You got the news already, but to repeat: Henrik Lundqvist will play tonight, his 22nd straight start, despite a bruise around his right knee. Goalie Cam Talbot had been recalled from Connecticut as a precautionary measure. Wojtek Wolski will be prucha’d and Mats Zuccarello goes back into the lineup. Everything else remains the same.
“Same D, and Zucc will go in and Wooly will be out.”
“Looking for some offense. Don’t think I’ve gotten a bunch of it out of Wooly. Again, it’s the same thing. There’s a couple of guys we’re kind of alternating in and out of there. Wools didn’t get a bunch of ice time last night but we’re going to try Zucc tonight and see where we go.”
Disappointed that Wolski is scratched just a few weeks after being scratched previously?
“I don’t want to use ‘disappointing.’ I’m hoping there’s a realization that there’s going to be a process here one way or another. And again, he hasn’t been awful. But we think he’s a very talented player; it’s just being more involved along with his talent.”
On whether he reminds the team that it’s 8-2-1 in its last 11:
“We’ve had a morning meeting, we will have a meeting tonight. You learn and you move by, because we’ve played some good hockey. As (it was a) bit of a struggle energy wise through two periods, we still had a chance to at least get a point. I thought we played a better third period, but you move by it and you get ready for the next game, and that’s what we’ve done.”
On what he tells his team about the Islanders:
“We’re not going to talk too much about them. We’re going to talk about ourselves. (The Rangers) know that they’d love to beat us and put is in more of a hole, or try to jam us up a little bit, as all teams do at this time of year playing a spoiler role. But we’re just trying to concentrate on our game. We’ve played them enough. We know what they are. They know who we are. Now we’re going to play.”
On the tape of last night’s game:
“We defended fairly well. The thing that was disturbing to me was we just didn’t have any territory. I think the shots misconstrue a little bit. I think they were shooting from all over the place, which is something we want to do. But I thought, they gave themselves an opportunity to keep pressure on us by taking shots from all over the place. Having said that, I thought we did a pretty good job of defending. We just did not have the puck, and were too far away in our forechecking to have some territorial play, especially in the first two periods. That’s a big part of our game, is keeping pucks and territorial play. We need to get back to that.”
On the whether the Rangers need to chip it in and grind it our more:
“It’s not so much trying to dump it in. It’s making the right plays in the neutral zone. We feel we have some players that can create offense, so it’s not always about throwing it in. It’s just being smart coming through the neutral zone. I think the team we’re playing against is going to be … they just throw caution to the wind. (If) we turn pucks over and this team does have some talented players … it’s going to make it an easier game for them. Tavares’ line, we want them to play in their end zone, and test them there, and not turn it over at the blue line where they can get going pretty quickly. So, it’s not always about dumping it in. It’s about making the right decisions coming across the neutral zone.”
On the missed shots:
“At least for last night’s game that was a big problem. I think we had 22 missed shots, and when I break down the tapes, six or seven of those pucks that were shot wide turned into a scoring chance for Buffalo, or at least offensive-zone pressure for them. Artie had a couple in the first period. They score their goal, we have a 3-on-1 and we don’t move the puck quickly enough to get that D moving and it ends up in the back of our net. So that’s the way it went. I think we still have defended well. We defended pretty well last night. But we didn’t get away with any points. The last few games we haven’t scored, defended well, but we found a way to get points. We didn’t last night. So hopefully we’ll continue to defend properly and have the puck more offensively, and control territorially.”