Rangers practice buzz: Georgiev to start, Kakko demoted, and will DeAngelo be scratched?

Today’s practice at the MSG Training Center had a lot of surprises. We all knew coming into game two against the Islanders on Saturday we’d see some changes.

However, what happened today raises more questions than answers.

New York Rangers news: Alexandar Georgiev to start

Head coach David Quinn announced his starter for Saturday and it will be Alexandar Georgiev. This isn’t a shock considering the condensed schedule was going to call for playing two goalies more this season.

Igor Shesterkin had a bad first period, but did come back strong the rest of the game. A mild concern could also be that he is banged up after Jordan Eberle exploded into him looking for a loose puck. The young goalie laid on the ice for awhile before continuing.

Oddly enough, the refs called a goal on the play until Quinn challenged for goalie interference. Earlier in the game the Rangers scored on a similar situation and it was ruled no goal due to intent to whistle. Just another questionable night for an officiating crew that was not very good.

Kaapo Kakko demoted to the third line

I’m not sure what Kakko did to get demoted aside miss a glorious scoring chance in the third period. Alexis Lafreniere will be moved the right wing on a second line with Artemi Panarin and Ryan Strome.

new york rangers
Kaapo Kakko(Getty Images)

According to coach Quinn, he says that isn’t really a message to Kakko but the entire team. That if someone plays better than you, they could take your spot. While I understand what he is saying, almost anyone on the top six could have been demoted last night. The 19 year-old Kakko is just the easiest one to do that to.

Tony DeAngelo skating with the Taxi-Squad?

Tony DeAngelo took an undisciplined unsportsmanlike penalty after he received a holding call. When DeAngelo skated to the box, he mouthed off to the refs and slammed the door shut.

It was probably the most emotion we saw from any Ranger last night in a game where they were manhandled. Kevin Rooney will miss the next game after getting creamed by Ross Johnston. Colin Blackwell will move up from the taxi squad.

Not a single response from a blue sweater to any of the contact I’ve discussed in this article. There was more unanswered, but why compound the issue.

This leads me to my next point, the Rangers took 8 minors last night. That’s a lot of discipline issues, which DeAngelo was responsible for two. The reality is that he actually played decent defensively, while his partner Jack Johnson looked immobile and slow. The veteran was struggling to complete the simplest of passes. Somehow, he skated with the regulars today.

I understand Quinn wanting to send a message, but it seems like he’s singling out the same players he did last season.

Adam Fox was promoted to PP1 in Tony’s place. This after a subpar effort on his part where he was unforgivably stripped of a puck from behind by Mathew Barzal which Shesterkin stopped on the subsequent breakaway. DeAngelo was criticized for staying in front of Barzal who cane flying in after a bad turnover and beat Shesterkin on a shot he’d like to have back.

If DeAngelo is indeed scratched in favor of Brendan Smith with Jack Johnson still in the starting six after last night, well the Rangers better win Saturday. Should they lose again and Johnson has another difficult night, the Quinn detractors will be singing in full harmony.


Anthony Scultore is the founder of Forever Blueshirts and has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL... More about Anthony Scultore

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