault said on Saturday that he has a good idea of who will take that spot, but did not reveal who. (Ranger Rants)

On Saturday against Montreal, John Moore spent most of the game with Kevin Klein though did skate a few shifts with Raphael Diaz.

Adam Rotter: I think it will be Kevin Klein though Raphael Diaz has been, at least to me, better than expected for a guy who is on his third team in one season. Klein has playoff experience, against Alain Vigneault’s Canucks, and he has played with John Moore earlier in the season while Diaz and Moore have not played much together. Diaz and Moore are similar styled players, a more offensive bend and willing to join the rush, while Klein is more stay at home and I think the stay at home factor, playoff experience and previous work with John Moore will get Klein the spot, for at least game one.

Read: No one is worried about Ryan McDonagh’s conditioning when he returns

Ryan McDonaghLast week, when it was still undetermined whether Ryan McDonagh would return to the lineup on Saturday against Montreal, Alain Vigneault was asked if McDonagh skating on his own on Friday and going through the morning skate on Saturday would be enough for him to return.

Vigneault said that for McDonagh, it would be enough.

Vigneault as asked on the latest episode of the AV Squad if he foresaw an issue with McDonagh getting up to speed and said, “not at all. He is a thoroughbred, unbelievable conditioning and I think what it will do is, since he plays big minutes for us, since he played big minutes at the Olympics, this week off, or week of rehab will permit him to be fresh going into the playoffs so for him it will work out fine.”

McDonagh said that he thinks things will be fine and that he has been doing a lot of biking and off-ice work to keep up his conditioning. He said on Saturday that his legs and lungs felt good and that he feels ready to play. (Rangers Rants)

 

Stats/Watch: Wolf Pack lose 6-2 (Chris McCarthy and Danny Kristo score)

The Wolf Pack lost 6-2 to St. John yesterday:

  • Chris McCarthy: 1 goal, minus two, 3 shots
  • Conor Allen: minus 2, slashing penalty
  • Dylan McIlrath: minus 3, 2 shots, roughing penalty
  • Ryan Bourque: minus one, 2 shots, high sticking penalty
  • JT Miller: 2 assists, minus two, 4 shots
  • Marek Hrivik: minus two, 3 shots
  • Oscar Lindberg: minus two, 1 shot
  • Danny Kristo: 1 goal, 1 assist, minus two, 3 shots

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Read: Marty St. Louis on what he has learned about the Rangers

Marty St. Louis1Following the Rangers win over Vancouver in early April, Marty St. Louis was asked by John Giannone what he has learned during his time with the Rangers.

St. Louis said, “this is a resilient bunch. We play playoff type hockey. It’s not a team that will need to turn the switch on when the playoffs start. We are tough to play against and are finding ways and we need to keep it going.”

After the Rangers beat the Hurricanes, Dave Maloney said that it was a game where “all hands were on deck. There wasn’t a passenger who wasn’t contributing in some way. You start with the goalie and Fast comes in and he’s a smart guy, St. Louis. From the first 1st forward to the 12th and the first d to the 6th and the goalie it was all hands on deck.

NEWS: Rangers/Flyers first round schedule

Rangers-Chrome-Stadium-Series-The NHL has announced the first round schedule for the Rangers and Flyers:

  • Game 1: 4/17 | 7PM  |MSG
  • Game 2: 4/20|12PM  |MSG*
  • Game 3: 4/22 |8PM  |Wells Fargo Center
  • Game 4: 4/25 |7PM  |Wells Fargo Center
  • Game 5: 4/27 |12PM |MSG*
  • Game 6   4/29| TBD  |Wells Fargo Center
  • Game 7: 4/30 | TBD  |MSG

*=Game broadcast nationally on NBC.

All other games are broadcast locally on MSG.

This is the second straight year where the Ranger first round series has had game six and seven as back to backs.

The NHL/Flyers have postponed a Miley Cyrus concert on 4/22 for Game 3.

Read: The Flyers feel they are “due” to win in New York

6:51PM: It’s likely that NBC will pick the Ranger and Flyers on Sunday as part of a potential doubleheader. (Steve Lepore)

NBC is picking up Chicago-St. Louis on Saturday at 3PM.

2:21PM: From the Rangers game notes when the Rangers beat the Flyers on 3/26/14:

  • “The Rangers have won 13 of their last 17 games against the Flyers, having outscored the Flyers, 58-32, over the span. The Rangers have held the Flyers to two goals or less in 14 contests over the span (12-2-0 in those contests).”
  • “New York has also won eight straight games against Philadelphia at Madison Square Garden, dating back to a 7-0 victory on Mar. 6, 2011. The Rangers have out-scored the Flyers, 31-9, over the span, and have held Philadelphia to two goals or less in all eight contests during the streak.”

Yesterday, Jakub Voracek said that the Flyers are “due” to win at MSG. (Philly.com)

The two teams have split the four games series this seaosn with both teams winning at home.

Wayne Simmonds says that starting on the road will be better for the Flyers because it will force them to play their best hockey at the start of the series. (Philly.com)

Claude Giroux said that the Rangers are a fast team, with a good goalie and a good defense. He labeled them, like the Flyers, as a “complete team.”  (Philly.com)

Read: Cam Talbot last night and his season

Cam TalbotLast night against Montreal, Cam Talbot stopped 26 of 27 shots and in two games in Montreal this season, Talbot has not allowed a goal in regulation.

Talbot stopped 6 shots in the first, 11 in the second, 8 in the second and one in OT before Brian Gionta ended the game on a penalty shot.

From the Rangers game notes, “Cam Talbot made 26 saves in the contest in the overtime loss, and finished the season with a 12-6-1 record, including an 8-3-1 record on the road. Talbot allowed two goals or fewer in 16 of 19 starts this season, including 11 of 12 road starts, and allowed one goal or fewer in six of his 12 road starts. The Rangers goaltender has also posted a 1.37 GAA, a .948 SV%, and three shutouts in 13 road appearances on the road this season. In two appearances against Montreal this season, Talbot posted a 1-0-1 record with a 0.49 GAA, a .980 SV%, and one shutout.”

Marc Staal praised Carey Price but also said that Talbot played really well for the Rangers.

After the game, Alain Vigneault said ““he has played really well. Young goalie who didn’t start the season with us. He came, got an opportunity to play, deserved his starts and did a real good job behind Hank. We have two good goalies there.”On what happened leading up to the penalty shot call, “

Talbot finishes his first regular season in the NHL with 19 starts, 21 appearances, a record of 12-6-1, a .941 save percentage and a 1.64 GAA.

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