Practice notes: New lines; Pyatt, McIlrath appear to be scratches

December 17, 2013, by

Per Andrew Gross, the Rangers have new lines at practice and appear to be dressing 12 forwards and 6 defensemen:

Chris Kreider-Derek Stepan-Rick Nash
Brad Richards-Derick Brassard-Mats Zuccarello
Taylor Pyatt/Benoit Pouliot-Brian Boyle-Arron Asham
Carl Hagelin-Dominic Moore-Derek Dorsett

Ryan McDonagh-Anton Stralman
Michael Del Zotto-Dan Girardi
John Moore-Justin Falk/Dylan McIlrath

Gross also noted that Pyatt and McIlrath skated together as a defensive pairing, indicating they might be the healthy scratches for tomorrow’s game.

"Practice notes: New lines; Pyatt, McIlrath appear to be scratches", 5 out of 5 based on 1 ratings.
Categories : Lineup Changes


  1. SalMerc says:

    If AV sits McIlrath, he just shot the kids confidence. Play tough kid, now sit!

    • Dave says:

      Could be a matchup thing. The Pens would skate circles around him.

      • AD says:

        Do you honestly believe Falk is a better skater than McIlrath? Why do you have such a difficult time recognizing AV does not want to risk Wins/Losses with rookies in his lineup? Have you reviewed his record on this front in Vancouver?

        It’s ok, though, we have Pyatt and Pouliot to come to the rescu 🙂


        • Dave says:

          Falk is a better skater than McIlrath, and that says a lot.

          He inserted Kreider when he was ready. McIlrath isn’t ready. Neither was Miller.

          • AD says:

            You are wrong on the skating of Falk v McIlrath. It’s an excuse to protect your affinity for this coach. By the way, it is also a home game, so it has nothing to do with a matchup.

            AV sucks FOR THIS TEAM.

            • VinceR says:

              AD, this blog was always defending Torts last year…to say they are making excuses to protect their affinity for this coach is kind of..well completely stupid.

              And I’m a Torts guy.

              • AD says:

                I didn’t bring up Torts; he has nothing to do with the discussion.

                Other than an affinity for this coach, I cannot identify any objective reason why AV gets a pass on calling up rookies; gicing them minimal playing time; playing them on 4th lines when that is widely understood to be counter-productive; etc…

                To say Falk is a better skater than McIlrath is, at best, debatable, and at a home game, it appears to me like it is an excuse.

                I disagree with you — I do not believe my comment was stupid. Abrasive, crass, yes. Criticize me for that, I certainly do not wish to offend anybody.

                But to say McIlrath is sitting for skating & matchup reasons at a home game is silly.

              • Dave says:

                I fail to see how matchups are a silly reason. It’s common knowledge that coaches matchup accordingly. With Crosby coming to town, the more experienced defenseman who skates better is a more logical choice.

                As for the kids thing, we’ve been big on giving them minutes in the AHL. When they are ready, they will show us. Miller didn’t show us. McIlrath hasn’t shown us. It took Kreider a few call ups to finally get it.

                Also, using a 20 year old (Miller) and a kid with less than 100 pro games (McIlrath) as the basis for your argument about hating kids is shortsighted.

              • Dave says:

                Don’t get me wrong, I do not like Falk dressing, but without Staal there aren’t many options.

            • Erixon20 says:

              AD = Tortorella’s mother I think

          • AD says:

            He told Kreider 1st line or AHL; kudos to Kreider for rising to the occasion. Miller was less ready 2 seasons ago wjen our collective coaching staff found him ready for 24 games. He is ready now for 3rd line but AV doesn’t play rookies on 3rd line. He is smarter than the 25+ other coaches in the league who say never play a rookie on the 4th line.

            But, again, Pouliot is worthy. He’s given up more goals this year than he will ever score.

          • AD says:

            If they aren’t ready, then you admit AV should never have played them to begin with, right?

            Then, you are indirectly stating, he has no clue about assessing our prospects.

            The disconnect here is that our coaches in Hartford say these players are ready; we have dead wood in our bottom six and AV calls up rookies; but then chooses not to play them.

            This is a joke; blame it on Hartford, for all I care, but what I see is a complete breakdown in how we’ve successfully worked with our prospects the past four years.

            4th line minutes; 5 minute TOI; call ’em up, send ’em down; call ’em up again, send ’em down again.

        • AD says:

          We are also playing at home so it isn’t a matchup reason, presuming AV knows he gets last look on sending out lines?

          Obviously I am being sarcastic but Falk is not a better skater than McIlrath; it isn’t close.

          So, let’s see:

          we score a lot less;
          we give up more goals;
          we no longer develop our prospects;
          rather than improve on what we have, we are now talking about big trades and personnel changes;

          And the Canucks are 20-10-5.

          • AD says:

            If it was a skating issue (which it isn’t) why did AV call him up to begin with?

            Outside of Crosby and Malkin (who is injured) who are the great skaters on the Pens?

            It has nothing to do with skating.

          • Kevin says:

            I’m looking over the Rangers roster, Where are the Sedin twins, Ryan Kesler, Alex Burrows and Kevin Bieksa?

  2. Kevin says:

    Kreider, Richards, Pyatt, Hagelin.

    I think the Rangers have a wing depth issue

  3. phil says:

    is Hagelin on the fourth line?

    • Dave says:


      • phil says:

        why???? he was the most dynamic player on the ice last game, wasn’t he? n He needs 15/16 minutes a game, don’t you think Dave?

        • mr.mister says:

          You can’t move a player up because of one game!

        • Dave says:

          I don’t necessarily think he should be on the fourth line, but aside from last night, he hasn’t played well.

          • Sally says:

            Well, I am baffled. Hags on the 4th line after the last game. Yes that will build confidence. I voted in the poll before I saw this post. Can I change my vote from a C to a D?

            After AV comments about not having the right defense, I thought he was just whiney, now I think he might be clueless too. Don’t tell me he is a good coach, I could be a good coach with the Sedin twins on my team.

            • AD says:

              My guess is Hagelin will not be on the 4th line; am willing to give AV the benefit of doubt here, on such an obvious call after the guy was cited by AV for his effort last game.

  4. Rangers Rock says:

    Of course Hagelin is on the 4th line. The coach rather have Pyatt in there than quality. That is why Miller was sent down. Hagelin always plays great with the 1st and 2nd line but the coach(I want to yell at him) did not review last year. Of course those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it.

    • Spozo says:

      I’m no English major but doesn’t the title say Pyatt is scratched?

    • Dave says:

      Aside from the fact that I mentioned Pyatt could be the scratch, bringing up Miller as an argument is misguided. He’s not ready.

      • AD says:

        MIller as an example (not an argument) is reasonable because AV has showered 3rd line or better minutes on the likes of Pouliot and Pyatt this season; whereas Miller has been given 4th line minutes. That is a fact. It is also a fact that it is widely understood you do not develop rookies on the 4th line; that it is counter-productive. It is rarely done well, and was actually very widely cited on this forum and others the past four seasons as being the right approach. Yet, AV has a different view, which he is entitled to, obviously, but it does open him up for criticism, in terms of whether he has a bias (not hate) against developing rookies. Other very good coaches share this bias (e.g., Ken Hitchkock, for one) yet it is inconsistent with the Rangers’ organizational approach the past four years.

        When these facts and issues are overlooked and the coach is deemed right in all his personnel decisions regarding rookies, I have a difficult time understanding this, other than to look at from the prism of an affinity for this coach. He does, after all, have a long record in Vancouver that can be evaluated, yet that seems to be overlooked.

        Whatever, thanks for indulging me with your replies as I’ve taken up a good portion of your time already. We’ll let this play out and see where the chips fall — I don’t see this going well for the Rangers and their prospects, but we’ll see.

        Thanks again.

  5. Geoff says:

    Asham will play well if he gets some ice. 3 or 4 minutes isn’t enuf to get into the game.

    • AD says:

      Here, too, AV has a different preference for the type of “physical” player he wants to allocate minutes too. He has publicly discussed the Red Wings as a “physical” team, whereas Asham would never be the type of “physical” used in that discussion. AV says they have to be able to “play” too, which is a great goal for our team to strive for. Unfortunately, we are not the Red Wings and we don’t have those type of players.

      I found it very telling that the Rangers players all cited McIlrath’s fight versus McGratton as a big factor in the last game (2-2 at the time); whereas after the game, when asked, AV struggled to even recognize it as having an impact.

      It doesn’t bode well for McIlrath.

  6. paulronty says:

    AV is truly starting to show he is clueless. Hags has a very good game & goes to the fourth line? Richards on the wing is a mistake I repeat & Boyle, well he just plain sucks as do Pouliot & Pyatt. Miller is NHL ready, no doubt in my mind and sending him to Hartford was brain dead.

  7. SalMerc says:

    AV is coaching scared. Nuff said

  8. mikeyyy says:

    I’m gonna say it. Fire Av now and beg messier to come coach this team.