Rangers Roundup: Knoblauch credits Quinn for game plan, Igor Shesterkin back at practice, and Alexandar Georgiev starts tomorrow

The New York Rangers will head to DC to face the Washington Capitals tomorrow and they will do so without David Quinn and the regular coaching staff. That means Kris Knoblauch should be behind the bench for the next two games since they are not allowed to travel with the team. The Blueshirts return home on Monday to face the Sabres.

New York Rangers: Kris Knoblauch credits David Quinn for game plan

Kris Knoblauch was alerted yesterday around 11:30AM that he may be coaching the Rangers. It was confirmed by Chris Drury around 1PM and they along with Gord Murphy made their way from Connecticut to Manhattan. What happened next was totally unexpected. Mika Zibanejad exploded (3G, 3A) and the MSG home team scoreboard lit up 9 times.

“I talked to Quinny throughout the day – we probably had six phone calls,” Knoblauch revealed. “Obviously the game plan was set out for us – well prepared.” Of course, there are Quinn detractors who feel that Knoblauch was a breath of fresh air and likely the cause for the offensive outburst, and in particular Zibanejad’s six point period.

“A big part of our success tonight came off O-zone face-offs,” Knoblauch continued. “I remember that was one of the things [Quinn] told me before the game was to give our top lines more opportunities to score. Have them take those offensive zone face-offs.”

This should hopefully clarify exactly what role Knoblauch and his staff have as substitutes. They’ve very little wiggle room and are given a game plan to execute from Quinn himself. What also makes this a seamless transition is the Rangers aligning their farm team in Hartford to implement the same exact system Quinn wants played here. This was affirmed by Tarmo Reunanen after his debut.

Alexandar Georgiev to start after shutout

rangers goalie
Mar 17, 2021; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers goaltender Alexandar Georgiev (40) and defenseman Brendan Smith (42) defend against Philadelphia Flyers left wing Scott Laughton (21) during the second period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Bennett/POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports

Lost in the constant sounding off of the Rangers goal song was the strong play of Alexandar Georgiev. He was not called upon often bit when he had to – the struggling goalie shined. During the Zibanejad blitz in the second period, Georgiev made a potential save of the year candidate. It was a kick save and a beauty as the old-timers like to say.

After letting in 7 goals on 20 shots in his last two starts, each resulting in getting the hook, Georgiev stopped all 26 Flyers pucks hurled his way. He has been named the started for tomorrow.

Maintenance day for Kreider; Shesterkin back at practice

Kris Knoblauch ran a spirited practice but he did so without Chris Kreider who was given a maintenance day. Some really good news was seeing Igor Shesterkin back with the regulars. Expect him to start Saturday against the Caps in the second game of the set.

NHL Rumors

The latest NHL Rumors are out at DGH and Ryan Strome is a name that’s popping up.