The Rangers report that Derick Brassard, who missed Thursday night's game as well as Fridays practice with a bum...errrr...bum, returned to practice today and will play tomorrow vs. Calgary. Here's Brassard...
"You know it sounds a little funny when you say I have a bum injury, but I want to go back in tomorrow and help the team get two points," Brassard told reporters following Saturday's practice. "When you skate you push with your butt, and I had an injury there, the first time it had happened to me, and it's not fun. It was really frustrating because when you say you're out with a bum injury it sounds like you can play through it, but I couldn't even skate."
Here were the forward lines during practice...
...despite scoring just once in the last 11 games, it should help to have Brassard back, if for no other reason than to get either Pyatt or Pouliot out of the lineup.
...when playing with confidence, Brassard is a completely different player. Wouldn't mind seeing him get an extended look with Nash. They had some nice moments together in the second period against Nashville the other night.
...btw, how awful is the Rangers bottom six? I'm pretty sure Hagelin is the only one who could actually play for another NHL team.
Alain Vigneault also made changes with defensive pairings as well...
Vigneault indicated that he's not sure if he'll come back with McIrath or replace him with Falk tomorrow vs. the Flames.
...is AV kidding me?!?!?!?! I know that McIlrath didn't exactly tear it up in his debut, but way to give the kid some confidence. Seriously, what is there to think about? He should be given at least a few games to get his feet wet before anyone starts thinking about making him a healthy scratch. Guys like Del Zotto and Girardi have been given leashes this season, why isn't McIlrath? The kid was brought up to hopefully provide a spark, which is obviously hard for him to do while eating a hot dog in the press box. Baffling.
...however, i do like the move to get Stralman and McDonagh together as they have easily been the Rangers best two defensemen this season. And talk about punishment for Girardi's poor play. Now he gets to play with Del Zotto. Yikes. Although, Girardi's mistakes won't look nearly as bad anymore.
@ Howard Berg- Because Clarkson right now is considered a liability with a hefty contract in Toronto. It would be shedding a perceived problem and some salary. Pouliot and/or Pyatt would reduce their cap and they may feel at least one of them may be useful for them. We know they're useless here and we sure could use a legitimate power forward, such as Clarkson. I'm sure he'd be an asset for every Devils game, at the very least!
Wow that is probably the worst bottom 6 I have ever seen in my life. 4 of those guys don't belong in the NHL, AHL of Pop Warner. Agree about Brassard playing with Nash. He should get time with him. As I remember from last year they had some good chemistry. It will be interesting to see gives the puck away in the D zone more Girardi or MDZ. My money is on Girardi.
Is McIlrath the best skater in the world. Nope....and he never will be. I can relate to McIlrath's situation...although I played in the CHL....the situations are similar. I was signed to a club to provide toughness, intimidation and snarl to the team's D corp. McIlrath was recalled from the minors to the Rangers to provide the same. Now, I was naturally quicker on my skates than McIlrath...because he's a big kid...I played at 170-175lbs...but I still wasn't the greatest skater....and I lacked "game speed"....which is why i only played in the CHL..lol.
I should have been released after the 1st period of my first game. Nerves galore. Was "thinking, not playing" on the ice. It's easy to be a tough guy as a forward...different world being a tough guy on defense. No hits, multiple turnovers...a couple of tripping calls. I was a hot mess on the ice. I thought for sure after that first period ended my coach was going to tell me to pack up my gear and get the hell out of the building..
What saved me? My head coach, coaching staff and teammates. And it all started after the 1st period. My coach called me out after the 1st period....." Stop trying to be a hockey player...because you're not....and just play your style of game".
That statement...set my mind free. I never really thought on the ice after that. I only played a few shifts the rest of the game....and rightfully so.
But my coach didn't give up on me. Coach and the rest of the staff knew my limitations (skating and puck handling)....so they helped strengthen me in other area......assignments, positional play...mastering the press and lift check...etc. Here's how my coach helped me with puck handling skills...." If you skate for more than three seconds with the puck, when you come back to the bench, I'll break you're stick over your F#$%ing head." Or my other favorite....."i want you to handle the puck the like a children's book...See Spot. See Spot get puck...See Spot get rid of puck....its that freaking simple".
Another important moment for me.....I was in the line-up for the next game. Totally different feel to it....the nervous level....dramatically dropped. Did I have a great game..no...was I better than the first game......heck yeah. But just being in the line-up after a disastrous first game....I can't begin to describe how that helps mentally. To know that your Coach is going to give you another shot....that he believes in you...etc....it does wonders...helps you to be comfortable on the ice...a feeling that you belong....etc. With a young player...that goes a long way.
The worst thing Veeno can do right not is not play the kid.....and have him just replaying the missed hit and goal over and over again in his mind. What's the old saying...you fall off a horse...you get right back on it.
If I was Veeno....I'd handle it this way.....
1) Show confidence in him.
Put him in the line-up for tonight's game. Sit him down one on one...tell him that you want him to play his game. Don't try to be Larry Robinson....just be Dylan McIlrath.
2) Point out there errors and accentuate the positives.
Yes, he went for the big hit..missed...and it led to an odd man rush and goal. But there were positives in that play. The fact that he tried to go for the big hit shows that he "wasn't thinking on the ice...he was playing"....and that's a good thing. He just missed on the timing....but that's to be expected....because he has to adjust to the NHL speed of the game. Praise him for his aggressiveness. You don't want him to lose it, because that aggressiveness make him the player that he is. Also praise him for goading Dubes into taking a penalty.
3) Scratch His Itch.
The kid isn't here to score goals or be a top 2 defenseman. The kid knows why he's up here....he already has enough on his plate mentally....and you better believe that first fight is on his mind. So, just get it out of the way. First chance you get tonight, the first time Calgary puts a tough guy on the ice...get McIlrath on the ice...and let nature take its course. it will be one less thing the kid has to think about.
Wow....way too long of a post...lol. sorry about that.
This group does not have the collective talent to play score on the rush hockey. They traded the grinders who played dump and chase. There is no big shot from top of the circles to the blue line so surprise...they can't score! Callahan is the only one battling in front for tip ins and garbage and he is out 4-6 weeks. Unless the rangers play some team taking a night off, wins will be few. The solution is not in Hartford or another big free agent...the solution is building a system and getting someone who knows today's game to do talent ID to stock the system. There are huge changes coming at the deadline.
Time for a little hard truth... I just watched the Canucks Bruins game, and like I said John Tortorella will be bringing a Cup back to Vancouver for the first time if they keep the same roster (Sedin's mainly) very soon. They just dismantled the Bruins, and looked real good in doing so. The reason the Rangers were good the last two years (and yes I include last year, where we won a playoff series against the hottest team and player in the NHL, and put up a better fight against the Bruins than the Penguins did) was John Tortorella. You guys can say what you want, but the talent level on this team is abysmal and you are seeing that as AV flounders with this group of coworkers. Obviously Torts didnt go out and win hockey games, but clearly he got the most out of the group of players he was handed. Now in Vancouver with a team that has a heck of a lot more talent, his team is taking off. I am only 18, but the last two years of hockey, well one and a half, was the best hockey I have ever seen the Rangers play. I never really thought they had a chance to run the table with the Jagr teams. But, I guess getting to the second round of the playoffs and losing to the Bruins entitles getting fired. Just be ready guys, I said Torts would win a Cup with Vancouver in the next 3 years, after what I saw tonight, there is no doubt in my mind they could run the table this year.
I get that everyone is on AV for possibly not playing McIlrath against CGY, but do realize that 1) the NYR are still in the playoff hunt and need to win games and 2) McIlrath, although I'm pulling for the kid, was not good in his NHL debut. Not only did his missed check/penalty lead to a goal, but you can see that his skating ability is not even close to NHL level, which has always been his main critique by scouts. He was consistently beat to the puck and his skating put him out of position many times.
I like the kid and want him to succeed, but it's easier to groom him when there's nothing on the line, and let's be realistic, the NYR still have a shot at the playoffs even though they're playing horrible hockey right now.
I didn't think I would say this so soon. But either fire AV or go out and get him players that fit his system. If that does not work fire him and sather then blow up this team. Do something!! What we have right now is not working.
Why would any other team want our dead weight (ex Piulliot or Pyatt)? Every team knows they suck. Hey why don't we trade Pyatt for Malkin...
You like that move with Stralman so much? How about on the first shift against the Jackets... easy goal right around Stralman.
I don't know what should happen to move Pyatt out, to make Boyle using his size and Pulliot finally to produce numbers
though I must say it was painful watching McIlrath back skate. I haven't seen a player do those double C-cuts since PeeWees
I never wanted to get rid of Torts but wanted to give AV a chance and hes at the end of his rope but with the right team built for his system should be great. This team has under performed for the past 2 seasons its time to blow it up Keep Nash, Krieder, McD, Zucc, Stralman, Cally (if he takes a hometown discount and 4 yrs or less and returns with a fire under his ass), Lundqvist, talbot. Trade anybody but Krieder and prospects for Kane. Call up everyone who is ready, fill the holes with the RIGHT FA SIGNINGS, or the cheapest stop gaps till better become available. Also see who we can get from Vancouver for Girardi. Its going to be a long couple years but the only way to right this team is to blow it up and build around who we keep/call up. Im tired of only making it to the playoffs its time for the cup.
Totally agree Kevin. And really the problem is not that we don't have any scorers, we just have WAY too many mistake-prone players strewn through the lineup, who's mistakes can cost us games at any moment. The upside to the risk with DZ (in theory) is maybe he lands a homerun pass to Nash or hags, the upside to undertaker is maybe he delivers 2 or 3 bonecrushers that stick with the other team... But a lot of these guys are JUST risk, no reward, simply because we need to fill out the lineup. Even if they only get 5-8 minutes a game...
Toronto is down on Clarkson and Edmonton is supposedly interested. Perhaps Pouliot and Pyatt could both be shipped there for Clarkson. Clarkson is under contract for 7 years with a 5 year team buyout. Maybe Toronto would even absorb some salary to dump him.
The whole fan base in 2011: "Bring us Brad Richards!"
The whole fan base in 2013: "Buyout Brad Richards"
The whole fan base in 2012: "We want Rick Nash!"
The whole fan base in 2013: "Rick Nash is just okay, shouldn't have traded for him"
The whole fan base in 2013: "Trade the farm...we want Evander Kane!"
At least Kane is younger I guess...
@TheNYRBlog Trying to comment on blog and it's not letting me... :-/
How is McIlrath suppose to adapt to the NHL level if he doesn't get NHL mins . It's starting to get ridiculous . Miller and McIlrath would have already had chances to break into the starting lineups with other clubs . Pyatt and that idi&@ Pouliot have no business even being in the lineup . How much worse wood Kristo and Miller be ???? Come on now. These kids need to be up here .. They need the Mins. We already know what we are going to get from the other to benders . #RIDICULOUS
I'd be more critical if McIlrath had a killer fight or played a solid offensive game against the Blue Jackets. Right now though...I'm just...eh. I believe he'll end up playing against the Flames as it shouldn't be an overly difficult game. Although I'd personally be interested to see one of Moore or Del Zotto sit a game and have both McIlrath and Falk in the line up. Not paired together, but one with Girardi and the other with the player that's not scratched. Our physically from our defensemen would be at a high and it may force Girardi/Moore/Del Zotto to play a more defensively responsible game.
I just wanna see someone on this team punch a player on the other team. Or score a goal. I don't care.
@TheNYRBlog Agree. McIlrath needs NHL mins to develop. Whether he makes mistakes or not. He needs the mins.
@TheNYRBlog I haven't clicked link yet but are you really asking that question? If so, go re-read your post from this morning lol
I would love to hear AV's thought process as to why he keeps playing pouliot and pyatt but not giving Miller more ice time. Same for McIlrath.
@TheNYRBlog Bit ridiculous, mix and matching works the best with socks, not players.
@shoot_the_goalieIf they didn't think he was ready, why bring him up at all?
@KreiderisTheChosenOneOne play. Other than that, he's been very good this season.
No way i'd want his contract either, he's got a full No Movement clause too, I don't see him going anywhere soon.
No ones taking Pyatt or Pouliot,for anyone, especially not for Clarkson.
@BrendyJohnson The whole fan base in 2015: "Trade Evander Kane!"
Should the Rangers throw in the towel and make this an evaluation year?....There only two games from 500
Since Pouliot and Pyatt will only play 8-10 minutes a game while Miller could, for sure, be given 20 minutes a night in the AHL.
These guys need NHL minutes. This team is going nowhere fast. Pyatt/Pouliot contribute zero. McIlrath instantly became their most physical d-man. Not a great skater, but so what? In limited minutes he was clearing the crease and drew a penalty. Miller should dress too. Its not throwing in the towel. Rolling out the same soft slugs every night is throwing in the towel.
I guess the issue is that if Miller was given a chance of playing more than the 8-10 filler minutes a game that Pouliot and Pyatt suit up for (can't really call what they do playing). It isn't unreasonable to bring a prospect up and play him on the 3rd line for 12-14 minutes a game. Let him earn his way to the top 6 minutes.
With Miller playing in the AHL he's able to play top PP, PK, and even strength minutes. He wouldn't get that up in the NHL. Miller still needs to work on his game and getting limited minutes wont help him.