Today was breakup day for the Rangers, and there were some interesting quotes from some of the players, and not all were good.
Dan Girardi suffered a broken pinkie in Game Two against the Kings, per Andrew Gross. I thought he was hurt, but I thought he was more banged up.
Anton Stralman said that his family and security are his primary concerns, per Seth Rothman. That sounds like someone who is looking for a big deal, and it may not come from the Rangers. As for Brian Boyle, Rothman also quoted Boyle saying he would like more responsibility. Boyle’s role with the Rangers will continue to be the same, if he stays. Losing one or both of these guys would be a big blow to the Rangers.
Per Larry Brooks, Cam Talbot suffered a broken hand during warmups of Game Six against Montreal. Talbot, who relieved Hank in Game Five of the same series, did not participate in warmups or practices following the Eastern Conference Final. There were rumors that he was hurt during Game Five, which wouldn’t have been surprising considering it was his first action in two months. It is assumed he will be good to go by next season.
One final note: Thomas Spelling, the Rangers 5th round pick in 2012, is now an unrestricted free agent. The Rangers decided to pass on signing him by the June 1 deadline. This isn’t really surprising news, as he bounced around the Euro leagues following his draft year.
Some quick practice notes this morning, aside from the end of John Moore’s suspension. First, Cam Talbot was not at practice, and there is no update on his status. Talbot suffered from an undisclosed injury in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Finals, and has been day-to-day since. Also, J.T. Miller, who hurt his shoulder in the Eastern Conference Finals, is good to go. Miller likely won’t get action unless there is an injury, but he adds some decent depth in that scenario. Both of these bits come from Andrew Gross.
Per Katie Strang, Cam Talbot sat out for a second straight practice with an undisclosed injury. This is relatively minor in the grand scheme of things, because Talbot and/or LeNeveu would only see ice time if Hank gets hurt, forgets how to play goalie, or goes nuts and disappears to Africa to hang with Dave Chappelle. I asked Jim Cerny if Talbot made the trip, to which he responded yes.
Per Pat Leonard, Derek Stepan indeed traveled with the team to Montreal for Game Five tonight. Alain Vigneault noted that Stepan will get a look in the morning skate before he makes his decision on inserting him into the lineup. As expected, Stepan will wear full face protection (cage) if he plays.
Also, Oscar Lindberg traveled with the team to Montreal. per Arpon Basu. The highly touted prospect has yet to play an NHL game, but played a very strong campaign in the AHL, his first in North America, putting up a line of 18-26-44 in 75 games. It’s safe to assume that if Stepan cannot go, then it will be between Lindberg and Jesper Fast for the fourth line spot. J.T. Miller, who played in that spot in Game Four, played just three minutes before being cross-checked into the goal post (no penalty was called). He did not return to the game.
Miller did not travel to Montreal.
Alain Vigneault announced yesterday that J.T. Miller would be returning to the lineup, probably in light of the Dan Carcillo suspension. Some doubt may have been cast when Derick Brassard announced he would be returning tonight, but now with the confirmed news that Derek Stepan will be out with his broken jaw (not surprising, despite what Doctors Gallagher and Briere say), it is certain that Miller will play tonight.
No lines have been announced, but my guess is that Brassard skates on the top line with Rick Nash and Chris Kreider. Dominic Moore would slide into the third line with Mats Zuccarllo and Benoit Pouliot, and Miller would play on the fourth line with Derek Dorsett and Brian Boyle.
According to the internet, Derick Brassard will be back in the lineup tomorrow. Although, Katie Strang tweeted the following quote from AV, “He didn’t tell me. That’s good news.” Either way, expect Brass back in the lineup.
Stepan is likely out after having surgery on his broken jaw on Friday due to the illegal hit he suffered from Brandon Prust. Prust received a 2 game suspension. Yeah…
Per Renaud Lavoie, quoting Alain Vigneault, Derek Stepan had surgery on a broken jaw today. The injury came from the hit delivered by Brandon Prust. This is not good news for the Rangers.
Alain Vigneault is being coy again. One day after injured center Derick Brassard was taking line rushes, AV said that he is still day-to-day (per Renaud Lavoie). Jeff Klein of the New York Times noted that AV said, in French, that Brass probably won’t play tonight. So, basically we don’t know what’s going on with Brassard. All we do know is that if Brassard plays, then Dominic Moore will slide back to the fourth line and Dan Carcillo will sit. If he’s out, then it will be the same lineup as Monday.
Per Ryan Rishaug, injured center Derick Brassard was taking line rushes this afternoon with regular linemate Mats Zuccarello and J.T. Miller (in Benoit Pouliot’s spot). Per Pat Leonard, Pouliot was just taking a maintenance day. AV alluded to the fact that Brassard may play tomorrow, and it looks like he will be back in the lineup after missing Game Two.
Per Pat Leonard, coach Alain Vigneault was a bit coy this morning when addressing Derick Brassard’s injury. When asked, AV said, “If I were a betting man.” That’s it. So, let’s assume he’s in for Game Three, which is great news for the Rangers.