Steve Zipay takes you inside the locker room, home and on the road, with the New York Rangers, and also writes about the NHL, off and on the ice.
Vigneault on goalie choice vs. Isles
Here's the head coach on why Talbot over Lundqvist, who was 3-0-1 against the Isles last season:
"Our last few games, the team has played well in front of both goaltenders. It’s just a question of back-to-back; I mentioned before that I needed a goaltender who could play 15-20 games and this is one of those back-to-back situations even though it’s not long travel...Talbot’s played well and Hank played last night…We got a stretch of nine games in 15 nights, so you’ve got to use both your goaltenders, and this one makes a lot of sense."
Again, Lundqvist said earlier today that he was "feeling pretty good" and wasn't bothered by any injury, so...
On Hagelin coming off LTIR, Vigneault said he would probably "mix and match" him on lines. "He’s worked extremely hard to get himself ready for this night…been practicing twice a day, I’m sure he’s real excited." To me, it sounds as if AV wants to see how he reacts to his first game action since the playoffs: "He was our eighth defenseman a lot in practice."
On sending Jesper Fast down: "He's a young player that did well, helped us on the PK, he's a smart player...offensively, there wasn’t a lot being created, but we all saw a tremendous amount of upside, he’s a young player that need to play."
Writer's Note: I should point out that not a lot of folks have been creating offensively, and Fast has been on the third and fourth line and penalty kill.
Also, I asked Vigneault, who likes balance, about the lack of righty shots upfront---just two---now that Fast is gone, and whether that will affect his lineup decision. He responded by counting three, Callahan, Dorsett and Stepan, so I tried to ask him about the short-term, before Callahan comes back, but he indicated that it was not a big deal, and repeated that Fast needed to play more in the AHL.
Anyway, game approaching soon, check @stevezipay on Twitter as usual for lineups, game coverage, etc...