Rangers Practice Report: McIlrath, Glass, Lundqvist to play against Jets
Alain Vigneault made a huge statement after practice on Monday afternoon, announcing that Dylan McIlrath would make his season debut while veteran and $4.5 million defenseman Dan Boyle would be a healthy scratch.
Dan Boyle has not been all that impressive in the three games this season, picking up one assist and making at least one costly defensive miscue. During the home opener, Vigneault switched him and Kevin Klein, relating Boyle to the third pairing.
While he hasn’t been great, this is also about seeing what McIlrath can do. He made the team after a very strong preseason, and having him sit in the press box isn’t going to do him any good. The Rangers could use another defensively responsible, crease clearing physical defenseman on the ice.
This is also a big statement from Alain Vigneault. He’s showing that is doesn’t matter whether you’re a veteran or have a big salary. There are other options throughout the lineup. If Boyle isn’t playing well and if he still isn’t fitting into the system, then McIlrath can come in and steal some games from him.
I’m very excited to see the new and improved Dylan McIlrath play tomorrow night. When he was paired with Keith Yandle during the preseason games, the duo played very well together. Their playstyles complement each other well, and with Yandle’s puck moving abilities, he could help McIlrath record his first NHL point.
Vigneault went as far to say that this is a “game to game basis.” It seems like McIlrath has a legitimate shot to win a starting job. This will also hopefully push Boyle to be the best player that he can be, and create some healthy competition.
AV also announced that Tanner Glass would remain in the lineup for the game against the Jets. To be fair, he did play a decent game against the Blue Jackets, recording two shots on goal and seven hits. When he plays well, he’s a serviceable fourth liner. But there’s still a problem.
Glass’ playing time shouldn’t come at the expense of Emerson Etem’s development, as well as the playing time and development of Jesper Fast. Etem is a healthy scratch for the fourth straight game, and hasn’t been given a chance after a sub-par preseason.
It amazes me that Etem hasn’t been given a look yet. He’s not a fourth liner, but any line is better than no line in my book. If he’ll never play, than what was the point of trading for him?
Henrik Lundqvist will be back in net against Winnipeg, starting the fourth straight game for the Rangers. He was spectacular in the home opener, making 37 saves and allowing just two goals. He’ll continue to get a heavy workload, and likely won’t get a day off until next weekend, when the Rangers play on Saturday and Sunday.
Oscar Lindberg was named the NHL’s second star of the week after scoring four goals in three games to begin his first season in the league. He’s tied for the league lead in goals, and he’s just the sixth rookie in NHL history to score a goal in each of his team’s first three games.
If you want to read up on Oscar Lindberg and his “staying power,” check out this article by Sean Hartnett. (LINK)
Posted on October 12, 2015, in Rangers Updates and tagged Alain Vigneault, Antti Raanta, Dan Boyle, Dylan McIlrath, Emerson Etem, Henrik Lundqvist, Henrik Lundqvist save, Jesper Fast, Madison Square Garden, MSG, New York Rangers, New York Rangers blog, NYR, Oscar Lindberg, Rangers, Rangers blog, Tanner Glass. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.