As if things couldn't get any worse for the Rangers, today we found out that Henrik Lundqvist is day-to-day with a "minor issue" according to the team and Alain Vigneault would not rule out that Cam Talbot would get the start on Thursday in Philadelphia (via Daily News).
Vigneault would not describe the issue but said (via Newsday)...
"something nagging...and want to nip it in the bud."
Lundqvist was on the ice before practice without pads, testing out new skates, but he did not come back onto the ice with the full group.
...when it rains it pours Rangers fans. Actually based on the report that Lundqvist was testing out new skates before practice I'm hoping it might just be a blister. But who knows with the Rangers medical staff who is notorious for being mum as well as misleading on injuries.
...if Lundqvist has side stepped any major injury, this might be a blessing in disguise. I thought the game in Philly was the perfect spot to get Talbot his first NHL experience as the Flyers offense is just as putrid as the Rangers and it might motivate the Blueshirts to step up their game in front of a rookie goalkeeper.
Here were the lines at practice...
Chris Kreider-Derek Stepan-Brad Richards
Benoit Pouliot-Derick Brassard-J.T. Miller
Taylor Pyatt-Brian Boyle-Jesper Fast
Mats Zuccarello-Dominic Moore-Derek Dorsett
Extras: Brandon Mashinter, Carl Hagelin
...can someone explain to me what Zuccarello is doing on the fourth line? Or why Fast's speed is being wasted on a line with Boyle and Pyatt? And don't even get me started on Mashinter being an extra skater.
Another change AV made today was to insert Ryan McDonagh onto the second power play unit.
...it's about time McD gets a chance to prove himself on the power play. He definitely has some offensive ability that's been untapped.
Post practice, AV owned up to the Rangers struggles...
"My teams compete, my teams play hard & are hard to play against, and we haven't been that way & it's my responsibility to change that"-AV— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) October 22, 2013
"My directions, my standards, what my expectations are, to the players, are very clear...it's not very hard to understand what I want"-AV— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) October 22, 2013
...talk is cheap, but I give him credit for taking responsibility.
These lines make no sense. Expect them to be crazy-town until we get our missing forwards back.
Out of everything that has gone wrong so far, missing Cally is the worst. Flat out.
the wheels are just falling off.....well at least the giants got their 1st and probably only win last night
It mIght not be a bad idea to go with Talbot.He has been playing well and could keep his streak going.He may be on a roll and Rangers can go along for the ride.
Probably better off all this stuff is happening at once, though. No sense in Hank playing well if we can't score, no sense in Nash and Cally scoring if our GAA stays above 4. We'll just have to chalk these first games up to being an extension of training camp. Hopefully AV can weed out the players who don't fit and maybe one or two minor deals are made, a few of the youngsters can prove they deserve to stay in the lineup, and by December/January this is all a distant memory.
Trying my best to be a "Glass Half Full" kind of fan right now...
Henrik likely has a groin/hammy/calf etc muscle strain issue. Assuming it's minor they're best served not pushing him and hoping Talbot can get them thru a game. Missing 1 game for Hank = several more days to rest whatever his ailment is.
Food for thought: If this team can find a way to turn things around and get thru this stupid amount of adversity it will serve them well in a long run. IF, and big IF, this Ranger team can tread water and get to .500 within the next 10-12 games they can be alot tougher than any of us can picture right now (I'm sure what we picture right now is pretty bleak).
I'm obviously a Lundqvist fan and you can call me biased, but there's no way he's sitting out of practices due to a blister. No way. Hopefully it is just minor. Although he's struggled, he'll get back on track. Without him this already struggling team doesn't stand a chance. The last 9 years make that very clear.
Kevin if you can explain to me what Zuccarello or Pyatt are doing the NHL, props to you!
And don't even get me started on the Hank issue.... you guys think he is playing badly... wait til you get a full dose of a Talbot Massaien tandem if he is out for any period of time... The Rangers will lose every game by 10 with their current defensive zone play
also, what might be bothering hank is that he is seeing millions of dollars walk out the door in his future due to his play.
i think that the rangers are WAY too gunshy when it comes to inserting their youth. youth are expected to make a place on the team over SEVERAL seasons and are not given much rope to fuck up and learn.
listen, the fastest way for humans to learn ANYTHING is through being thrown into the fire. trial and error. its gotta happen at some point. i agree with kevin in that i see 4 people on those lines that would benefit from sitting and 2 players that would benefit by taking their places. my rant here though applies to mashinter more than hags of course. set him free.
@calithirteen Now you sound like Josh! (JK, Josh)
Seriously, just give it some time. Again, this is a team with a new coach, new system and major injuries at the start of the season to try to put together all at once - let them get through the first quarter of the season and see where they are then.
Then I'll be the first jump on the panic button with both feet if there is no improvement...
@fs2020 Is he considered a rookie NHL goaltender? I haven't following his stats much...
@KingHenrikRocks "there's no way he's sitting out of practices due to a blister. "
no one said that or even implied it. we're all hank fans and all know what he has brought to the table the last several years. that's why his crap play of late has been so glaring imho.
@DPSnotty @calithirteen I know. I'm still hopeful but also worried about what Sather might do. He makes decisions that he can't live with then tries to fix them with more bad decisions. Would hate to see someone like Krieder sent packing for a short term fix that doesnt work. You can't tell me Sather isn't looking at this team, scratching his head saying, "you guys didn't like to play for tort's system so now I bring in a coach with a style you like and you guys play WORSE????"
Kevin was guessing possibly blister from him testing out new skates. That's what I was responding to.
@KingHenrikRocks missed that my bad.
@KingHenrikRocks You might be right. Obviously pure speculation on my part, but have you ever had a bad blister from new skates? It eff'n hurts.