Practice notes: Vesey appears to be the scratch, new defense pairs

jimmy vesey

The Rangers had some new lines at practice today, and it appears Jimmy Vesey is the new scratch.

Chris Kreider-Derek Stepan-Mats Zuccarello
Pavel Buchnevich-Mika Zibanejad-Rick Nash
Michael Grabner-Kevin Hayes-Jesper Fast
JT Miller-Oscar Lindberg-Matt Puempel

On defense, Ryan McDonagh was having a maintenance day, so it looks like Kevin Klein took his place with Marc Staal. If that’s the case the pairs looked a little different.

Nick Holden-Dan Girardi
Brendan Smith-Brady Skjei

You know what’s going to be fun to watch? Holden-Girardi as the second pair.

"Practice notes: Vesey appears to be the scratch, new defense pairs", 5 out of 5 based on 4 ratings.

23 thoughts on “Practice notes: Vesey appears to be the scratch, new defense pairs

  • Mar 30, 2017 at 2:55 pm

    Holden paired with anyone is worse than a root canal with zero novacaine

  • Mar 30, 2017 at 3:22 pm

    We are not going to win with our D. We are going to win by scoring goals in bunches with our speed. Clendening belongs with Brady Skjei. They move the puck out of our end better than any other combination.

    Miller should play with Nash and Mika.
    Vesey needs to keep playing.
    Stop bashing Girardi – he isn’t the problem.

    Actually I don’t think the D is necessarily the problem. If everyone on this team played as intensely as Fast, Nash and Miller – I’d be a helluva lot more optimistic. It’s like they expect a wake-up call each night.

    • Mar 30, 2017 at 6:19 pm

      Remember playoff games usually have teams playing tough D. Hogh flying offenses is secondary to stingy defense.

      • Mar 30, 2017 at 6:38 pm

        I concur. It doesn’t even necessarily take 6 quality defensemen, either. A lot of successful teams over the years have featured a sheltered third pair with the top two taking up the vast majority of the minutes.

        Holden-Any one of a number of pylons

        That probably wouldn’t be so bad so long as the third pair sees like 10 minutes a game. Won’t hold my breath on seeing it come playoff time though, that’s for sure.

    • Mar 30, 2017 at 6:28 pm

      I love it on the nights that the forwards seem to have fire under their asses and the forecheck and backcheck is buzzing seemingly from top to bottom…but I’m going to have to say that the defenders are definitely the main problem for this team, if given one player group to place most of the blame on. Throw in a coach who can’t seem to figure out complimentary pairings and common sense sheltering for declined/banged up defensemen, and you get the 2016-2017 NY Rangers. Your defense should be in charge of…wait for it…defending. When forwards have to constantly try and compensate to a large degree with the forecheck and/or backcheck, they understandably wear out quicker, be it over the course of the season, a playoff series, or simply the course of one game. There is a reason those beastly forwards whose motors never seem to die, and they also have some offensive touch, aren’t exactly easy to come by and all. I’m hoping the forwards will play their hearts out come playoff time, for sure – worked for the Pens last season…but saying the forwards are the main problem with the defense overall just isn’t something I can subscribe to.

  • Mar 30, 2017 at 6:25 pm

    Regarding Holden. Remember when Roy called AV at the beginning of the season and said “you just got my best defenseman”?
    Colorado fall apart, Roy quit, and AV loves his Holden.
    But at least we know that there is at least one other MENSA member out there who is as good at evaluating talent as our coach

    • Mar 31, 2017 at 8:56 am

      Then I guess you can say Gorton doesn’t know what he’s doing either cause he’s the one who signed Holden

  • Mar 30, 2017 at 6:39 pm

    Holden has looked terrible of late hope he can turn it around ,because you know AV will not sit him G or Staal

  • Mar 30, 2017 at 8:37 pm

    While I’m resigned to the fact it won’t happen, I’d still like Holden to get one or two games away from Staal, Klein or Girardi.

    He may be exactly the same. Flip side, “offense” ignored, he was playing seemingly more confident when playing with McDonagh. As Staal started his regression in early December, Holden’s play significantly changed in zone. He stopped moving. I think, watching his head, he’s stopped moving cause he’s constantly looking to see where his partner is or what he’s doing (typically nothing useful). After the concussion injury with Staal, Holden’s been a train wreck. That pair has been amongst the worst in the NHL, yet is continually trotted out there set up to fail.

    He might be the same way, but I think a normal staff would try him with someone else for a few games as the metrics show he’s better away from Staal.

    • Mar 31, 2017 at 3:36 am

      Holden has been one of our best Dmen all season long. It doesn’t seem like it because he’s been paired with G or Staal most of the season. But when he’s been paired with Mac or Skjei he’s been solid. I honestly just can’t wait for the offseason. And getting our Defense fixed. We have to land Shattenkirk and I’d also try hard as hell to get Franson as well. Shattenkirk alone would make our D so much better. And if we’re also able to acquire Franson. We’re going all the way IMO. Extending Smith for a reasonable price also should be a priority. Have to buy out G and Staal to make all of that happen tho. Idk if we can buyout more than one player tho. I hope so. Bottom line is we’re not going to win the Cup or even make a serious run at it until our defense is fixed. Insane that it’s taken this long and personally I would love to just bitch slap Sather for giving G and Staal those crazy stupid contracts.

      • Mar 31, 2017 at 9:01 am

        I agree. I’m not crazy about Holden but he was doing a real good job for a while there. Fans don’t waste any time getting on a guy when he’s not playing good but I think we should take into consideration the different D men he’s been paired with. Sometimes it works out good and sometimes it don’t. Everyone gets on AV for all kinds of stuff with the D but if we have so many bad D men there’s not much he can do right now. I’m like you, I can’t wait for the offseason to fix this D

      • Mar 31, 2017 at 1:20 pm

        Buy out Staal and G and you have no money left to fix the D

  • Mar 30, 2017 at 11:54 pm

    Smith and Skjei is a very intriguing pair. Can’t wait to see them together. And wtf is Puempel doing in the lineup over Vesey!??!!?? Hell What’s he in the lineup over Pirri for?!!?! I hate AV so much. Idc what anyone says about him I really can’t stand him and honestly wish he gets fired after we get knocked out.

    • Mar 31, 2017 at 7:32 am

      Before you get too worked up, it is probably to give Vesey a breather. The kid has never played nearly as many games as he has this year and has looked gassed at times. AV is going to be resting guys at times in the remaining regular season games.

      • Mar 31, 2017 at 9:05 am

        Amen. I can’t believe how fast fans react to a guy sitting out a game or two. It’s exactly like you said Vesey hasn’t played close to this many games in a season and could use the rest. What gets me is we’ve seen the younger kids like JT, Kreider and Hayes all develops real nicely under AV and yet fans still freak out as soon as a kid sits out a game. I have total faith in AV when it comes to developing the youngsters

        • Mar 31, 2017 at 11:16 am

          AV hates kids. everybody knows that.

          • Mar 31, 2017 at 4:09 pm


            • Mar 31, 2017 at 4:32 pm

              I know! He never plays kids like Skjei, or Vesey, or Buchnevich, never! Except most of the season, but some nights the hate just eats at him so much and he sits them for a game. It is all about getting his kid hating evil jollies!

  • Mar 31, 2017 at 8:55 am

    Bet McD plays in all the last 5 games . AV is thick headed as they come

    • Mar 31, 2017 at 4:07 pm

      Captain is out tonight. Nothing serious as per AV..

      • Mar 31, 2017 at 4:26 pm

        Resting him most likely. Which makes a lot of sense.

  • Mar 31, 2017 at 9:11 am

    We can analyze who is best at what position all we want. The problem with the Rangers remains the same as it has been for the last number of seasons. The Rangers are a team built for the regular season and NOT for the playoffs.

    We just don’t have physical players to match up against other playoff teams.
    There are too many players that shy away from contact. Kreider for one only hits when he has an angle on someone. Hayes, for all of his size, must be hurt because he has been playing in a fog lately. We constantly hear about the Rangers’ speed. Why is it then that almost every puck is grabbed by the opposing team. In particular, that’s one of the reasons it seems we keep getting pinned in our own end (along with turnovers). How can we go into 7 game series with the likes of Washington or Columbus and expect to win.

    Realistically the team needs a real wake up call. If we get past the first round, I will be thrilled because I just don’t see them doing well in the playoffs. Hopefully they will surprise us.

    • Mar 31, 2017 at 6:27 pm

      Pens aren’t overly physical either. Neither were the Blackhawks championship teams. Kings, sure. Still are, along with the likes of the Devils, Jets, etc. This year, they will be golfing while many less-physical teams will be participating in playoff games. You win some, you lose some.

      There’s no one way to win a Cup IMO, but some factors are universal: teams that win the Cup are usually overall very healthy leading up to and throughout the playoffs, and usually catch some nice bounces along the way. If the Rangers get those two things, hopefully they will surprise us, indeed.

      Physicality is certainly is not a NYR strength…but I really do think it gets a little too much air-time as a reason this team can’t possibly make a run.

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